Community-Engaged, & Critical Scholar
Dr. Nickels is an award-winning scholar and activist, who is committed to creating positive social change through community-engaged research and praxis.
At my core, I am an interdisciplinary scholar. My work draws on the fields of public policy and administration, political science, and sociology. But my training in community development, social work, gender studies, and other fields of study and practice shape my research praxis.
I have spent a not-insignificant amount of time thinking about the best way to categorize my research interests (this page has been revised more times than any others on this site!). When I was applying for tenure, however, I made a concerted effort to reflect on and analyze my research interests. What I identified were five inter-related areas:
- Public Policy
- Local/ Urban Governance
- Nonprofit & Voluntary Studies
- Critical Pedagogy & Civic Education
- Democratic & Public Administration Theory
Each of these over lapping areas are bounded by my epistemological and methodological commitments to:
- social justice & social equity are centered, if not the focus of my research
- feminist/ critical perspectives
- community-engaged scholarship and learning
I have been toying with the idea that my work might best be identified as studying “community development politics and policy,” as indicated in the image above. Much of my work focuses on power and how it manifests, the value of civic and political participation in local democracy, and importance of social equity. I wrote a blog post on the subject: Check it out.
For more a more up to date list of my publications, you can also check out Google Scholar.