2020 Ferguson Award – Dr. Martha Bigelow

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Dr. Bigelow is internationally known for her work in education, applied linguistics, and cultural studies. Although she has focused mainly on the language learning and schooling of adolescent refugees from East Africa, she is deeply invested in the schooling of all language learners as they learn in home, community and school settings.  

Dr. Bigelow also investigates teacher education experiences and classroom pedagogies that support equity and access in education. Her interests in this area include the multilingualism and multiliteracy of immigrant and refugee youth, the role of native and second language literacy in the acquisition of second language oral skills, the educational needs of adolescent English language learners with limited formal schooling and the role of education policies in access to education.

Dr. Bigelow earned her Ph.D. at Georgetown University through a Title VII Doctoral Fellowship from the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Learning Language Affairs (OBEMLA) with a major in Applied Linguistics in 2001 and joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in the same year.    

As a prolific author and recipient of numerous awards, Dr. Bigelow embodies Ferguson’s commitment to academic rigor and his global vision about the importance of language learning, access, and equity.