Isabel Jijon awarded Mildred Priest Frank Prize

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May 20, 2011


The Mildred Priest Frank Prize for this year went to Isabel Jijon. Her thesis, supervised by Professor Smith, was an interview study looking at the impact of soccer in a remote valley in Ecuador. Although poor and isolated this valley has produced a number of professional players who have performed on the global and national stage. The thesis charts the impact of this success on both the cultural and economic life of the valley. The thesis combined theory and data to show that soccer had significant impacts on the way that globalization was experienced, and in particular how definitions of time, place and community were shifted. Notably star players and the World Cup were vectors through which the global and the local engaged in dialogue. Aside from academic excellence a criterion for this prize is also to demonstrate a ‘love of people’. Jijon’s thesis managed to accomplish this by listening to what people had to say and showing a deep understanding of their life situation as one of complex passions and identities.