Sociology Department Awards and Scholarships

Meghan K. Beebe Senior Speaker Award

The Senior Speaker Award is dedicated to the memory of Sociology Major Meghan K. Beebe who had completed her degree but was tragically killed before receiving her diploma. Meghan loved sociology, was a founding member of Sociology Club, and was committed to exploring the ways she could incorporate sociology into her post-graduate pursuits.

The Meghan K. Beebe Senior Speaker Award is granted to one exceptional senior sociology major with strong writing and presentation skills who will speak on behalf of graduating sociology majors at the SBS Senior Celebration Commencement ceremony.

Submission/selection process: Graduating seniors submit a 1 minute video speech that colorfully describes the common experience UMASS Amherst Sociology Majors share and mutual hopes for the future. Submissions are shared with Senior Sociology Majors and the speech with the most votes is chosen. The recipient will receive a monetary prize, certificate of accomplishment, and will give the speech at the SBS Commencement Celebration during graduation weekend.

W.E.B. Du Bois Outstanding Sociological Achievement Award

Awarded to sociology majors who have achieved distinction in any of a variety of ways.  This might be through consistently high performance in courses, by overcoming obstacles, for outstanding class participation or involvement in the community, or for any of a variety of other forms of accomplishment.

Submission/selection process: Students are nominated by sociology faculty, instructors, and staff. The award winners will receive a sociology t-shirt and a certificate of recognition in honor of their accomplishments.

Sociology Best Paper Award  

The Best Paper Award is given the best paper, exam, or other product written by a sociology major in a sociology course, independent study, as a thesis, or for any other purpose as long as the focus is on sociological issues and concepts.  

Submission/selection process: Students should submit a copy of the paper they would like to have considered, either by electronic means to Kat Fabel (preferred) or in hard copy to the Sociology Advising Office (720 Thompson Hall). Two sociology faculty members read all of the submissions, deliberate, and choose the winner. The award winner will receive $100 and a certificate of recognition.

Jane Adams Sociology in Practice Award

This award may recognize an array of accomplishments, including work on an internship, an activity connected with a group working on an issue or cause, a summer activity, a job-related activity, or any other activity that applied sociological ideas and insights to a social problem or issue.  

Submission/selection process: Students must submit a 1-2 page statement reflecting on what they have accomplished, explain how sociological thinking enhanced their understanding of a the social issue or problem in which they were involved, and consider in what ways the student learned from the experience.  The Undergraduate Program Committee then selects the submission that best reflects a vision of sociology in practice.

Send submission either by electronic means to Kat Fabel (preferred) or in hard copy to the Sociology Advising Office (720 Thompson Hall). The award winner will receive $100 and a certificate of recognition.

C. Wright Mills Award for Sociological Imagination

Will be awarded to one Sociology Major who best illustrates how sociology has had an influence on their life by changing the way they think about social issues. 

Submission/selection process: In your own words (3 double spaced pages or fewer) please answer the following question 'How has sociology affected your college experience?'  Some ways you might approach the essay include asking yourself:  Has your point of view changed because of sociology? Has a major in sociology affected what you thought you wanted to do with your life? Was there an eye-opening, aha! moment in your sociology undergraduate career?

The award winner will be chosen by a team of sociology undergraduate students. They will receive $100 dollars and a certificate of accomplishment.

David S. Leiderman Award

Given to one (or more) outstanding senior major(s) with a commitment to improving the lives of children and families. Cash amount varies depending on market return to an endowed fund.

Henry Korson Outstanding Junior Award

Awarded to one (or more) outstanding junior major(s).  Cash amount varies depending on market return to an endowed fund.

Henry Korson Outstanding Senior Award

Awarded to one (or more) outstanding senior major(s).  Cash amount varies depending on market return to an endowed fund.

Selection Process for Leiderman and Korson Awards

Junior and Senior students with a GPA of 3.3+ are identified and names are circulated among sociology faculty and instructors. In the first round, students are nominated to receive an award. Those majors who receive two or more nominations move to the second round where faculty and instructors submit comments in support of the nominated students. The Undergraduate Program Committee then meets to identify the strongest nominations and chooses award winners.