Student Accomplishments and News

Inaugural Charles H. Page Scholarship Recipient, Ashley Garner

The inaugural recipient of the Charles H. Page Scholarship for Excellence in Sociological Theory goes to Ashley Garner. Thanks to the generous donation of a UMass alumnus who prefers to remain anonymous, this annual award seeks to recognize graduate students who possess strong theoretical aptitudes, while paying tribute to Charles H. Page, former chair and distinguished faculty member of the UMass sociology department.

In her paper titled “Black Feminist Piety”, Garner critiques the pervasive disregard and misrecognition of Black women’s religious thought and practice, that of African American Sunni Muslim women in particular. According to Garner, they are illegible to critical theorists, such as Habermas, who insist upon a strictly secular lens and Western feminists who presume the religious to be antifeminist. To the extent they are seen, in the post-9/11 world, Black Muslim women are reduced to their relations with immigrant Muslims, viewed as more legitimate and authentic, or their “agency,” narrowly defined as resistance to religious practice.  With the concept of Black feminist piety, Garner affirms and extends Patricia Hill Collins’s groundbreaking Black Feminist Thought, taking Black Muslim women seriously as knowledge producers and adding a religious axis to intersectionality theory.


Graduate Student Awards and Fellowships

  • Alexandra Casuso won a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Fellowship.
  • Rodrigo Dominguez and Yolanda Wiggins won the Pre-Dissertation Fellowship from the UMass Center for Research on Families.
  • Brandi Perri won a Dissertation Proposal Development Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council.
  • Cassaundra Rodriguez won the Rose Laub Coser Dissertation Proposal Award from the Eastern Sociological Society, as well as the Society for the Study of Social Problems 2016 Racial/Ethnic Minority Graduate Scholarship.
  • Celeste Curington won the American Sociological Association Minority Fellowship Program.
  • Ember Kanelee and Joohee Han won a SAGE Teaching Innovations & Professional Development Award.
  • Cassaundra Rodriguez, Swati Birla, Patricia Sanchez-Connally, Celeste Curington, and JooHee Han all won UMass Graduate School Summer Dissertation Fellowships.
  • Lucious Couloute won the The Labor Resource and Action Network New Scholars Grant.
  • Kayla Preito-Hodges won the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.
  • Sarah Miller won a National Academy of Education/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship, as well as the Best Graduate Student Paper Award from the American Sociological Association section on Sexuality.
  • Mahala Dyer Stewart won the Dissertation Fellowship from the UMass Center for Research on Families.

Undergraduate News

It has been an exciting semester in the sociology undergraduate program here at UMass!
This fall, our fantastic group of Sociology Peer Advisors have organized a number of fun events designed to build community within our department. In October, we hosted a Fall Social with cider donuts and a frisbee toss out on the student union lawn, and earlier this month we hosted the first annual Fall Sociology Siesta downstairs in Thompson Hall, providing a much needed study break for students around midterms. Our department gathered to sip virgin pina coladas with tiny umbrellas, and enjoyed a few moments of relaxation together as a department. Next month, we have an enthusiastic team of sociology students, staff, and faculty that will be participating in the Hot Chocolate Run to raise money for Safe Passage, a domestic violence shelter in Northampton.
As always, our sociology undergraduates are hard at work on campus and in the local community pursuing internships, collaborating with professors on their research, and taking advantage of study abroad opportunities. This year, we have sociology majors studying abroad in Costa Rica, France, Argentina, and Spain! Closer to home, our students are interning this fall with the Northampton Court System and the Hampshire County Jail – we even have a student who is enrolled in the Massachusetts Police Academy! We also have students applying their sociological perspective at local internships – like working on a marketing plan at the Monkey Bar, and researching human trafficking with Verité in Amherst.
As our alums know, our majors care deeply about helping people and making a difference on campus, in the community, and across the world. We love hearing about all of the wonderful things that are alumni are up to – please keep in touch!

Let us hear from you!

We are in the process of creating a list of Alumni Profiles to post on our website, let us know what you are up to by filling out this easy form.