The faculty of the Department of Sociology are pleased to announce the winners of the 2018-2019 student paper awards.

Graduate Student Paper Awards

The Katherine Luke Award for the best paper written by a graduate student goes to Katie Hauschildt, for "Whose Good Death? Values, Standards, and Inequality at the End of Life."   This excellent paper exquisitely discussed the theoretical implications of Katie's research while revealing the mechanisms of inequality at the end of life. 

The Mark Chesler Graduate Student Research Award was awarded to Anna Wozny, for "Herbivorous Men, Carnivorous Women: Multiple Femininities and the Reproduction of Gender in the Japanese Marriage-Hunting." The Committee found the paper to be highly original and to contribute both theoretically and empirically to understanding of how multiple masculinities and femininities contribute to maintaining the gender hierarchy.


Undergraduate Student Paper Awards

The Robert Cooley Angell Award for the department's best honors thesis was given to Brian Xiao, for "Material Hardship and Depression: Results from the Michigan Recession and Recovery Study".  Brian's paper demonstrates the effect that material hardship has on mental health, especially depression.  Using a robust longitudinal method, a diverse set of material hardship measures, and a population-representative sample of working age adults in the Detroit metropolitan area, he found associations between more severe depression and a range of hardship measures, including financial problems, food insecurity, and foregone medical care. This is an important contribution to our sociological understanding of socioeconomic status and mental health.

The Eita Krom Prize for the best paper written by an undergraduate student was awarded to Eunice Yau, for "Race and Place in Contemporary America".  The award committee found this to be a well argued and utterly convincing paper on the role of place in explaining racial differences in incarceration rates.  The research question was well formulated, the argument was persuasively supported by the data, and the paper as a whole was beautifully written.

The Mark Chesler Undergraduate Student Research Award goes to Michele Laarman, for "Blaming the Victim: Carceral Responses to Systemic Violence."  The committee unanimously selected "Blaming the Victim" for its innovative use of archival methods to bring to life the ways in which the criminal justice system re-casts the effects of systemic violence as the individual moral failings of Black women.  The paper was not only creative and exceptionally well written, but it powerfully told the stories of Black women often silenced by the narratives of contemporary media.


About the Awards

Katherine Luke Best Paper Award - This award is named in memory of Katherine Luke (1974-2009), a graduate of the joint program in Sociology and Social Work.  The Department of Sociology confers an award each spring for the best paper written by a graduate student or students. The winning paper offers an original empirical or theoretical contribution that advances sociological knowledge.

Mark Chesler Research Awards (graduate & undergraduate) - The endowment for the Mark Chesler Research Award was created in 2004 to honor the sociological vision of Professor Emeritus Mark Chesler upon his retirement from the University of Michigan. The endowment supports two annual cash prizes to recognize students (one undergraduate and one graduate) whose scholarship contributes to the sociological understanding of diversity, social justice, participatory action research, intergroup relations, or service learning.

Robert Cooley Angell Best Thesis Award - Robert Cooley Angell (1899-1984) received three degrees from the University of Michigan: a B.A. in 1921, an M.A. in 1922, and a Ph.D. in 1924, joining the faculty in 1922 when the discipline of sociology was included under economics. In 1930, sociology became a separate discipline, and that same year, Angell became an associate professor, gaining full professorship in 1935. Angell’s research focused on the problems of social integration and issues of war and peace. Throughout his life, he exhibited a strong commitment to some of the most persistent values of the University of Michigan: excellence in undergraduate teaching and the advancement of rigorous scientific research on social issues. To celebrate his commitment to sociology and scholarship, the department annually awards the Robert Cooley Angell Award to the writer of the best Honors thesis in sociology.

Eita Krom Prize - Eita Krom, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Barney Krom from Iron River, Michigan, earned a B.A. in Sociology at the University of Michigan in May 1923. On August 17, 1923, she and three of her friends were involved in a fatal auto-train collision. To honor Eita’s memory, her family endowed the Eita Krom Prize, annually awarded by the department for the best paper on a sociological topic written by an LSA junior or senior.