Awards & Recognition

Annual Student Awards and Recognition

The subsequent monetary awards are presented to students based on the following benchmarks:

The Waldo W. Burchard Award for Graduate Scholarship

This is awarded to the graduate student with the highest grade point average who has also met the following criteria: a minimum GPA of 3.5 based on completion of at least 24 hours of credit at the end of the fall semester.  The student must also have completed a master’s degree in the Department of Sociology in the fall or be expected to receive the degree at the end of the spring or summer semester.

This endowed fund was established by family and friends to honor and to memorialize Professor Waldo W. Burchard who served as the first chair of the Department of Sociology at NIU from 1961-1968.

  • 2017 - Jeff Syverson
  • 2016 - Anna Rossi
  • 2015 - Not Awarded         
  • 2014 - Tendai Musodzi Marowa-Wilkerson
  • 2013 - Allison Ballweber
  • 2012 - Shay Galto, Sarah Hanson, Joshua Osborn and Jessica Petersen
  • 2011 - Leah Koch
  • 2010 - Heather Salazar
  • 2009 - Not Awarded

The Frances Rowe Katz Award for Graduate Student Research

This award can go to multiple recipients and provides some modest funds to support academic scholarship, research and/or writing of a master’s thesis.  Funds for research expenses are generally given much greater priority than funds for summer salary.

This endowed fund was established in the name of Frances Rowe Katz and honors Dr. James E. Katz, her son, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from NIU’s Department of Sociology.

  • 2017 - Ray Jenkins
  • 2016 - Stephanie Jones
  • 2015 - Nathan Katz & Anna Rossi      
  • 2014 - Bradley James Churchill
  • 2013 - Doug Engelman & Justin Yates 
  • 2012 - Kimberly Leifker & Jessica Petersen
  • 2011 - Jessica Peterson & Jill Sanderson
  • 2010 - Jaclyn Cwick
  • 2009 - Kathryn Chiplis & Jan Reynolds

The James L. Massey Award for Social Justice

This is awarded to a graduate student or undergraduate senior in good standing who has majored or minored Sociology and who is actively involved in social justice and community activism.  Eligible students must have actively participated in organizations, institutions or communities in order to enhance the climate of social justice and equality on campus or in the community.

  • 2017 - Rodrigo Dominguez-Martinez
  • 2016 - Maria Colompos & Al Omran
  • 2015 - Sara Briseño      
  • 2014 - Patrick Michael Dowling & Timothy James Schnoover 
  • 2013 - Samantha Brockett
  • 2012 - Shay Galto
  • 2011 - Allison Peuler
  • 2010 - Jessica Petersen
  • 2009 - Ulysses Diaz

The David P. Street Memorial Fund Award

This award provides modest financial assistance towards education expenses of an undergraduate major in sociology who has obtained junior standing with a current GPA of at least 3.0 and completed at least 12 credits in sociology.  Depending on funding, this can be awarded to more than one undergraduate student.

David P. Street received his bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University in 1957.  He was an honor student while attending NIU and his father, Paul Street, was a faculty member.  In his short lifetime, David Street became well recognized for his research and writing in the field of sociology.  He passed away in 1980 at the age of 45. This memorial fund was established by his family and many friends.

  • 2017 - Andrew Smith
  • 2016 - Taylor Sellers
  • 2015 - Betsy Bonilla & Maria Colompos      
  • 2014 - Jackie Lee Hansen & Kaitlynn Hughes
  • 2013 - Jacob Ostergard 
  • 2012 - Andre Joachim & Timothy Tokars
  • 2011 - Natalie Pappanduros & Timothy Tokars
  • 2010 - Dennis Corbin
  • 2009 - Whitney Rodriguez & Courtney Matayka

The Dean's Award

In 1970-71, the College office established an annual Dean's Award to give recognition to a senior who has made outstanding contributions to their major departments.  The criteria established for these awards are: successful completion of at least 90 semester hours, minimum 3.0 GPA, and nomination by department faculty based on service to the department or college.

The student selected for this honor in the Sociology Department will be awarded a letter and certificate from the Dean commending them on their performance and contributions.  Copies of these letters will be maintained by the College office as possible letters of recommendation.  The letter and certificate of the Dean's Award will be presented to the winner at the spring awards brunch.

  • 2017 - Laura Kruczinski
  • 2016 - Maria Colompos
  • 2015 - Jesslyn Truesdale
  • 2014 - Nelisha Gray
  • 2013 - Alexander Sobecki
  • 2012 - Diana Cruz
  • 2011 - John Napoleon

In addition to the above named awards, AKD - Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society initiates receive their cords for graduation.


CLAS Distinguished Alumni Honorees

The College of Liberal Arts and Science's Distinguished Awards are presented to outstanding members of the college community who are celebrated for their prominence in their professional field, their civic, cultural or charitable service, or their major contributions to the college and its reputation for excellence. 

  • Andrew L. Traver
    B.A. Sociology, 1985
  • Richard Terance Hart
    B.A. Sociology, 1983
  • Jennifer (Stanley) Suprenant
    B.S. Sociology, 1996