Annual Student 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 endowed fund was established by family and friends to honor and to memorialize Professor Waldo W. Burchard who was a long-time faculty member in the Department of Sociology at NIU.  He had been its first chair when the Department of Sociology and Anthropology was organized in 1961 and served in that capacity until 1968.

The award is presented to the graduate student with the highest grade point average and has also met the following criteria:

A GPA of 3.5 (or higher) 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.           

  • 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 Social Justice

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.

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.     

  • 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 beyond.


  • 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

David P. Street received his bachelor's degree from Northern Illinois University in 1957 and his master's and doctorate degrees from the University of Michigan.  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 on May 30th, 1980 at the age of 45. This memorial fund was established by his family and many friends.

The 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 to to more that one undergraduate student.


  • 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

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 as follows:

  1. Successful completion of at least 90 semester hours
  2. Attainment of at least a 3.0 grade point average, and
  3. 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 contribution(s).  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.

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