Departmental Awards and Fellowships

Every year, the Department of Sociology is proud to recognize the achievements of its undergraduate and graduate students and its faculty through a variety of annual awards.

If you wish to support the awards and fellowships below, please see our support page.


Undergraduate Student Awards

Albert W. Black Undergraduate Community Service Award

Go here for information.

Howard B. Woolston Award for Academic Excellence

Award for Senior Undergraduates. Go here for information.


Graduate Student Awards

Norman S. Hayner Endowment Award

Norman S. Hayner was a distinguished member of the Department of Sociology who specialized in the areas of crime and family.  His family established this endowment in his memory in 1987.  In accord with the wishes of Mrs. Hayner, the income is to be used to acknowledge a highly promising undergraduate or graduate student in sociology, with preference to be given to students specializing in criminology or the family.

  • Last Awarded for the 2015-2016 Academic Year, Recipient:  Matthew Toro

Award for Excellence as a Teaching Assistant

There are two criteria for this award:  faculty recommendations and student ratings.  Teaching Assistants perform in many different capacities, which depend on the course and the professor they are working with.  Using these criteria, the Awards Committee select the recipient or recipients from among our many fine TAs.

  • 2015-2016 Academic Year Recipient:  Karina Rider

Award for Excellence in Teaching

This award is given to an advanced graduate student who has served as an instructor in a number of his or her own courses.  Nominations are solicited from faculty members regarding the overall teaching performance of our senior students.  The award is based on a sustained record of excellence in teaching.

  • 2015-2016 Academic Year Recipient:  Sara Tomczuk

Award for Outstanding Performance for the Master of Arts Degree

All students who have completed the M.A. degree within the preceding 12 month period are eligible for this award.  The primary criterion for this award is the M.A. thesis.  The members of the Awards Committee read and independently evaluate each of the theses.  In addition, the committee carefully evaluates the overall course performance, as well as GPA in various required courses of the M.A. program.

  • 2016 Recipient:  Yuan Hsiao

Herbert L. Costner Distinguished Graduate Student Paper Award

Solo-authored papers that are published, in press, or of publishable quality are eligible for the Herbert L. Costner Distinguished Graduate Student Paper Award.  All sociology students enrolled and in residence during the academic year in which the award will be given are eligible to submit a paper for consideration.  The award recipient will receive one quarter of Research Assistantship support in recognition of his/her accomplishment.  The funding must be used within the following two academic years after receiving the award.**  During this quarter the student will be expected to work closely with his/her advisor to further his/her publication record.

**Students who received Costner awards prior to Spring 2016 may use their awards at any time they choose.

  • Application Procedure
  • 2015-2016 Academic Year Recipient:  Frank Edwards
    "Saving Children, Controlling Families: Punishment, Redistribution, and Child Protection"

Otto N. Larsen Dissertation Award

Otto N. Larsen (January 23, 1922 - May 20, 2007) received his Ph.D. in 1955 from the University of Washington, Department of Sociology, and began an appointment as an Assistant Professor of Sociology in the Fall of 1955.  He served as Chair of the Department from 1971 - 1972.  Professor Larsen's areas of expertise focused on mass communication, media, and violence.  Professor Larsen was gregarious, fun-loving, and occasionally irreverent, but he was also a creative, effective, and highly admired teacher, who was deeply serious about social science.  Professor Larsen retired in 1986, and continued as an Emeritus Professor until his death in 2007.  This award reflects his commitment to the advancement of knowledge, and provides an award to a promising dissertation that has the potential to make a significant contribution to the field.

Hubert M. Blalock Minority Student Award

Hubert (Tad) Blalock was a Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington from 1971 - 1989, and Professor Emeritus until 1991.  He was President of the American Sociological Association in 1978-79, and Chair of the Faculty Senate at the University of Washington in 1984-85.  Tad was recognized world-wide as an accomplished sociologist.  His many books and articles made important contributions in the areas of methodology, statistics, conflict, and race relations.  One of his strongest commitments was to the training of minority students in sociology.  Upon his death in 1991, the Blalock Minority Student Award was created by his family to assist graduate students in their studies at the University of Washington.  An award will be made to an incoming graduate student.

  • Last Awarded for the 2015-2016 Academic Year, Recipient:  Daniel Nolan

Clarence and Elissa M. Schrag Graduate Fellowship

Clarence Schrag is Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the University of Washington where he has been a faculty member since 1950.  He was Chairman of the Department at the time of his retirement in 1983.  Dr. Schrag has had a distinguished career in academia, balancing it with service to state and federal agencies dealing with crime corrections and justice.  The Schrags' commitment to community is a result of their experiences growing up in rural Washington and this commitment has been strengthened greatly by their adult experiences.  These experiences have impressed on them the value of an opportunity-filled life.

  • Last Awarded for the 2016-2017 Academic Year, Recipients:  Francisca Javiera Gómez Baeza, Zhihang Dong

Pepper Schwartz Endowed Fellowship in Sexuality and Intimate Relationships

Pepper Schwartz is a professor in the Department of Sociology.  Her interests are in sexuality and intimate relationships.  Dr. Schwartz received her B.A. at Washington University and her Ph.D. at Yale University.  She has published many books including American Couples, The Gender of Sexuality, and Prime, and is active on media, making guest appearances on local and national television shows.  The purpose of this endowment is to support either incoming or current graduate students in the Department of Sociology who specialize in the sociology of sexuality and/or intimate relationships.  Preference will be given to students that do qualitative, historical, or primary survey research but secondary analysis of demographic and survey data is acceptable.

  • Last Awarded for the 2015-2016 Academic Year, recipients:  Sarah H. Diefendorf, Connor Gilroy


Faculty Awards

Faculty Excellence in Teaching

This award is given to a member of the faculty who demonstrates high quality teaching (graduate and/or undergraduate).  Nominations are made by all sociology graduate students who worked as a Teaching Assistant within an academic year.  Selection is based on course evaluations, the observations of Teaching Assistants, and any supporting documents that might be provided.  The Senior Teaching Associate serves as the chair of the selection committee.

  • 2015-2016 Academic Year Recipient:  Julie Brines

Faculty Excellence in Graduate Training

This award is given to a member of the department that demonstrates high quality mentoring and high quality teaching in graduate seminars.  Nominations for this award will be made by a vote of all graduate students currently in the program.

  • 2015-2016 Academic Year Recipient:  Hedwig (Hedy) Lee