Students in the sociology department are recognized for outstanding efforts. As a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, the International Sociology Honors Society, majors and minors who excel are inducted into the society in an awards ceremony every spring semester. This honor can be helpful to students’ future career advancement, and gives them a way to stay connected to the field of sociology.

Also each year, the Department of Sociology awards up to five prizes: the award to the Most Outstanding Senior Major, Most Outstanding Junior Major, and, if merited, the Jeannette R. Folta Award, the Valerie Ann Moore TA Award and the Frank Sampson Excellence in Social Theory Award.

The Jeanette R. Folta Memorial Award

This award is an honor bestowed during years when the sociology department Folta Awards Committee determines that a graduating senior has shown special fortitude in meeting significant challenges, has succeeded academically, and plans to pursue a graduate degree.

The Valerie Ann Moore TA Award

This honor is bestowed to a junior or senior who, as a teaching assistant, has best exemplified the special teaching and mentoring qualities embodied by our colleague Valerie Ann Moore (1964-2006).

The S. Frank Sampson Excellence in Social Theory Award

The S. Frank Sampson Excellence in Social Theory Award is given in the spring to a graduating senior who has excelled in social theory and intends to go to graduate school. Samuel “Frank” Sampson was a founding member of UVM’s AKD and a professor and chair in the sociology department, whose interests were many, but whose passion was social theory.

2017 Awardees

  • Isaiah Ungerleider received the Outstanding Senior Major Award
  • Rachel Hurwitz received the Valerie Ann Moore TA Award
  • Anthony DiMario received the S. Frank Sampson Excellence in Social Theory Award
  • Andrew Naccarato and Marylyn Rogel received the Jeannette R. Folta Memorial Award

2016 Awardees

  • Colby Cayton and Nic Hutt received the Outstanding Senior Major Award
  • Folena De Geus received the Outstanding Junior Major Award
  • Rose Connor and Jason Haynes received the Valerie Ann Moore TA Award
  • Pearl Weggler received the S. Frank Sampson Excellence in Social Theory Award
  • Ashley Usseglio and Emily Velush received the Jeannette R. Folta Memorial Award

2015 Awardees

  • Maggie Williams received the Outstanding Senior Major Award.
  • Rachel Hurwitz received the Outstanding Junior Major Award
  • Megan Kurmin received the Valerie Ann Moore TA Award
  • Amy Chalmers and Richie Heap together received the S. Frank Sampson Excellence in Social Theory Award
  • Richie Heap received the Folta Award.

2014 Awardees

  • Michael Wood received the Outstanding Senior Major Award.
  • Maggie Williams received the Outstanding Junior Major Award
  • Katie Mercer received the Valerie Ann Moore TA Award
  • Michael Wood received the S. Frank Sampson Excellence in Social Theory Award

2013 Awardees

  • Megan Kier and Erika Parry received the Most Outstanding Senior Major Award.
  • Eliza Novick received the Most Outstanding Junior Major Award.
  • Durieka Campbell, Devinne Gosselin, and Mandy Wooster received the Jeannette R. Folta Memorial Award.
  • Eliza Goddard and Nina Sauer-Tondu received the Valerie Ann Moore TA Award.

Diving Deeper

The College Honors program, designed for superior students with unusual initiative and intellectual curiosity, provides an opportunity to pursue two semesters (six credits) of independent research under the direction of a faculty sponsor. Students wishing to pursue a thesis or creative project may apply for College Honors if they have a cumulative GPA of 3.40 or higher.

Even if you decide not to enter the Honors College, the sociology department is committed to helping you develop an independent project or thesis on a topic you are passionate about, a process that leads to a more profound learning experience.

For example, a sociology major, a snowboarder, was interested in understanding the dynamics of the snowboarding subculture, including the slang and clothing, taste in music, and, most importantly, the status hierarchy. Using qualitative methods, he found that status within that subculture was based on many things beyond snowboarding skills, including deep entrenchment in the lifestyle and willingness to make sacrifices for the sport. Two members of our faculty are currently working on a project investigating why girls are still less interested in math than boys and why markedly fewer females enter the fields of math and engineering. Two students have served as research assistants in this effort and completed systematic library search of the literatures on girls and math, the function of role models, and girls and career choices.