Jennifer Nations of sociology was under the impression that she was going into a meeting with her dissertation adviser Isaac Martin when she was surprised with an award and $20,000 prize. Nations, who recently received her PhD at the UC San Diego Department of Sociology, was selected as the first recipient of the Dean’s Fellowship Award for Humanistic Studies.
Nations said that it was both “gratifying and a little surreal.”
The Dean’s Fellowship Award for Humanistic Studies was created by an anonymous donor with the passion to support graduate students. It is described as a gift to benefit the recipient, which is selected selected on the basis of academic merit as well as demonstrated perseverance to overcome personal hardship. This award celebrates PhD students in Anthropology, Communication, History, Linguistics, Literature, Philosophy and Sociology, recognizing these fields as ones who help to “drive creative innovation in our society” and are “intrinsic to campus enrichment and critical to our shared future.”
Jennifer Nations, who studies social inequality and public policy, explores in her dissertation how it is that states have wound up with wildly different approaches to helping their citizens afford the costs of college. Isaac Martin, in nominating her for the surprise fellowship, wrote both about Nations’ stellar scholarship and about how she’s been raising three young children in sometimes challenging financial circumstances. He also noted that she goes out of her way to help undergrads who are struggling for one reason or another.
A campus photographer snapped pictures of the shock, the smiles, the tears and more smiles.
Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications.
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Martha Lampland, professor at UCSD’s Sociology Department, received Honorable Mention for the Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize for her book The Value of Labor: The Science of Commodification in Hungary, 1920-1956.
Established in 1983, the Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize, sponsored by the Association for Slavic Studies, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) and the Stanford University Center for Russian and East European Studies, is awarded annually for the most important contribution to Russian, Eurasian, and East European studies in any discipline of the humanities or social sciences published in English in the United States in the previous calendar year. The Vucinich Book Prize carries a cash award and is presented at the Annual Convention.
Filed under Awards, Faculty
Armand Gutierrez, a graduate student in the UCSD department of Sociology recently received two different honors: The California Immigration Research Initiative Graduate Student Fellowship, as well as Honorable Mention for the 2017 Graduate Student Paper Award from the Asia and Asian American Section for the American Sociological Association for his paper “A Family Affair: How and Why Second-Generation Filipino-Americans Engage in Transnational Social and Economic Connections.”
The California Immigration Research Initiative offers four graduate students fellowships of $9,000 each for doctoral students at any University of California campus researching immigration in California.
The Graduate Student Paper Award from the Asia and Asian American Section for the American Sociological Association awards a prize to the best graduate student paper addressing any topic in the sociology of either Asia/Transnational or Asian America. The winner(s) receive a cash prize of $300 at the annual meeting, divided equally first between co-winning papers, if any, and second between co-authors, if any.
Professor at UCSD department of Sociology, Amy Binder, and Sociology graduate student Daniel Davis‘s paper was selected for James Coleman Award for best article in the field of sociology of education. Amy Binder and Daniel Davis, together with former graduate student Nick Bloom worked on the paper “Career Funneling: How Elite Students Learn to Define and Desire ‘Prestigious’ Jobs,” which has been selected for the annual award this year.
Read more about the James Coleman award and past recipients here.
Filed under Awards, Faculty
Erica Bender, a UCSD graduate student at the sociology department was selected by the committee on Senate Awards as a recipient of the 2016/17 Distinguished Teaching Award for Graduate Students.
The Distinguished Teaching Award is a prestigious award bestowed upon up to five members of the Academic Senate, three non-Senate faculty members, and three graduate students at UC San Diego each year.It was created because UC San Diego faculty recognize the important role excellent teaching plays at the University. This Award is a tangible expression of UC San Diego’s commitment to excellence in teaching and to ensuring that this commitment is maintained. The Committee on Distinguished Teaching seeks to select those who exhibit creativity, innovative teaching methods, the ability to motivate students to actively seek out knowledge, and an extraordinary level of teaching commitment.
As a recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award for Graduate Students, she will receive an award of $500 and an individualized plaque at the Awards Ceremony to be held at the Faculty Club.
Rawan Arar, a graduate student at the sociology department and recipient of one of this year’s FISP awards, had her work “International Solidarity and Ethnic Boundaries: Using the Israeli–Palestinian Conflict to Strengthen Ethno-National Claims in Northern Ireland” published in the journal Nations and Nationalism.
In the article she writes:
This study examines flags, graffiti, murals and political speech on display in Northern Ireland that advocate for either Israelis or Palestinians. Through the concept of ‘borrowed legitimacy’, I acknowledge the strategic use of the ethnic boundary in expressions of international solidarity.
The UC San Diego Frontiers of Innovation Scholars Program (FISP) awards project fellowships to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars who focus on on the themes meant to build the student-centered, research-focused, service-oriented public university of the future.
- Understanding and Protecting the Planet
- Enriching Human Life and Society
- Exploring the Basis of Human Knowledge, Learning and Creativity
- Understanding Cultures and Addressing Disparities in Society
This year, three of the UCSD graduate students were recipients of this award:
- Rawan Arar, who’s research interests are Refugees, international immigration, human rights, the Middle East, and gender.
- Emma Greeson, who specializes in culture, economic sociology, markets, material culture, materiality, and secondhand.
- Lindsay DePalma, who’s areas of specialization include sociology of religion, culture, economic sociology, stratification, and comparative-historical sociology.
Erick Ramirez, and undergraduate student at the UCSD sociology department, was recognized as the 2016 recipient of the Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award. He is being recognized for exemplifying the UC San Diego Principle of Community.
As a sociology-social inequality major, Erick was a participant in the Honors Program in which he conducted research comparing low-income students who came in as freshmen with low-income students transferring from community colleges. Aside from his studies, Ramirez has shown great support for minority students through his work at the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars Program and the Undocumented Students Center.
Professors at the sociology department, Amy Binder and Jeffrey Haydu, described Erick Ramirez and his work for diversity on campus:
Erick has done more than enhance diversity at UCSD. Through his mentoring, his research, and his work at CASP and the Undocumented Center, he has also improved the chances that under-represented students who come to UCSD will succeed. In 27 years at UCSD, I have known no undergraduate who more richly deserves our Diversity Award.
A ceremony was held on Wednesday, March 1, 2017, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m., at the Price Center West Ballroom to recognize the 2016 Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action and Diversity Award Recipients. All University community members were invited to attend the ceremony.
Professor Vanesa Ribas‘ book On the Line: Slaughterhouse Lives and the Making of the New South received the Labor and Labor Movements Distinguished Scholarly Book Award by the American Sociological Association’s Labor and Labor Movements section.
“How does one put into words the rage that workers feel when supervisors threaten to replace them with workers who will not go to the bathroom in the course of a fourteen-hour day of hard labor, even if it means wetting themselves on the line?”—From the Preface
In this gutsy, eye-opening examination of the lives of workers in the New South, Vanesa Ribas, working alongside mostly Latino/a and native-born African American laborers for sixteen months, takes us inside the contemporary American slaughterhouse. Ribas, a native Spanish speaker, occupies an insider/outsider status there, enabling her to capture vividly the oppressive exploitation experienced by her fellow workers. She showcases the particular vulnerabilities faced by immigrant workers—a constant looming threat of deportation, reluctance to seek medical attention, and family separation—as she also illuminates how workers find connection and moments of pleasure during their grueling shifts. Bringing to the fore the words, ideas, and struggles of the workers themselves, On The Line underlines how deep racial tensions permeate the factory, as an overwhelmingly minority workforce is subject to white dominance. Compulsively readable, this extraordinary ethnography makes a powerful case for greater labor protection, especially for our nation’s most vulnerable workers.
Filed under ASA, Awards, Faculty
…Ian Mullins! Congratulations, Ian, for winning the TA Excellence award in a very competitive year.
Harvey Goldman nominated Ian for his work in SOC 100: Sociological Theory. In his letter of nomination, Harvey noted that Ian “is incredibly imaginative in coming up with ways to get students involved in material that might not be to their taste, and he devotes himself and his time to helping every student who wants to do the extra work needed to become a really excellent student, writer, and analyst of texts.” This is great testament to Ian’s commitment to his students and sociology as a discipline.
The Graduate Program Committee would also note that Ian has been an extraordinary mentor to undergrads he has met in other classes, encouraging several who may not have otherwise considered themselves qualified to take our Honors sequence (many of them first-generation college-goers) to apply for the class and, once enrolled, to seek his help in research questions, design, and analysis. It is no surprise, as Harvey also mentioned, that Ian has a group of “devoted followers” among our majors. GPC faculty were also impressed with the several years of remarkable evaluations that Ian has received from his students.
Thank you, Ian, for improving the experiences of our undergrads in so many ways.
Honorable mention for this year’s TA Excellence Award goes to this year’s Senior TA, Erica Bender, whose extremely rigorous work in her own and instructors’ classes inspire her students and fellow TAs.
Finally, thank you to the six faculty who nominated your TAs for this recognition. We look forward to next year’s even more robust participation!