One of our alumni, Chet Meeks, died on January 11, 2008 from colon cancer. Chet graduated from our department in 1995 and received a Ph.D. from SUNY-Albany. He was Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgia State University at the time of his death.
The Chet Meeks Memorial Fund was established by Oliver Walter, former Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at UW, and his family who were close friends of Chet. Since its establishment, dozens of others have contributed to the fund. Each year, it supports up to two summer research awards to students in our MA program. These awards help support the recipients while they conduct thesis research in the summer.
Edwin Flittie was head of the Sociology Department for 15 years. The Flittie Scholarship Fund was established by Audie Blevins and Kathy Jensen after Flittie's death in 1987. As a testament to the long-term influence of a teacher, students of Ed Flittie are still contributing to this fund. We are proud to report that this fund has reached endowment level. Consequently, the principle is protected and scholarships are now funded solely through investment returns. Thus the fund will be available in perpetuity for the purpose of awarding scholarships to our top students.
Each year the Department of Sociology awards the Edwin G. Flittie Scholarship ($500) to one or more outstanding "rising senior" undergraduate students. The criteria for the scholarship are:
The department reviews the eligible students and awards the scholarship at its graduation-and-honors banquet near the end of the spring semester of each year.
Amy Johnson (now Wilbourne) was a student in our undergraduate program in the mid-1990s and earned her Masters in Sociology in 1997. She and her husband John Wilbourne established the Wilbourne Excellence Fund for our department, which has been a wonderful resource to help us fund educational enrichment activities both of our faculty and our students.
Graduating with Honors in Sociology
Beginning in 2013, the department will award Wilbourne Excellence scholarships to majors who graduate with Honors in Sociology. To graduate with Honors, majors must have a 3.2 overall GPA, a 3.5 GPA in sociology courses, and one graduate-level (5000-level) sociology course.
Wilbourne Scholarship Award
In 2014, the department established a new scholarship, the Wilbourne Scholarship Award, which is funded by the Wilbourne Excellence Fund. It consists of an award of $500 to a incoming first-year and/or transfer undergraduate major in Sociology. The primary purpose of the award is to recognize a first-year and/or transferring student in our program who meets the following criteria:
The department reviews the eligible students and presents the award at its graduation-and-honors banquet near the end of the spring semester of each year.