2014 Department Award Winners, Special Honors and Fellowship Prizes

Department Academic Achievement Awards

Excellence in Research and Writing - Graduate Prize: Allison Helmuth (MA, Sociology ’14)

The Hilda Haves Manchester Award: Erica Tarfuro (BA, Sociology ’14)

Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Sociology: Myshelle Robinson (BA, Sociology ’14)

William J. Chambliss Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Criminal Justice Award: Tasha Pulvermacher (BA, Criminal Justice '14)

William J. Chambliss Outstanding Undergraduate Student in Criminal Justice Award: Ngan Tran (BA, Criminal Justice '14)

Honey W. Nashman Outstanding Senior in Human Services Award: Jacob Lindenbaum (BA, Human Services ’14)

Excellence in Research and Writing - Undergraduate Prize: Hunter Scott (BA, Sociology ’14)

Our upcoming 2014 Sociology Department Newsletter will include descriptions of the students' work.

Special Departmental Honors

Sociology: Brandon Moore, Hunter Scott, Erica Tafuro

Criminal Justice: Elaine Bailey, Sarah Rockefeller, Jacob Sena, Ngan Tran

Human Services: Matthew Kalish, Jacob Lindenbaum, Charis Redmond, Michael Wasserman

Presidential Administrative Fellowships

Adam Bethke, Criminal Justice
Jessica Fern, Sociology
Austin Frizell, Human Services
Chelsea Ullman, Sociology

Luther Rice Research Fellowships

Shaun Harrison, Sociology
Faculty Mentor: Antwan Jones
Project: “Mental Health as a Societal Process and Problem”

Emily Messing, Sociology
Faculty Mentor: Daniel E. Martínez
Project: "Investigating Unauthorized Border Crosser Deaths and Missing Migrants"

Hunter Scott, Sociology
Faculty Mentor: William Chambliss
Project: “Investigating the Spatial Politics of Homelessness in Washington DC”

Gamow Research Fellowships

Andrea Israel, Sociology
Faculty Mentor: Greg Squires
Project: "The Current State of Mind of Washington DC's Homeless Community"


News & Events

Congratulations to our 2014 Sociology, Criminal Justice, Criminology, and Human Services Graduates!

As our academic year came to a close, we sent off our stellar graduates in style with a department graduation reception on Saturday, May 17th. Faculty, famiies, and friends gathered to celebrate the accomplishments of our students. We also presented our annual award winners and honors students with their certificates of achievement (the winners are listed on this page in the sidebar to the left). For photos of the winners and graduation reception, visit our Sociology and HSSO Facebook pages. We are very proud of all of our graduates and wish them well in their future endeavors.





It is with Great Sadness that the Department of Sociology Mourns the Loss of Professor Bill Chambliss (1933-2014)

We are sorry to report that the Department of Sociology and the entire GW community have lost a dear friend and colleague. Bill Chambliss, Professor of Sociology at GW for over 25 years, died on February 22, 2014. Click here for more about Bill's legacy from department chair, Greg Squires. Related articles can be found on the websites for the Society for the Study of Social Problems and the Law & Society Association. To honor Bill's legacy we have created a fund that will help us provide graduate student packages, financial aid, and other support for our most deserving students. More information can be found here. And if you would like to make a gift in honor of Bill, please visit go.gwu.edu/billchambliss.

Recent Events

Event: The Strange Fruits That Still Swing. Join us Wed, 4/30 at 6:30pm in Room 213 of 1957 E Street, NW. This discussion will feature remarks on the Carter case from Mr. Wendol Lee, President of Operation Help Civil Rights Group based in Memphis, Tennessee, and Ms. Brenda Carter, Frederick Jermaine Carter's mother. In addition, there will be a panel discussion with George Washington University professors to highlight and generate dialogue on other recent occurrences of lynching and violence. Organized by Criminal Justice major, Krista Cocozello, and The Conscious Seed Organization at GW.

Event: A Celebration of the 67th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson's Historic Breakthrough. Join us on Tuesday, April 22nd from 5:45-8:00pm in the Grand Ballroom (third floor) of the Marvin Center, 801 21st St NW, Washington DC 20052. One of the highlights will be the presentation of a Jackie Robinson Award to a GW baseball player who best exhibits the qualities demonstrated by Jackie Robinson.  Also presented will be the Jackie Robinson Project Community Recognition Award and two Jackie and Rachel Robinson Society Appreciation Awards.

Lecture: "All-In Nation: An America that Works for All" with Vanessa Cárdenas, Vice President Progress 2050 at The Center for American Progress in Washington DC. Join us Thursday, April 17 from 11am to 12pm in Marvin Center, Room 405, 800 21st St NW, Washington, DC 20052.

Symposium: "Is Equitable Development Possible in the 21st Century? Prospects and Possibilities in Washington, DC" with Professor Greg Squires. This event is co-sponsored by the GW Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service. Join us on Thursday, March 27 from 9:00-2:00pm in the Marvin Center Grand Ballroom, 800 21st St NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20052.

Lecture: “Race, Class, and the Politics of School Choice” with Mary Pattillo, Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Northwestern University. Join us Tuesday, March 25 from 10:00-11:30am in the Marvin Center, Room 311, 800 21st St NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20052.

Lecture: "The Europeanization of Holocaust Memory in Eastern Europe" with Marek Kucia, Associate Professor of Sociology at Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland. Join us Monday, March 17 from 4:30-6:00pm in Gelman Library, Room 702, 2130 H St NW, Washington, DC 20052.

Visit our facebook page for more updates, events, and new course descriptions.

New Faculty Books

Discover Sociology. William J. Chambliss and Daina S. Eglitis (Sage, 2013).

From Foreclosure to Fair Lending: Advocacy, Organizing, Occupy and the Pursuit of Equitable Credit. Gregory Squires and Chester Hartman, Eds. (New Village Press, 2013).

The Long, Lingering Shadow: Slavery, Race, and Law in the American Hemisphere. Robert J. Cottrol (University of Georgia Press, Studies in the Legal History of the South series, 2013)

Religion, Politics, and Polarization How Religiopolitical Conflict Is Changing Congress and American Democracy. William V. D'Antonio, Steven A. Tuch, and Josiah R. Baker (Roman & Littlefield, 2013).


Fran Buntman was awarded the 2014 Kenny Prize. This honor is in recognition of a CCAS faculty member whose teaching has encouraged students to think differently, allowing them to take advantage of their academic experience at GWU. For this award, students nominate an instructor who has demonstrated an imaginative or innovative approach that motivates students to learn. She has just published “Supermaximum Prisons in South Africa” in The Globalization of Supermax Prisons (co-authored with Lukas Muntingh, ed. Jeff Ross, Rutgers U. Press, 2013). She was recently featured on WAMU’s Kojo Nnamdi Show speaking about the legacy of Nelson Mandela. This past fall she was a panelist discussing two theater productions: Folger Shakespeare Library’s presentation of The Robben Island Bible, and Theater J’s performance of After the Revolution. She is the director of GW’s new interdisciplinary Law and Society minor, housed in the Department of Sociology. 

Robert Cottrol published The Long, Lingering Shadow: Slavery, Race, and Law in the American Hemisphere (University of Georgia Press, Studies in the Legal History of the South series, 2013) and "Positive Discrimination/Affirmative Action with Respect to Gender and Race,"  (co-author Megan Davis) in Routledge Handbook of Constitutional Law, edited by Mark Tushnet, Thomas Fleiner and Cheryl Saunders (Routledge, 2013).

Amitai Etzioni wrote "Near East and Far East: Not So Distant" for The Diplomat, "The Great Disruption" and "Obama Should Get Real" for The Huffington Post, and "Enough Room for Two Peoples in Holy Land" for Jewish Daily Forward. He was also quoted by NPR in "Of Me I Sing: Americans Construct An Opt-Out Policy."

Hiromi Ishizawa was awarded a GW Selective Excellence Fellowship. She also received a George Washington University Facilitating Fund grant for her project, “Civic Participation among Young Adults across Immigrant Generations.” She was selected as a 2009-10 Policy Research Scholar at the George Washington Institute of Public Policy for the project, “Trajectories of Civic Engagement among Children of Immigrants.”

Hiromi Ishizawa and Antwan Jones presented a poster at the annual meeting of the Population Association of America on a project partially funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Information on the project can be found on PAA's website


Antwan Jones received a New Connections grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for his project "Residential Instability and Adolescent Obesity: The Role of the Built Environment." 

Michelle Kelso presented a talk in November 2011 for the Institute for European, Russian and Eurasian Studies entitled "Post-Communist Construction of Holocaust Memory: A Case Study of Romanian Roma."

Ivy Ken was recently quoted prominently in Mark Bittman's column in the New York Times, "Parasites, Killing their Hosts." She was interviewed, in part, because of her article "A Healthy Bottom Line: Obese Children, a Pacified Public, and Corporate Legitimacy" in Social Currents. Ken has been appointed to the editorial board of Gender & Society. The official journal of Sociologists for Women in Society, Geneder & Society was founded in 1987 as an outlet for feminist social science and is a top-ranked journal in both sociology and women's studies.

Peter Konwerski was named Dean of Students and Senior Associate Vice President for the Division of Student and Academic Support Services in 2010.

Daniel Martínez and his collaborators at the American Immigration Council released a report entitled "No Action Taken: Lack of CBP Accountability in Responding to Complaints of Abuse.” The report details the absence of transparency and resolution in allegations of mistreatment filed against U.S. Customs and Border Protection along the US-Mexico border. The report was recently referenced in an article in the New York Times. In 2014, Martínez is scheduled to deliver papers at the annual meetings of the Society for Applied Anthropology, the Southern Sociological Society, the Population Association of America, and the American Sociological Association. He was recently highlighted in the GW Arts & Sciences magazine for his work on the impact of US border policies. Martínez was also selected to travel with a group of GW students to Nicaragua on an Alternative Break trip this past January.

Greg Squires recently co-authored the report "Underwater America: How the So-Called Housing 'Recovery' Is Bypassing Many American Communities" released by the Haas Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.  This report documents the ongoing impact of the foreclosure crisis affecting millions of families focusing on the metropolitan areas, cities, and zip codes where families are most at risk of losing their homes." Squires received the 2013 Lester F. Ward Distinguished Contributor to Applied and Clinical Sociology Award from the Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology. The award was given at the annual conference of AACS in Portland, Oregon where he was invited to deliver the keynote address, "Inequality, Advocacy, and the Foreclosure Crisis," which will also be published in the Journal of Applied Social Science. His new book, From Foreclosure to Fair Lending: Advocacy, Organizing, Occupy and the Pursuit of Equitable Credit, co-edited with Chester Hartman, was released by New Village Press (2013).

Steven Tuch received a 2013-14 University Facilitating Fund award for his project “Racial and Ethnic Differences in Residential Preferences in ‘Post-Racial’ America.” His book Religion, Politics, and Polarization, coauthored with William D’Antonio and Josiah Baker, was published in 2013 by Rowman & Littlefield. In November 2013, he gave an invited talk at the symposium on “Student Perceptions of Race Relations at the University of Alabama: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives” in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 

Ron Weitzer recently participated in an online debate on prostitution policy in the libertarian Cato Institute's journal, Cato Unbound, in December 2013. He and three other authors posted original and rebuttal essays (1, 2, 3), which attracted substantial interest from readers. He is co-editor of a special issue of The Annals which will include a collection of 13 articles on human trafficking to be published May 2014.

Current Students

Alexandria Thompson (BA, CJ & HSSJ '15) has been selected to be a member of the 2015 Teach for America corps, as well as an Equity Fellow in Miami-Dade, Florida. And her outstanding service work was recently highlighted in GW Today. Alexandria acknowledges the guidance of Prof. Fran Buntman, stating, "I know that I could not have done this without her and am truly fortunate to have mentors like her in my life!"

ESS Conference: MA students Priya Dhanani, Megan McNeil, Natalie Newman, Brianne Painia, Noel Walters delivered papers at the 2014 Eastern Sociological Society meeting. And two of our undergraduates, J. Doug Harrison and Chris Evans, presented posters. The event was held February 20-23 in Baltimore, MD. These students joined a robust group of many of the Department's faculty members who also delivered papers at the meeting.

Scholarships: Congratulations to MA student Priya Dhanani who has been awarded two scholarships this year. She recieved a GW Columbian Women's Scholarship last fall and a ShivKrupa Scholarship this spring. Both prizes reward outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and civic involvement. For more about Priya's research on violence against women and human trafficking click here.

Alumni News

Grace Friedberger (BA, Soc '07) is working at the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) in Washington DC on numerous projects related to the Healthy Schools Act.

Julie Garfield (BA, Soc '05) published an article "Landscaping Neo-Liberalism: The Weed and Seed Strategy" in Advocates' Forum about the problematic "weed and seed" policy to remove criminals from poor urban neighborhoods. After receiving her BA in Sociology, Garfield earned an MA in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago and currently works as an individual development specialist for The Cara Program in Chicago.

Clara Hanson (BA, Soc '12) has entered the MLA program in Gastronomy at Boston University.

Marquita Melvin (BA, CJ '99) is in her 12th year at the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency, an independent federal agency responsible for probation and parole services in DC.  She began her career as a Community Supervision Officer (probation and parole officer) in her Agency’s mental health unit.  In 2007 she was promoted to a Supervisory Community Supervision Officer, leading a team of six Community Supervision Officers in one of the highest crime areas of DC, the 7th Police District. In January 2014, she was reassigned to her Agency’s Investigations, Diagnostics and Evaluations Branch, where she supervises a team of four Community Supervision Officers conducting Pre-Sentence Investigations for individuals convicted of serious felony offenses.

Cheryl Walton (BA, Soc '11) has been selected as a Fulbright Scholar for 2014. She is teaching English in Malaysia through a Department of State Exchange Program. Click here for Cheryl's story and her list of accomplishments at GW and beyond. She is an outstanding example of what students can do with a degree in Sociology!

click here

New Minor: Law and Society (LSoc)

Supreme Court

Law shapes our lives in ways we see and don't see. We, in turn, can shape the law in many ways - through research, advocacy, or a career in law. The new interdisciplinary Law and Society Minor allows undergraduates to apply knowledge of our legal systems to their disciplines, work, and lives. It offers a basic understanding of how courts and the law works in society, combined with the skills of legal research and writing, practical experience as an intern, and courses in specific fields and disciplines. For more information, check out our Law and Society brochure, go to the new Law and Society minor page, or contact the director, Prof. Fran Buntman.

Alumnus Cheryl Walton (BA, Soc '11) Fulbright Scholar to Malaysia

Cheryl Walton (BA, Soc, '11) has been awarded a 2014 Fulbright U.S. Student Program scholarship to Malaysia for an English Teaching Assistantship. She departed in early January to begin her service. At GW, Walton was involved with several student organizations. She also served on the executive board of Alpha Phi Omega (Theta Chi Chapter), a national co-ed community service fraternity. During her senior year, she was selected as Gilman Scholar and pursued research in Cairo, Egypt in the days preceding the Arab Spring. She also worked on Capitol Hill, serving in the offices of Senator Mark Warner (a fellow Colonial) and Senator Richard Burr. Upon graduating from GW, Walton interned with the Department of Defense as a congressional liaison. She then earned a master’s degree in social work from Norfolk State University. After her service in Malaysia, Walton says her goals are “to return to Washington, DC to pursue a career with the federal government and to build strategic relationships between donors, philanthropists, and entrepreneurs to support GW.”