POLICY FOR AWARDING STUDENT FUNDS IN SUPPORT OF PAPER PRESENTATIONS AT PROFESSIONAL MEETINGS AND FOR RESEARCH-RELATED ACTIVITIES
- The Student Awards Committee disburses funds to support graduate students in their research-related activities and participation in professional conferences, with the goal being to promote student research accomplishments, as shown ultimately in publication. Research-related activities refer to the execution of research to acquire data sets or software, to conduct interviews or surveys, or to support travel to collections, etc. Research-related activities also include participation in summer workshops or seminars designed to increase skills needed for research, ranging from specialized instruction in research methods (e.g. summer workshops offered by ICPSR) to in-depth instruction in a substantive topic for research (e.g. participation in an NEH summer seminar). Participation in professional conferences refers to presentation of a research paper at a scholarly conference, clearly related to one’s professional development as a sociologist. The participating student must be either the sole author of the conference paper or the first author if the paper is co-authored.
- Available funds are in short supply. Of the total allotment, over half will be reserved for support of research-related activities. The remaining amount will be reserved for supporting student participation in professional conferences. Half of this amount will be used to support student participation at the ASA meetings. The balance will be used to support student participation at other conferences, such as annual meetings of regional sociological societies or conferences within a student’s research specialty. Students presenting a paper at a professional conference that occurs either just before or just after the ASA meetings who are also presenting a paper at the ASA meetings will be allowed a small additional amount to help defray the expenses of attending both conferences.
- Awards will typically be made on a first-come-first-serve basis. However, students may receive no more than two travel-to-conference grants in any one academic year and, if forced to decide between equally qualified applications for support, preference may be given to applicants who have not received a grant in the past year.
- Students applying for assistance from the department are expected to apply for assistance from other sources from within or outside the university. Students who receive funds from multiple sources may only be reimbursed up to the total costs of the conference expenses, as authorized by the university.
RUTH C. SCHAFFER AWARD
The Ruth C. Schaffer Award, established in 2005, recognizes high achievement by a graduate or undergraduate student who has published a research paper in a peer-reviewed journal or written a research paper accepted for presentation on a regular or section session panel of the American Sociological Association meetings during the year in which the award is made.
The award is named in honor of Ruth C. Schaffer, who was hired by the University in 1971 and taught in our department from 1972 through 1991, when she retired and was appointed Professor Emerita. A student of Rupert B. Vance and Floyd Hunter, she conducted community research throughout her career. She carefully traced networks of power and showed how cliques used resources to gain their objectives, even when doing so sometimes violated ideals of equality and social justice. As a member of the University’s Minority Affairs Committee, she tirelessly urged the University to develop a more diverse faculty, staff and student body. Known for the long hours she spent with students, insistent that they learn to do good research and write well, she was much beloved by them. In 1982, she received the College-Level Teaching Award from the Former Students Association. She died unexpectedly in 2003.
If you would like to support this award by contributing to the Ruth C. Schaffer Memorial Fund, please contact the Texas A&M Development Foundation.
ELIGIBILITY FOR RUTH C. SCHAFFER AWARD
All graduate or undergraduate students in the Department of Sociology are eligible to compete for the Schaffer Award who have met the following criteria:
- The student must have written a sole-authored paper or is one author of a multi-authored paper written with another undergraduate or graduate student each of whom is in all other ways eligible for the award.
- The paper must have been (a) a research paper published or accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal or (b) written a research paper accepted for presentation on a regular or section session panel – but not including presentation at a roundtable or poster session of the American Sociological Association meetings during the year in which the award is made, or (c) the paper has been accepted for publication as a research monograph with a recognized academic press.
- The students must be currently registered and in good standing with the University at time the award is made.
- If the paper is co-authored with other students, only those co-authors who are currently registered and in good standing with the University are eligible to share in the monetary award.
- If the paper is co-authored, none of the co-authors are members of the faculty of the department or of any other department in an institution of higher learning.
- Students are eligible to receive the award one time only.
SELECTION FOR RUTH C. SCHAFFER AWARD
The Student Awards Committee will issue a call for applications for the award in early April of each spring semester in the academic year. The call will include a certain date that applications are due that is no earlier than two full weeks after the call was issued.
Members of the Student Awards Committee will read all papers submitted in support of student applications for the award. The Committee shall consist of no fewer than three tenured or tenure-track faculty in the department.
A committee member may not discuss or evaluate papers submitted by a graduate student if they also sit on that student’s dissertation or thesis committee. Should this problem arise, the department head may appoint additional members of the committee to ensure that each paper is read by at least three faculty members who are not the student’s advisors.
If, in the committee’s judgment, no paper among the papers submitted meets the standard of excellence, then the committee may choose to give no award. The committee will announce its decision no later than the last business day in May.
RUTH C. SCHAFFER AWARD DETAILS
The author (or co-authors) of the winning paper receive an award in the amount of $500, to be paid as a credit against tuition and fees owed to the University during the next semester in which they are registered. Co-authors eligible to share in the award will split the award equally.
PAST RUTH C. SCHAFFER AWARD WINNERS
|2005||Karen S. Glover|
|2008||Rosalind S. Chou|
|2013||Rachel A. Feinstein|