The Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship


History and Overview

The Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to an advanced sociology Ph.D. student who began her or his study in a community college or technical school. A student advanced to candidacy (ABD status) in an accredited Ph.D. program in sociology in the U.S. is eligible to apply if she or he studied at a U.S. two-year college either part-time or full-time for the equivalent of at least one full academic year that was not part of a high-school dual-enrollment or enrichment program.

The Scholarship carries a stipend of $15,000 from Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) with assistance from the Society for the Study of Social Problems (SSSP) to be used to support the pursuit of a Ph.D., as well as one-year memberships in SWS (including a subscription to Gender & Society) and SSSP. The first award payment of $7500 will be given at the SWS Summer banquet, with the second $7500 payment to come at the SWS Winter meeting.  Recognizing Beth Hess’s significant contributions to the American Sociological Association (ASA), ASA joins SWS and SSSP in supporting and celebrating the awardee at their Annual Meeting. The awardee’s economy class airfare, train fare or driving mileage/tolls will be paid jointly by SWS and SSSP. ASA also supports applicants for this award via their student travel award program (more than one such award may be given, but students must apply to ASA separately). Each association will also waive its meeting registration and provide complementary banquet and/or reception tickets for the awardee.

What We’ll Be Looking For

To honor Beth Hess’s career, the committee will be looking for: 

  • Commitment to teaching, especially at a community college or other institution serving less-privileged students.
  • Research and/or activism in social inequality, social justice, or social problems, with a focus on gender and/or gerontology being especially positive
  • Service to the academic and/or local community, including mentoring
  • High quality research and writing in the proposal and letter of application.

The Application

Applications for the award should be sent electronically as a single Word or RTF file via e-mail attachment to:

Applications must contain in the following order:

  1. A cover sheet with:
    • Name and full contact information, including phone and email
    • Current academic affiliation, with years
    • Community college or technical school attended, with years and number of credits completed
    • Name and contact information for graduate faculty reference
    • If included, name of honored faculty member
  2. A letter of application (no more than 2 pages) describing the student’s decision to study sociology, commitment to teaching, career goals, research agenda, service and activism that would help the committee to see how the Scholarship would be a fitting honor. Approximately one page should be devoted to a dissertation summary statement including progress to date.
  3. Full curriculum vitae, including all schools, degrees awarded, years of study, and full or part-time status in each
  4. (Optional) A one-page letter describing a community/technical college faculty member who contributed in a significant way to the decision to study sociology or pursue higher education


Applicants should also arrange for the following to be sent directly either electronically via e-mail attachment or in hard copy:

  1. A letter confirming advancement to candidacy (ABD status) in a sociology Ph.D. program and aid award, if any. ABD status is required.
  2. A letter of recommendation from a sociologist
  3. Transcript (official or unofficial) from the community or technical college attended

Only the enrollment confirmation, letter of recommendation, and transcript will be accepted in hard copy. Electronic copies of these materials are preferred and should be sent directly by the individual or institution supplying them. Hard copies can be mailed directly to:

Sarah Bruch
Department of Sociology
130 Seashore Hall West
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242

To be considered, all application materials (electronic or hard copy) must be RECEIVED by April 1, 2018.


For further information contact Sarah Bruch –


2018 Beth B. Hess Memorial Scholarship Winner

2018 Melissa Osborne, The University of Chicago
Honorable Mention: Katherine McCabe, University of Illinois at Chicago,


Past Recipients

2017 Suzan Walters, SUNY-Stony Brook.
Honorable Mention: Daniela Pila, SUNY-Albany

2016 Anastacia Schulhoff, University of Missouri-Columbia
Honorable Mention: Ashleigh McKinzie, University of Georgia

2015 Gina Marie Longo, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Honorable Mention: Yader R. Lanuza, University of California, Irvine

2014 Jennifer Tobin-Gurley, Colorado State University
Honorable Mention: Heather D. Evans, University of Washington
Honorable Mention: Nicholas A. Jordan, The Ohio State University

2013 Anna Sorensen, University of California, Santa Barbara
Honorable Mention: Jessica Dunning-Lozano, University of Texas, Austin

2012 Autumn R. Green, Boston College
Honorable Mention: Laura Logan, Kansas State University

2011 Elizabeth Seton Mignacca, Syracuse University
Honorable Mention: Rose Buckelew, Duke University

2010 Sarah Bruch, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Honorable Mention: Emir Estrada-Loy, University of Southern California
Honorable Mention: Miho Iwata, University of Connecticut

2009 Georgiann Davis, University of Illinois at Chicago
Honorable Mention: April Cubbage-Vega, University of California, Riverside

2008 Crystal Jackson, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Honorable Mention: Christine Schneider, Case Western Reserve University
Honorable Mention: James McKeever, University of Southern California

2007 Mairead Eastin Moloney, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Sternke, Purdue University

2006 Mary Jean Cravens, College of DuPage

2005 Sabrina Alimahomed, University of California-Riverside