WSU Sociology Department To Receive Prestigious ASA Award

PULLMAN, Wash. – The Department of Sociology at Washington State University has been selected by the American Sociological Association to receive the 2004 DuBois-Johnson-Frazier Award.

Created in 1971, the DuBois-Johnson-Frazier Award is one of the major awards given by the ASA annually, and will be presented to faculty members of the WSU sociology department in ceremonies scheduled for Aug. 14 at the ASA annual meeting in San Francisco.

The award honors the intellectual traditions and contributions of W.E.B. DuBois, Charles S. Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier. It is given either to a sociologist for a lifetime of research, teaching and service to the community, or to an academic institution for its work in assisting the development of scholarly efforts in that tradition.

Gregory Hooks, professor and chairman of the WSU sociology department, noted that this will be the first instance in which the prestigious award has been presented to an entire academic department, rather than to an individual sociologist.

“Several graduates of our department, however, have received this reward as individuals in the past,” Hooks said. “Our department has developed a stellar record of recruiting and training top-notch minority graduate students. Individually and collectively, they have gone on to very impressive careers.

Hooks said both faculty and students are most appreciative of the ASA’s recognition of the high professional and academic standards maintained by the Department of Sociology at WSU.

“We are deeply honored to be selected to receive this award,” he said. “We will strive to build on the legacy of excellence it recognizes.”

A number of WSU sociologists are scheduled to make presentations of their research at the ASA annual meeting, which will run through Aug. 17.

Among those presentations will be the results of research by WSU faculty members Robert Griffin, Clayton Mosher, Thomas Rotolo and Laurie Drapela examining drug and alcohol use among Asian Americans.

While many similar studies have been done across minority populations, the WSU research marks a rare assessment of the issue among Asians, who have largely been viewed as a single population, possibly concealing important differences in substance use across Asian subgroups. Drawing on a sample of approximately 7,000 respondents in Washington State, the researchers compare drug use prevalence rates across racial/ethnic groups and reveal substantial variation in prevalence rates across Asian subgroups.

Research scheduled to be presented at the annual meeting by Nella Van Dyke, WSU assistant professor of sociology, explores the possibility that the wave of student labor protest and activism in the United States in the late 1990s and early 2000s was generated, in part, by concerted efforts of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) to engage college youth through its Union Summer student internship program.

Van Dyke’s research provides a statistical analysis of all U.S. colleges, examining the effect of the Union Summer program on the formation of United Students Against Sweatshops chapters, and the effect that the anti-sweatshop groups have on campus protest. The research contributes to the literature on labor revitalization by providing evidence of labor’s success in grassroots mobilization. 

The Department of Sociology at WSU has been consistently ranked among the top graduate programs in the nation. The reputation of the department is confirmed by the fact that it has served, in recent years, as the editorial home for several major sociological journals including American Sociological Review, Criminology and the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Founded in 1905, the ASA is a non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing sociology as a scientific discipline and profession serving the public good. With approximately 13,000 members, ASA encompasses sociologists who are faculty members at colleges and universities, researchers, practitioners and students. About 20 percent of the members work in government, business or non-profit organizations.

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