Sociology and Criminal Justice Initiates six in Alpha Kappa Delta, Awards Scholarships

The Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice initiated six sociology and criminal justice majors and minors as lifetime members in Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society, on Tuesday, April 26.

This marked the 20th initiation by Iota of Minnesota, chartered at the University of St. Thomas in 1991. The new initiates are Kelly Ann Beamish, Lisa Grundtner, Tyler Iverson, Monica Jarvis, Nickolas Lankford and Emma Messer. Dr. Meg Wilkes Karraker, past-president of AKD, is faculty sponsor.

At the same event, the department presented John C. Gessner Scholarships to outstanding criminal justice and sociology majors Grundtner and Mathew Vicknair. The scholarship, which honors Jack Gessner, a professor in the department until his death in 1991, was presented by Dr. Peter Parilla and Margaret George (wife of Dr. Gessner).

The Sociologists for Women in Society Award, awarded to a promising sociology major concerned with the sociology of gender, was presented by Dr. Buffy Smith to Korto Sumoso for her work with The Family Partnership. The Partnership provides counseling, education programs and advocacy, empowering families in need.

The James G. Ahler Award, awarded to a sociology or criminal justice major who has distinguished herself or himself in research methods and statistics, was presented to Jared Hendler. The award, which honors longtime, now retired, faculty member Jim Ahler, was presented by Dr. Lisa Waldner, chair of Sociology.

Dr. Valerie Clark, UST B.A. sociology ’03 and Pennsylvania State University Ph.D., offered congratulations and remarks, drawing on her current work with the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Clark also is a lifetime member of AKD (inducted at the University of St. Thomas) and recipient of the James G. Ahler Award.