On April 19 faculty, students and guests of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice gathered to initiate five sociology and criminal justice majors as lifetime members into the international sociology honor society Alpha Kappa Delta. The occasion marked the 25th initiation by Iota of Minnesota, chartered at the University of St. Thomas in 1991.

The new initiates were Kristina Bridger, Amanda Keck, Laura Kvasnicka, Madalyn Grace O’Halloran Cotter and Claire Tasler. Dr. Meg Wilkes Karraker, president emerita of AKD, is faculty sponsor.

The department presented the John C. Gessner Memorial Scholarship to Kvasnicka. The scholarship, which honors Jack Gessner, a professor in the department until his death in 1991, was presented by Dr. Bill Kinney.

The Sociologists for Women in Society Award was given to Karina Genis for her research interests and activism in ending sexual violence. The award was presented by Dr. Buffy Smith.

The James G. Ahler Award was presented to Tasler by Wilkes Karraker. The award honors longtime, now retired faculty member James Ahler and is given to a sociology or criminal justice major who has distinguished herself or himself in research methods and statistics.

The Mikulay/Misencik Endowed Scholarship in Criminal Justice was presented to Bridger by Dr. Tanya Gladney. Established in 2013, the award honors students who are pursuing a career in law enforcement, who provide a diverse perspective on issues of criminal justice, and have demonstrated volunteerism and community involvement.

Nancy Lueke, St. Thomas sociology class of 2000, has been employed for the last 13 years by the Government Accountability Office. She offered remarks on how her sociology degree contributes to her life’s work. Lueke also is a lifetime member of AKD (inducted at the University of St. Thomas).

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