Graduating Seniors: Apply for these Prizes!

The Esther Madriz Prize for Social Justice

Esther MadrizThe Esther Madriz Prize for Social Justice is in memory of Dr. Esther Madriz, vivacious teacher, social activist and esteemed colleague of the Sociology Department and the Latin American Studies and Gender and Sexualities Studies programs. The recipient of the prize will receive a $300 check, a certificate, and a copy of Esther’s book, Nothing Bad Happens to Good Girls: Fear of Crime in Women’s Lives. The prize will be given to a graduating senior in the College of Arts & Sciences whose academic excellence and commitment to social justice exemplify Esther’s spectacular gifts to USF and the world.

Application Requirements

  • You must be a graduating senior from the College of Arts & Sciences. December 2014 graduates are also eligible for this prize.
  • You must submit a 5- to 7-page original essay that demonstrates how you have linked your academic career with social justice work.
  • You must possess a demonstrated record of social justice activism. You should submit an expanded résumé which briefly describes the organizations and/or collective actions to which you have contributed and the specific roles you played.
  • You must submit two letters of recommendation: 1) One letter should focus on academic achievements and be from a USF faculty member; 2) One letter should be from a person who can chronicle your social justice activism and accomplishments.
  • You must have an academic record of excellence at USF. Include a copy of your unofficial transcript with your application.

How to Apply

Please email your application by March 16, 2015 to Amy F. Joseph at

The William A. Edwards Sociology Paper Prize

Bill EdwardsThe William A. Edwards Sociology Paper Prize is in recognition of an outstanding research paper or analytic essay written by a graduating senior majoring or minoring in sociology. A purse of $150 and a certificate will go to the winner of the prize. The prize will be presented at the year-end reception hosted by the Sociology Department on May 15, 2015.

The Sociology Paper Prize honors William A. Edwards, who built the USF Sociology Department into what it is today. Professor Edwards retired in 2013, but his influence will be felt for many years to come.

Application Requirements 

  • You must be a graduating sociology major or minor. Both Spring 2015 and Fall 2014 graduates are welcome to apply.
  • You must submit a 10- to 20-page sociological paper, ASA style. The paper will be judged on writing, originality, rigor and depth of social analysis.
  • You must submit a recent copy of your unofficial transcript to demonstrate an academic record of excellence at USF.
How to Apply

Please email your application by March 16, 2015 to Amy F. Joseph at

Video of Marcia Ochoa Colloquium Presentation

Please go here to watch a video of Marcia Ochoa's presentation of her book, Queen for a Day: Transformistas, Beauty Queens, and the Performance of Femininity in Venezuela .

Queen for a Day is a queer diasporic ethnography of beauty and femininity that connects the logic of Venezuelan modernity with the production of a national femininity. This ethnography examines how femininities are produced, performed, and consumed in the mass-media spectacles of international beauty pageants, on the runways of the Miss Venezuela contest, on the well-traveled Caracas avenue where transgender women (transformistas) project themselves into the urban imaginary, and on the bodies of both transformistas and beauty pageant contestants (misses). Placing transformistas and misses in the same analytic frame enables Ochoa to delve deeply into complex questions of media and spectacle, gender and sexuality, race and class, and self-fashioning and identity.

Venezuela has won more international beauty contests than any other. The femininity performed by Venezuelan women in high-profile, widely viewed pageants defines a kind of national femininity. Ochoa argues that as transformistas and misses work to achieve the bodies, clothing and makeup styles, and postures and gestures of this national femininity, they come to embody Venezuelan modernity.

Video of Dr. Marlon M. Bailey Colloquium Presentation

Please go here to watch a video of Dr. Marlon M. Bailey's Sociology Colloquium presentation on his book, Butch Queens Up in Pumps: Gender, Performance, and Ballroom Culture in Detroit.

Butch Queens Up in Pumps examines Ballroom culture, in which inner-city LGBT individuals dress, dance, and vogue to compete for prizes and trophies. Dr. Bailey’s rich first-person performance ethnography of the Ballroom scene in Detroit examines Ballroom as a queer cultural formation that upsets dominant notions of gender, sexuality, kinship, and community. Books will be available for purchase at the event! Information about Marlon Bailey and his book is here:

Sociology Students Win Many Awards and Honors

Read about the the impressive achievements of some of our Sociology majors here.

Sociology Club Wins Excellence in Community Action Award!

The Sociology Department is proud to announce that our Sociology Club, Sociologists Together Empowering People, has won the Excellence in Community Action Award. The award honors STEP members for their contributions to the USF community. When they were informed of the prize, they were told that "the criteria for this award is a project that embodies the mission of the organization and USF with thoughtful intentions and reflection. The ASUSF Senate executives unanimously agreed to award your organization the highest level of excellence for your Community Action Project. Your project was impressive and you and your organization are more than deserving of this recognition."

This is the first year that the Excellence in Community Action award has been awarded. We are incredibly proud of the club members for winning this award!