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Student Accomplishments

2021 Department of Sociology Awards & Alpha Kappa Delta Virtual Banquet


We are proud of our current and former students’ impressive work! We highlight some recent successes of our students and alumni below.

Send us your accomplishments!  

2020-2021 Department of Sociology Award Recipients


Outstanding Undergraduate in Sociology

Kyle Benacquisto

Outstanding Graduate Student in Sociology

Cindy Mays

Grusendorf Award for the Outstanding Sociology Senior

Kyle Benacquisto

Graduate Program Award for Outstanding Contribution
Cindy Mays

Fiona Burke



Clarence Schultz Scholarship

Kenzie Nasser

Charlotte McCord Scholarship

John House

Alejandra Ramos

Geoff Wood Memorial Scholarship
Marissa Carrizales

Shelby Renee Newman Memorial Scholarship

Solei Salazar

Newsom/Matlock Scholarship

Sidni Martinez

Graduate College Merit Fellowships

Mikaela Billington

Kayla Dudley

Alexandra Thompson



Newsom Scholars

Jose Alejandro

Lyric Calvert

Lauren Chaffin

Caitlin Clifford-Guzman

Vivian Dang

Graciela DeLeon

Elizabeth Epperson

Emily Gibson

Collins Huff

Emily Mayhew

Zane Nesloney

Faith Norman

Raven Perez

Matthew Pursley

Morgan Smith

Anna Strickland

Liberal Arts Academic Achievement Certificates

David Barnett

Kyle Benacquisto

Mikaela Billington

Claire Boudrot

Cecilio Lopes Rosales

Sidni Martinez

Kenzie Nasser

Nikki Ondrus

Sofia Pinto

Eric Pulido-Ceja

Luis Ramirez Cano

Jose Silva

Leticia Strader

Aaron Sturk


Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), International Honor Society of Sociology, 2020-2021 Inductees: 

David Barnett

Mikaela Billington

Sam Cozy 

Brenda Fagan 

Pamela Hanson

Robert Hawkins

Tameron Henry

Samantha Kaseberg 

Geoicondar Morse 

Kenzie Nasser

Alejandro Ramirez Cano

Nancy Restaino Cox 

Nancy Schwab 

Anna Strickland

Nathanial Williams


  • Graduate student in Dementia and Aging Studies (MSDA), Brenda Fagan, has been selected to attend the 2020 Mind & Life Summer Research Institute. This year’s theme is “Cultivating Prosocial Development Across the Lifespan: Contexts, Relationships, and Contemplative Practices.”
  • Graduate student in Sustainability Studies, Lindsay Loftin, was the student delegate appointed to represent the Sustainability and Sociology programs at the annual student Graduate Leadership Conferences at Texas State. 
  • Graduate student in Sustainability Studies, Tom Myers, was accepted into the Ellen MacArthur Foundation- 2020 From Linear to Circular Program, was a 2020 Nominee/Finalist-Texas Business Hall of Fame-2020 Future Texas Legend Veteran Award, selected to pitch at the 2020 SXSW Texas State Innovation Lab, and is currently interning with the TXST Office of Sustainability. Tom was also featured in the March 6, 2020, TXST Digital Newsroom Article
  • Graduate student in Sustainability Studies, Amanda Armstrong, is working on a saline aquaphonics publication with Dr. Saha in the Ag department. 
  • BS Applied Sociology senior, Karen Gaytan, was awarded the 2020 Undergraduate Research Fellowship which will support her research project titled San Ygnacio Documentary.
  • MS in Dementia & Aging Studies graduate student, Lisa Fournier, has started a blog that she feels connects the dots between her caregiving experience and the research she is doing in this program:
  • MS in Dementia & Aging Studies graduate student, Stacy Stone, is a member of DELSAC
  • Current MSDA student and Manager for Alzheimer's LA, Angie Yeh, was interviewed by LA Primetime TV. 
  • Applied Sociology graduate student, Kendall Gilliam, published a book review:
  • Sam Smothermon (MS Applied Sociology) won the student paper competition for Association for Applied and Clinical Sociology. The title of the paper is: "Demographics and Public Police Satisfaction: An Analysis of Citizen-Initiated Police Encounters". 
  • Kendall Gilliam (MS Applied Sociology) presented his paper "A Content Analysis of University Website Images in the State of Texas" at AACS. 
  • Tiffani Elliott (MA Sociology) presented her paper "An Examination of how Relationships between Consumers and Prescribers of Psychotropic Medication Affect Goals of Medication Discontinuation" at AACS. 
  • Cindy Mays (MA Sociology) presented her paper titled “Gender Attitude Differences among Christian vs. Non-Christian Parents” at the 46th Annual Mid-South Sociological Association Virtual Conference.
  • Cindy Mays (MA Sociology) and her co-author, Dr. Lacy Krueger, will have an article titled "Does Locus of Control Influence Parentification and Anxiety in Father-Daughter Relationships?" published in the Journal of Family issues. 
  • Fiona Burke (MA Sociology) presented her paper titled "Exploring the Association Between Taking Psychotropic Medication and Using Alternative Mental Health Therapy Among Adults Who Have a Mental Health Disorder" at the MSSA Conference. 
  • Pamela Hanson (MA Sociology) won the graduate student poster competition at the 46th annual Mid-South Sociological Association (MSSA) conference. The poster is titled "Examining Representations of American Homelessness in Contemporary Cinema". 
  • Robby Longoria (MA Sociology 2015) is the President of ALLIANCE at Texas State University.  
  • Angelica Yeh, MS Dementia & Aging graduate student, presented her paper, “Facing the Journey Together: Using Digital Media to Support Dementia Care among Asian Americans,” at the Gerontological Society of America's Meeting in November 2020, and was a co-author of another presentation with Park and Chee titled "Life Course Themes in the Japanese Americans' Dementia Care Profiles." 
  • Lindsay Loftin, MS Sustainability Studies graduate student, won Top Presentation at the 2021 Texas State International Research Conference for her presentation "Property Rights or Human Rights: Content Analysis of Media Depictions of the Unhoused". She will also be presenting at the 2021 American Sociological Association Annual Conference at the Open Roundtable on Inequality, Poverty and Mobility. 
  • Jose Silva (Applied Sociology undergraduate) has been accepted into the PPIA JSI at Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz college for the Data Analytics track. 
  • Edward Smith, MS Applied Sociology graduate student, presented his paper, "Parenting During Covid-19" at the 2021 Texas State International Research Conference. 
  • Michelle Myers, MS Applied Sociology graduate student, presented at the 2021 Texas State International Research Conference. The title of her paper was, "Legitimacy, Cultural Production, and Top Chef". Michelle also presented a virtual session at SSSA, "Locus of Control and its Relevance to Approval of Government Financial Assistance". 
  • Applied Sociology undergraduate, Sidni Martinez, did a poster presentation titled "Reading Rape Culture: A Content Analysis of Printed News Media" at the 2021 College of Liberal Arts Research Expo. 
  • Applied Sociology undergraduate, Mikaela Billington, presented at the 2021 College of Liberal Arts Research Expo. The title of her presentation was "Striving for Inclusivity in STEM majors."