Jason B Phillips was an outstanding graduate student in the Sociology department who tragically died in June 2019 several months before defending his dissertation.  The department established a memorial lecture in Jason’s honor to recognize his special qualities: His commitment to graduate students and the graduate program in all forms; his collaborative and generous spirit, where colleagues come together to support one another and provide constructive criticism with the goal of improving our work, be it research or teaching; and finally, his dedication to community.

The Memorial Lecture is an annual event, bringing the entire department together each year in Jason’s name, to support a senior graduate student as they complete their dissertation.  The selected student is invited to present their work to the department, for which they receive an honorarium.

Preference is given to:

  • An outstanding advanced graduate student engaged in mixed methods research
  • A student who is underrepresented in the academy – e.g. first generation, student of color, international student
  • A student who best embodies the excellence of Jason's research, with preference for those who work in the area of Criminology and Social Control when possible

Process for Selection:

  • In early summer, the GPD/Chair asks faculty to nominate their students who are expected to defend their dissertation in the coming year.
  • Faculty wishing to nominate a student should include a brief description of the student’s research, future plans and a CV if possible.
  • Once the nominations are received, the graduate program committee reviews all nominations and makes a selection.
  • The Chair issues an invitation to the selected student and arranges the lecture as part of the upcoming fall colloquium series.

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