Clark wins outstanding teaching award, sociology students place in research competition

For the third consecutive year, Ripon College sociology students have placed in the Wisconsin Sociological Association’s Undergraduate student Paper Competition.

Amanda Detlor of Coloma, Wisconsin, won first place with her paper “Workin’ It Out: Bodily Discipline at the Gym.” Kevin Carli of River Grove, Illinois, won third place with his paper “Negotiation at its Finest: Stigma Management Techniques of a Car Dealership.”

Both students submitted their senior seminar papers and graduated in May 2014.

In 2013, Sam Carbajal of Racine, Wisconsin, placed first and Jena Roscizewski of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, placed second. Roscizewski’s paper was published in the WSA’s peer-reviewed journal, Sociological Imagination.

In 2012, Spencer Lameka of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, placed third.

Papers submitted for the award were judged in terms of their employment of a distinctly sociological perspective, their demonstration of critical intelligence, and their contribution to existing knowledge.

Jacqueline Clark, associate professor of sociology and chair of the department, was awarded the Hans O. Mauksch Outstanding Teaching Award from WSA. This award acknowledges and honors outstanding contributions to the teaching of sociology. These may include excellence in teaching specific courses; development or improvement of teaching strategies; mentoring, advising and supervising sociology students; development of innovative curricula or programs; and publication about, or professional development programs for, improved teaching.

Clark has grown Ripon’s sociology department from a one-person department conjoined with anthropology to a thriving standalone department that innovates new courses and increases its number of majors and minors. She has developed popular courses in “Visual Sociology” and “Consumer Culture,” and runs a self-designed criminal justice major.

Students respect her high academic standards and the fact that she models sociological engagement with the wider world. Through leading her department’s annual food drive or writing a letter to the campus newspaper about an incidence of racial insensitivity on campus, Clark teaches her students to be engaged citizens as well as critical thinkers.

One student wrote in a letter of support: “She challenges her students to think critically about everything that they do in life. … Speaking on behalf of my Ripon classmates, Professor Clark has inspired us to be the best people we can possibly be. Although Professor Clark can be a challenging grader, she does it in a way to make sure that we are actively gaining the skills for life after Ripon. This goes beyond the classroom and into the social world that we live in… Professor Clark embodies the very essence of a real education and is committed to teaching her students that a real education is beyond the classroom.”

Clark recently published two pedagogical articles and received Ripon College’s 2014 May Bumby Severy Award for Excellence in Teaching.


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