Sociology Winners of the University of Michigan Distinguished Dissertation Award

A number of Sociology students have been recognized with the University of Michigan Distinguished Dissertation Award.  This is the highest award given to UM graduate students; less than ten dissertations each year (out of all of Ph.D. dissertations defended across the University's disciplines) receive this recognition.
Past winners (since 1989) from the Department of Sociology include:


  • 2013 - Kerry Ard, for her dissertation titled Changes in Exposure to Industrial Air Pollution Across the United States from 1995 to 2004: The Role of Race, Income and Segregation.  Currently assistant professor of environmental and natural resource sociology at Ohio State University.
  • 2013 - Yan Long, for her dissertation titled Constructing Political Actorhood: The Emergence and Transformation of the AIDS Movement in China, 1989-2009.  Currently postdoctoral fellow at the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society at Stanford University.
  • 2012 - Alwyn Lim, for his dissertation titled The Global Expansion of Corporate Social Responsibility - Emergence, Diffusion, and Reception of Global Corporate Governance Frameworks.  Currently assistant professor of sociology at the University of Southern California
  • 2011 (honorable mention) - Avraham Astor, for his dissertation titled Mobilizing Against Mosques: The Origins of Opposition to Islamic Centers of Worship in Spain.  Currently a postdoctoral fellow at Pompeu Fabra University (Spain)
  • 2010 - Christopher Roberts, for his dissertation titled Exploring Fractures Within Human Rights: An Empirical Study of Resistance.  Currently associate professor of law at the University of Minnesota.
  • 2010 (honorable mention) - Kristin Seefeldt, for her dissertation titled Three Essays on Women, Low-wage Work, and Economic Well-being. Currently assistant professor of social work at the University of Michigan.
  • 2009 - Nathalie Williams, for her dissertation titled Living With Conflict: The Effect of Community Organizations, Economic Assets, and Mass Media Consumption on Migration During Armed Conflict.  Currently assistant professor of sociology an international studies at the University of Washington.
  • 2007 - Emily Greenman, for her dissertation titled Intersecting Inequalities: Four Essays on Race, Immigration, and Gender in the Contemporary United States.  Currently assistant professor of sociology and demography at The Pennsylvania State University.
  • 2005 - Angel Luis Harris, for his dissertation titled Do African Americans Really Resist School?  Currently professor of sociology and African American studies at Duke University.
  • 2005 (honorable mention) - Christopher G. Marquis, for his dissertation titled Historical Environments and the Transformation of Twentieth-Century U.S. Banking.  Currently associate professor of business administration at Harvard University.
  • 2003 (honorable mention) - Nadia Kim, for her dissertation titled Guests in Someone Else's House?: Korean Immigrants in Los Angeles Negotiate American 'Race,' Nationhood, and Identity.  Currently associate professor of sociology at Loyola Marymount University.
  • 1999 - Elena Rebeca GutiĆ©rrez, for her dissertation titled The Racial Politics of Reproduction:  The Social Construction of Mexican-origin Women's Fertility.  Currently associate professor of gender and women's studies and Latin American and Latino studies at University of Illinois, Chicago.
  • 1990 - Nicola Kay Beisel, for her dissertation titled Upper Class Formation and the Politics of Censorship in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, 1872-1892.  Currently associate professor of sociology at Northwestern University.
  • 1989 - Marc William Steinberg, for his dissertation titled Worthy of Hire:  Discourse, Ideology, and Collective Action Among English Working-Class Trade Groups, 1800-1830. Currently associate professor of sociology at Smith College.