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Each year, the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice recognizes outstanding students and faculty based on several criteria including scholarship, service and character. These students and faculty are presented with memorial awards donated by family members of faculty and/or students who have since passed away, but who contributed greatly to the Department through their scholarship, service and character, thus naming the awards after their loved one. In addition to the three memorial awards, Professor Emeritus Dr. Frank Scarpitti also actively donates an award each year to an outstanding Graduate Student for his/her commitment to excellence. The awards are defined below and the recipients of past awards are listed below the descriptions.



Jan Burrows Memorial Graduate Educator Award

This award, honoring the late Jan Burrows, a doctoral candidate in Sociology, is awarded annually by graduate students to a faculty member who has made a significant contribution to students’ socialization for the discipline.

Past Recipients:
2015 - Maria Johnson
2014 - Chrysanthi Leon
2013 - Anne Bowler
2012 - Eric Tranby
2011 - Tammy Anderson
2010 - Karen Parker
2009 - Ronet Bachman
2008 - Susan Miller
2007 - Ivan Sun
2006 - Ronet Bachman
2005 - Susan Miller
2004 - Joel Best
2003 - Gerald Turkel
2002 - André Rosay
2001 - Frank Scarpitti
2000 - Eric Rise
1999 - Valerie Hans
1998 - Ronet Bachman
1997 - Ruth Horowitz
1996 - Anne Bowler

Benjamin McLuckie Memorial Award

Benjamin McLuckie was an Assistant Professor of Sociology in our department before his untimely death in 1975. After a brief career as a Presbyterian minister, he returned to graduate school and earned a Ph.D. degree in Sociology, determined to do research and teach the discipline that he loved. He was an outstanding undergraduate teacher, dedicated to his students and capable of getting the very best out of them. Known for his humanity and integrity, he served as a role model for both his colleagues and his students. After his death, his family and friends created the Benjamin McLuckie Award to honor his memory and to recognize an outstanding senior Sociology major who exemplifies the qualities represented by Professor McLuckie’s life and work. The recipient is selected on the basis of scholarship, service, and character.

Past Recipients:
2015 - Nichole Schneider and Erica Meier
2014 - Madison Helmick and Marissa Personnette
2013 - Rachel Bacon
2012 - Andrea Fendt
2011 - Jacqueline Knee
2010 - Krista Noelle & Brittany Scott
2009 - Robyn Mello
2008 - Amanda K. Pollock
2007 - Megan Denver & Jill Hurley
2006 - Kathryn G. Elam
2005 - Terry G. Lilley & Carla N. Russell
2004 - Stella T. Ilel & Heather E. McNabola
2003 - Naomi R. Bellot & Jessica L. Otto
2002 - Rachelle J. Brunn, Sarah E. Marshall & Cory Wellman
2001 - Denise E. Brown & Rachel L. Smedley
2000 - David F. Jakhelln
1999 - Francesca M. Tassone
1998 - Marcia L. Cavanaugh
1997 - Amy M. Hayes
1996 - Erin M. Hagar
1995 - Kelley R. Tindall
1994 - Anne M. York
1993 - Tracy E. Dohn
1992 - Gia M. Raffaelli
1991 - Vanessa P. Field
1990 - Elaine J. Denning
1989 - Jennifer M. Hanson
1988 - Judith A. Hand
1987 - Michelle A. Klein & Barbara J. Green
1986 - Frank Stluka
1985 - Barbara J. Friedman
1984 - William W. Zagar
1983 - Penni L. Thorpe
1982 - Judith C. Waitz
1981 - Linda J. Mendelsohn
1980 - Kathleen M. Pecis
1979 - Kim S. Bjork
1978 - Shirlee A. Ladio
1977 - David C. Lineweber
1976 - Brenda J. Wixson

Len Perfetti Memorial Award

Len Perfetti was a criminal justice major and also a varsity football player for the Blue Hens who began his college career in 1974. In 1977 he was diagnosed with an inoperable cancer of the lymphatic system. After extensive chemotherapy, he returned to the university in the spring of 1978, despite the fact that his condition was steadily worsening. That semester he earned a 3.77 and continued to volunteer a great deal of time working with juvenile offenders. In the summer of 1978 he was repeatedly hospitalized and underwent chemotherapy sessions at Sloan-Kettering in New York. In the fall he still enrolled for the last 12 credits that he needed to complete his B.A. in Criminal Justice, making arrangements with his professors to complete his required course work from his hospital bed. When he died at the age of 22 in November 1978, he had completed all of his course work required for his degree. Faculty members were so impressed by Len’s courage, tenacity, commitment to volunteerism, and his relentless pursuit of excellence that they created the Len Perfetti Award in his honor. The recipient of this award, a senior Criminal Justice major, is selected on the basis of scholarship, service and character.

Past Recipients:
2015 - Gabrielle Green and Rachel Morenoff
2014 - Alpa Bhatia
2013 - Michael Burtis
2012 - Rebecca Trexler
2011 - Paul Ruiz, Jr.
2010 - Corey R. Forster & Mary F. Mastin
2009 - Tricia Connor
2008 - Lisha L. Purnell & Allison M. Schwier
2007 - Diana M. Filkins
2006 - Jessica C. Blank & Emily C. Berenback
2005 - William M. Gratton
2004 - Brett P. Doe & Amanda L. Fullmer
2003 - Casey L. Ewart & Branwen W. McNabb
2002 - Alexis B. Shefall
2001 - Toni Chayt & John P. Kellenbeger
2000 - Jill C. Harper
1999 - Danielle L. Eckelt
1998 - Adam M. Gershowitz
1997 - Suzanne L. Salem & Denise M. St. John
1996 - Alissa M. McNabb & Kevin M. Conklin
1995 - Jana L. Cresswell
1994 - Alison M. Donahue
1993 - Karen A. Hollander & Tia R. Truxon
1992 - John J. Rubio & Krista A. Sweigart
1991 - Kathryn A. Margetts
1990 - Robert A. Schwinger
1989 - Stephanie D. Cangin
1988 - Donna L. Culver & Suzanne M. Wissmann
1987 - Mark K. McDonough
1986 - Richard E. Figurelle, Jr. & Paulette Kay Smith Nash
1985 - Sharon Letts & Catherine L. Wirth
1984 - Gail Ruth Lande
1983 - Charles E. Schleich, III
1982 - Ann L. Martino
1981 - Pamela D. Adler & Kathryn E. Nass
1980 - Bryan J. Goldbeger, Gordon McLaughlin & George R. Wentz, Jr.
1979 - Cheryl Diane Spinner

Frank Scarpitti Graduate Student Award

This award is presented annually to an outstanding graduate student in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. The Frank Scarpitti Graduate Student Award was created in 2006 through a generous donation made by Dr. Frank and Mrs. Ellen Scarpitti. Dr. Scarpitti’s reputation as a leading scholar in the fields of Sociology and Criminology is matched by his excellence in teaching as well as service to the department, the University, the discipline and the community. This award serves to highlight Frank’s accomplishments and demonstrates our commitment to recognizing the excellence of our graduate students. The recipient of this award is selected by the Graduate Policy Committee with nominations from faculty and scientists in the Department and at the Center for Drug and Alcohol Studies and the Disaster Research Center.

Past Recipients:
2015 - Emily Bonistall Postel
2014 - Mary Kristen Hefner and John Brent
2013 - Erin Kerrison
2012 - Terry Lilley
2011 - Laura Rapp
2010 - Heather Zaykowski
2009 - Jamie Longazel
2008 - Joseph Trainor
2007 - Jessica Hodge
2006 - Amy I. Cass