1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »Sociology program recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students

K-State Today

May 1, 2023

Sociology program recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students

Submitted by Nadia Shapkina

The sociology program recognized outstanding graduate and undergraduate students for their scholastic achievements at the annual award ceremony on Friday, April 28.

The following undergraduate students received awards:

Colleen Fulton, junior in sociology, psychology and global food systems leadership, received the John Thurow Hill Memorial Award. Fulton is from Loup City, Nebraska, and graduated from Loup City High School. At K-State, she is involved in Student Alumni Board, Blue Key Senior Honorary, Snyder Leadership Legacy Fellows, Alpha Delta Pi, Student Foundation, Connected 'Cats, and Don Saucier’s social psychology research laboratory. Fulton's honors include the Neal Atkinson Service Scholarship, Janet Sprang Ayres and Jack Ayres Student Alumni Board Leadership Scholarship, Theodore Bielfeldt Memorial Scholarship, K-State Alumni Association Legacy Scholarship, Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund Scholarship, Arlene Clark Scholarship, Knights of Columbus Council Scholarship, Sunflower State Award and Mortar Board's Outstanding Student Scholarship.

Elena Stoll received the Grace and Glenn W. Long Memorial Scholarship. Stoll is from Burdett, and Bad Marienberg, Germany. She is majoring in sociology with specialization in community, agriculture, food and environment; French; and global food systems leadership. She has worked all four years of her undergraduate degree at the K-State greenhouses and hopes to continue to combine her love and curiosity for sociology and agriculture. After graduating, she plans to work on small-scale agriculture operations in the United States and Europe and see where that takes her.

Jimena Davila-Vasquez was awarded the Regnier Scholarship. Davila-Vasquez was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, and chose to go to K-State for the opportunity to be exposed to a different environment than what she was used to. She is double majoring in sociology and communication studies as well as learning two languages: German and Chinese. She hopes with the knowledge and experience she gains at K-State she will work in her dream job at the FBI.

Madison Dean and Brianna Maldonado were awarded the Ralph and Barbara Dakin Memorial Scholarships.

Dean is a freshman in criminology, pre-med, with a minor in French, and she is a proud member of the Pride of Wildcat Land. She accepts the Dakin Memorial Scholarship with the utmost honor and appreciates the opportunity to be recognized by the faculty in the sociology program. She hopes to continue to make her department proud in the coming years.

Maldonado is a freshman in sociology with the criminology option but will be changing to criminology when K-State offers the new major starting next semester. She grew up in Belleville and graduated high school from Republic County Junior/Senior High School. Maldonado's plan after college is to become a field agent in the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. She is currently involved in the criminology club and works at the Kansas State University Police Department as a dispatcher. Maldonado says that she loved all of the sociology and criminology classes.

Graduate students Trina Knight and Dylan Sears were recognized for their academic excellence. Knight received the Graduate Research Award, and Sears received the Graduate Teaching Award.

Knight is a fourth-year doctoral candidate in the sociology, anthropology, and social work department. She has been an instructor of record for several sociology and criminology courses during her time at K-State. Knight's research interests lie broadly within the intersections of crime, religion, conspiracy and technology. She has conducted research regarding religious expression in everyday life, cybersecurity and cyberharassment. Her dissertation research explores the influence of participation in conspiracy-based communities on acceptance of violent ideologies. She is also currently employed as the sexual and relationship violence prevention specialist at K-State. Knight is the lead author of an article recently published in the journal, Victims & Offenders, "'We Declared a Consumer Revolt, So They Declared a Cultural War:' The Development of Shared Narratives among Supporters of the #Gamergate Campaign," co-authored with Kevin F. Steinmetz, Jordana Navarro and Shelly Clevenger.

Sears is a first-year doctoral student in the sociology, anthropology, and social work department. He received his master's degree in sociology from K-State in summer 2022. He has taught Youth and Crime and Intro to Sociology, in both of which he places emphasis on exploring inequality and the role of race, class and culture in the social world. His master’s thesis examined the relationship between white vigilante actors and police using Kyle Rittenhouse and the Kenosha, Wisconsin shooting in August 2020 as a case study. His research interests include culture, vigilante actors and white supremacy. Presently, he is working on two publications with the guidance of his major professor, Travis Linnemann, and is preparing for his first preliminary exam over criminology in August.