Impact of Gifts

Each gift to the Department of Sociology has a genuine impact, regardless of size. Your donation to the Department of Sociology Annual Fund helps us foster the high level of engagement and collegiality that is one of the hallmarks of our department and recruit the highest caliber faculty and students. Below are just a few examples of the impact of alumni gifts.

Undergraduate Support

Ellen Jacobsen with Allison Gilmore, 2012 Sperka winner
Allison Gilmore was the 2012 recipient of the Andrea Michelle Sperka award. Allison accepted the award at the Spring 2012 award ceremony with a moving speech about the value of her training in social sciences. Allison graduated in 2012. She plans to pursue a Masters of Social Work to work with children and families providing protective services, foster care, and adoption services.

Cheng C. Cheng, 2012 Reschke winner
2012 Reschke scholarship winner Cheng C. Cheng

"Receiving the Alfred Reschke Scholarship is a capstone of my undergraduate career. It has encouraged me to continue to devote myself into sociological research and to purse my career goal as an academic researcher. I have become more confident and determined towards my dream. I hope that one day I will be able to support students achieving their goals just as the way it has supported me."
-- Cheng C. Cheng, Class of 2012

Cheng C. Cheng received an Alfred Reschke scholarship for academic excellence. She graduated with honors in 2012 and is now pursuing a PhD in Sociology at Princeton. She is studying aging and developing research on intergenerational family relations in later-life.

Graduate Support

Marwell award winner 2009
2009 Gerald and Barbara E. Marwell Award winner Matias Cocina

"Receiving the Gerald and Barbara E. Marwell Award for Summer 2009, was both an honor and an incentive, in at least two important ways. First, it allowed me to work on my research projects, after completing a challenging first year as a Sociology graduate student. Being an international student, this was really important support. Second, knowing that there are individuals willing to so generously encourage intellectual effort and academic advancement, reinforced my sense of belonging to a professional and academic community that is engaged in a long term intellectual project, through the formation and support of new generations of researchers."
-- Matias Cocina

Matias Cocina is the 2009 recipient of the Marwell Fund Award, a fund established in 2008 by Gerald and Barbara E. Marwell as supplementary recruitment funding for graduate training and research in sociology.

From the Donor's Perspective

The Hong-wen and Cheen Liao Graduate Scholarship in Sociology was established in 2009. Hong-wen is an alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a master's and PhD in the Department of Sociology and her husband, Cheen, graduated from UW-Madison with a master's degree in Computer Sciences.

Appreciative of their educational experience on our campus, Hong-wen and Cheen generously decided to give back to the next generation of students by establishing funds in both the Department of Sociology and the Department of Computer Sciences. The Liao Graduate Scholarship Fund in Sociology assists accomplished graduate students with financial need. To personalize their support, Hong-wen and Cheen requested that support of a Taiwanese student would be particularly meaningful as it reflects their background and personal experience while meeting a direct departmental need.

If you would like more information on funds to support graduate and undergraduate students see our Sociology Funds page. Also see the current Wisconsin Update for a complete list of award winners and their interests.