Scholarships & Awards | Trinity University

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Scholarships & Awards

As part of the sociology and anthropology student experience, students are eligible for fellowships through the McNair Scholars Program. Students may also participate in honor societies and often earn awards for their achievements in the department and in our greater world.

McNair Scholars Program

The McNair Scholars Program, named after the late physicist and Challenger astronaut Ronald E. McNair, prepares students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

The program, funded by a U.S. Department of Education grant, offers academic counseling, mentoring, research opportunities, seminars, paid summer internships, and graduate admissions guidance. Visit the sociology and anthropology department office for more information on the program and how to apply.

Photo of Victoria

McNair Scholar and anthropology major, Victoria Abila.

The Dr. Michael C. Kearl Award for Aspiring Sociologists

Dr. Michael Kearl was a Trinity professor from 1977-2015, influencing generations of Trinity students. He was a gifted teacher, spirited colleague, and a nationally recognized expert on the sociology of death and dying, time, the family, and social gerontology.

His family started a scholarship fund that continues his legacy of supporting aspiring sociologists. Full-time undergraduate students enrolled at Trinity  who have enrolled in a sociology course may apply for the award amount of $3,500 to off-set the cost of expenses incurred at Trinity. To apply, students must write a statement detailing their intention to pursue sociology beyond Trinity, and obtain a letter of support from a member of the sociology and anthropology department. Awards are made annually in early January.

Photo of Lily with award

2019 Kearl Award recipient Lily Sorrentino. 

Margaret Mead Award

Margaret Mead, for years among the best known women in the world, was also the best known anthropologist, with a particular talent for bringing anthropology fully into the light of public attention. The Margaret Mead Award, initiated by the Society for Applied Anthropology in 1979, and awarded jointly with the American Anthropological Society since 1983, continues to celebrate the tradition of bringing anthropology to bear on wider social and cultural issues. The recipient of the Margaret Mead Award at Trinity is an anthropology major in their junior or senior year who has shown outstanding achievements in anthropology. The awardee is chosen annually by the faculty of the sociology and anthropology department.

C. Wright Mills Award

For nearly two decades, the department of sociology and anthropology has awarded its C. Wright Mills Award, the highest honor it confers, to a junior or senior sociology major whose work best exemplifies the theories and methods of the field. The recipient will have best demonstrated the "sociological imagination," Mills' (1916-1962) notion of understanding the intersections of biography with history, how what individuals sense to be personal problems are often derived from broad historical change and institutional contradictions.

Michael and Samsara holding their awards

Michael Paniagua and Samsara Davalos Reyes, recipients of the 2019 Margaret Mead and C. Wright Mills awards

The John Donahue Student Award

This award commemorates Trinity anthropology professor John Donahue’s lifelong commitment to social justice. It provides financial support to students who want to expand their intellectual experience with an internship, community-based research activity, or a community service project. During the academic year, it allows students to earn money by dedicating their time to social justice work rather than taking on part-time paid work on campus or in private businesses. During the summer, it enables students to earn needed income and defray living expenses as they undertake community projects in lieu of finding summer jobs. This work can take place locally in San Antonio or elsewhere in the United States or abroad. Awards are made three times throughout the year to provide students $1,500 to work 150 hours during fall or spring semester; or $4,000 to work full-time during the summer. Priority is given to students who have not previously been awarded this scholarship. Availability of this scholarship is dependent upon funding. Please contact the department chair, jmathews [at], about the next application deadlines.

Cathy and Kaylie discussing their experiences doing social justice work

Cathy Terrace and Kaylie King discuss their experiences doing social justice work after receiving the John Donahue Student Award

Honors Societies

Anthropology - Lambda Alpha

Lambda Alpha is the international honor society for students of anthropology. The name, Lambda Alpha, comes from the initial letters of the Greek words logos anthropou, meaning the 'study of man.' As an honor society, Lambda Alpha serves to recognize superiority, providing incentive for exceptional performance by granting certificates of accomplishment. Jennifer Mathews serves as the sponsor for Epsilon of Texas, the Lambda Alpha chapter at Trinity.

Sociology - Alpha Kappa Delta

"To investigate humanity for the purpose of service."

Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD), the international sociology honor society, was founded in 1921 by professor Emory S. Borgardus of the University of Southern California. The name Alpha Kappa Delta was chosen because the letters represent the first letters of three classical Greek words that embody the function of society: anthrôpos, meaning mankind; katamanthanô, meaning to examine closely or acquire knowledge; and diakoneô, meaning to do service. As an honor society, Alpha Kappa Delta serves to recognize students with outstanding academic achievements in the field of sociology. Amy Stone serves as the sponsor of the Alpha Beta of Texas Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta at Trinity.