The Sociology Spotlight: Recognizing Scholarship & Service


Sociology Undergraduate Student Spotlight: Samantha Gove, Udall Scholar

A special congratulations to Samantha Gove ’24 who was recently named a Udall Scholar! According to UConn’s Udall Scholar website,  “the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation is committed to increasing awareness of the importance of the nation’s natural resources. The Udall Scholarship awards up to $7,000 and access to the Udall Scholars network to sophomores and juniors who are passionate about the environment (in any field), OR who are Native American and intend to pursue careers in Native health care or tribal public policy.”

Samantha Gove proudly embraces her Native American heritage and hopes to inspire other Native American students. She is a  rising junior here at UConn who is double majoring in sociology and human rights, with a minor in psychological sciences. In this UConn Career Center Student Spotlight article, Samantha explains that she chose to pursue studies of human rights because she is deeply passionate about activism. She states, “I wanted to be better educated on human rights issues to be more informed on the best ways to improve conditions for marginalized groups in our society.”

Samantha has put her passion into service and has worked at different nonprofits and community-based organizations. She is passionate about helping people and serving as an advocate for marginalized groups and hopes to make positive change in society.

The sociology department wishes to congratulate Samantha for her dedication to her scholarly pursuits and her activism and service!

Samantha Gove

Sociology Graduate Student Spotlight: Rianka Roy has an Incredibly Successful Year

A special congratulations to graduate student Rianka Roy who has quite an impressive year. Rianka was the recipient of both the Sociology Graduate Student Outstanding Teaching Award and the 2023 UConn Graduate School Summer Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship. Most notably, Rianka served as one of 20 delegates representing the Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS) at the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) from March 6-17 at the U.N. CSW, founded in 1946, facilitates annual dialogues between U.N. entities and civil society organizations on topics related to the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment. This year, the commission’s priority theme was “innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”

However there’s even more- Rianka also managed to publish the two below articles while balancing teaching and her graduate research obligations.

Rianka, the Sociology Department congratulates you for all of your success this year!

Rianka Roy UN

Sociology Faculty Spotlight: Phoebe Godfrey Recognized for Excellence in Community Engagement

A special congratulations to Professor in Residence Phoebe Godfrey who was a recipient of the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Community Engaged Scholarship, which recognizes scholarly activities that integrate community engagement with research, creative work, and teaching! Phoebe received the “Faculty Distinguished Instructor” Award for her commitment to and passion for community-based learning.  While her accomplishments are many, she was honored for:

  • Placing approximately 40 student interns in local non-profits.
  • Integrating human dimensions in creative ways that expose students to unusual opportunities.
  • Serving as an advisor of IDEA grant students, whom she has encouraged to develop community gardens and examine the relationship between food and art— resulting on the Native American food ways mural in Willimantic. 
  • Encouraging student participation with the Artist in Protection and El Instituto which created another mural on the Magic and Mystery of Latin American Food and Culture.
  • Coordinating a project with Engineers Without Borders to create a rainwater capturing system which led to the publication of a book entitled Understanding Just Sustainabilities from Within: A Case Study of a Shared-Use Commercial Kitchen in Connecticut.
  • Co-founding the Sustainable Community Food Systems (SCFS) minor funded in part by a $500,000 grant from the USDA to support student summer internships which creates opportunities for building greater community relationships. The SCFS minor is a valuable multidisciplinary program that incorporates the arts, nutritional and biological sciences, geography, sociology, and urban and community studies in creating new learning opportunities for students. 

On behalf of the Sociology department, we want to congratulate Phoebe and thank her for her devotion and commitment to her community, students, learning, art, and activism.

Phoebe Godfrey