American Sociological Association

Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award


On June 15, 1979, Council approved the establishment of an annual award for “outstanding contributions to the undergraduate and/or graduate teaching and learning of sociology.”  

Selection Criteria and Eligibility

The ASA Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award honors ASA members' outstanding contributions to the teaching of undergraduate and/or graduate sociology. The award recognizes contributions that have made a significant impact on the manner in which sociology is taught at a regional, state, national, or international level. These contributions may include preparation of teaching- and curriculum-related materials and publications, participation in the scholarship of teaching and learning, development and communication of innovative teaching techniques, leadership in teaching-related workshops and symposia, involvement in innovative program development, and contributions to the enhancement of teaching within state, regional, or national associations.

The award typically is given for a series of contributions spanning several years or an entire career, although it may recognize a single project of exceptional impact. The award is not designed to recognize outstanding teaching ability at one's own institution unless that is part of a career with broader impact. Individuals, departments, schools, or other collective actors are eligible. 

Criteria for evaluation will include undergraduate and/or graduate teaching contributions that go beyond the local department; teaching honors and recognition; a significant contribution to the teaching and learning of sociology such as preparing teaching materials, innovative teaching techniques and curricula disseminated to a broad audience; publications and participation in the scholarship of teaching and learning; leadership in workshops, symposia, or regional/national teaching efforts; innovative program development; and/or contributions to teaching enhancement at the state, regional, national and/or international level.

Nomination Procedures

A new timeline for reviewing nominations and selecting winners will be implemented beginning in 2021. To transition to the new timeline, no nominations will be accepted in 2020.

Selection Committee Members

The selection committee is composed of nine members, each serving a staggered three-year term. Members are appointed from among the Association membership by the Council based on the recommendation of the Committee on Committees.

Name Begin End Position
Mark A. Berends 1/1/2017 12/31/2019 Member
Rachel Tolbert Kimbro 1/1/2017 12/31/2019 Member
Rebecca Romo 1/1/2017 12/31/2019 Member
Stacy Torres 1/1/2019 12/31/2019 Chair
Jacob Hibel 1/1/2018 12/31/2020 Member
Van C. Tran 1/1/2018 12/31/2020 Member
Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng 1/1/2018 12/31/2020 Member
Richard Greg Moye, Jr. 1/1/2019 12/31/2021 Member
Kathleen S. Yep 1/1/2019 12/31/2021 Member


2019 - William Frey

2018 - Daniel F. Chambliss

2017Howard Aldrich

2016 - Helen A. Moore

2015 - Gwen Sharp - "Sociological Images Blog"

2015 - Lisa Wade - "Sociological Images Blog"

2014 - Kathleen Lowney

2013 - Rose Brewer

2013 - Jay Howard

2012 - Diane Pike

2012 - Katherine Rowell

2011 - Maxine Atkinson

2010 - Keith Roberts

2009 - Carla B. Howery

2008 - Carol Jenkins

2008 - Elizabeth Grauerholz

2007 - Edward Kain

2006 - Kathleen McKinney

2005 - Caroline Hodges Persell

2004 - Jeanne Ballantine

2003 - Robert M. Hauser and Michael Burawoy

2002 - John Macionis

2001 - Department of Sociology, Indiana University

2000 - George Ritzer

1999 - William G. Roy

1998 - Sociology Major Program, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Santa Clara University

1997 - Robert R. Alford

1996 - Vaneeta D'Andrea

1995 - Dean S. Dorn

1994 - Reece McGee

1993 - Memphis State University Center for Research on Women (Bonnie Thornton Dill, Elizabeth Higginbotham, Lynn Weber)

1992 - Theodore C. Wagenaar

1991 - no award given

1990 - Southwest Texas State University Sociology Program

1989 - James A. Davis

1988 - Sharon McPherron and Charles A. Goldsmid

1987 - William A. Gamson

1986 - Sister Marie Augusta Neal

1985 - University of Kentucky Department of Sociology

1984 - Joseph Bensman

1983 - David Riesman

1982 - John C. Pock

1981 - Hans O. Mauksch

1980 - Everett K. Wilson

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