Professor Lorne Tepperman (BA 1965), former chair of U of T’s Department of Sociology, has set up a prize to shine a spotlight on exceptional undergraduate student research.
The $1,000 prize will be awarded to the undergraduate who submits the best paper on a topic of social significance in Canada. The winner will be coached by departmental members on how to prepare the paper for a general audience, and the resulting piece will be pitched as an op-ed to print media and published on the department’s website.
“I’m trying to get students to look at an issue like poverty or mental health, and examine it from a sociological perspective,” Tepperman said. “We live in an unequal society. I want students to investigate the consequences of this inequality.” The top paper will be one that showcases sociological concepts, theories and methods in an effort to promote an understanding among the broader public of what sociologists do.
Tepperman also wants to raise awareness of the contributions that young people make to the field of sociology. “Accolades are often granted to graduate and faculty researchers, and I believe we need to level the playing field,” he said. “So many of these undergraduate students are simply astonishing.”
Photo: Jackie Shapiro.