Joseph S. Werlin Awards

About Joseph S. Werlin

Professor Joseph Werlin (1900-1964) is a founding faculty member of the Department of Sociology at the University of Houston from its inception in 1934 until his death, March 30, 1964.

Dr. Werlin's approach to sociology was influenced by famous pioneers in the field at the University of Chicago and by his own doctoral pursuits in history. While he taught classic courses in sociology, his particular interest was to engage students in understanding those forces – historic, ethnic, demographic and cultural - which give shape to the social and political characteristics of societies. He often used the phrase "cultural understanding" to describe his vision. Learn more

During the 1940s, Dr. Werlin became increasingly concerned with the problems of Mexican-Americans in Texas and the serious misperceptions which existed between the two neighbors, Texas and Mexico. In 1943, with financial help from a Houston philanthropist and friend, M.M. Feld, he met with administrators at the National University of Mexico to explore possibilities for an accredited summer study program for teachers and university students. With vital participation by Rosella Werlin, the first University of Houston International Study Center in Mexico was launched in the summer of 1944. Attracting more than 70 participants in the initial season, the program combined sightseeing and other tourist interests with lectures by university educators, government officials and social service administrators as well as required course work in social history and Spanish. Beginning in 1947, the popular study programs were expanded to include similar university-affiliated programs in Guatemala and Cuba, where they continued successfully until 1953.

Dr. Werlin's enduring interest in Mexico, in particular, was expressed in innumerable ways during his 30-year career at the University of Houston. He logged more than 30 trips to Latin American countries, most frequently to Mexico. For many years, he taught a course he developed called "Contemporary Mexico," which was, to his knowledge, the only such course offered in American universities. He spoke frequently on Mexico, Guatemala and Cuba to civic organizations throughout Texas and served on the Houston Board of the Texas Good Neighbor Commission. He authored articles on Mexico in the Yale Review, South Atlantic Quarterly, Proceedings of the Texas Academy of Science, and on other Latin American-U.S. concerns in Houston newspapers. He obtained scholarship support through the University for students from Mexico and Guatemala, several of whom remained in contact with the Werlin family until Rosella Werlin's death, in 1985.

In 1951, Dr. Werlin received the “Distinguished Visitor's Medal” and diploma from the Government of the Federal District of Mexico.

In spring of 1960, Dr. Werlin took a semester leave from teaching in order to concentrate his energies on a book, not completed, to which he gave the working title Today’s Mexico. His personal collection of background materials and books numbered 1,500 volumes. That collection resides at Brigham Young University.

Joseph S. Werlin Sociology Faculty Award to Promote Latin American-US Cultural Understanding

Forty years after his death, the Joseph S. Werlin Sociology Faculty Award to Promote Latin American-US Cultural Understanding Endowment was established by Ernest Pyle Werlin, son of Joseph and Rosella Werlin on behalf of his siblings, Herbert H. Werlin and Joella Werlin, his wife, Eloise, and daughters, Michele and Danielle. The award, says Ernie Werlin, “is a vigorous way of expressing my father's vision.” The award has generously supported faculty research that promotes Latin American and U.S. cultural understanding. Recent recipients of this award include:

2012-2014 Dr. Xavia Karner
2010-2012 Dr. Amanda Baumle
2008-2010 Dr. Jarron Saint Onge
2006-2008 Dr. Joseph Kotarba
2004-2006 Dr. Nestor Rodriguez

 

Joseph S. and Rosella H. Werlin Memorial Scholarship Recipients

The Joseph S. and Rosella H. Werlin Memorial Scholarship has generously provided scholarships to University of Houston undergraduates who pursue graduate studies in sociology at the University of Houston. Students are nominated by the Department Graduate Studies Committee from those admitted for the following Fall semester. Deadline for Fall graduate admissions is March 15th. Recent scholarship recipients include:

Spring 2012 Tommi Ross
Spring 2011 Kenneth Powers
 
2010 Julianna Clifton
  Alberto Mancillas

2009 Monalisa Chandra
  Ginni Van Katwijk

2008 Lucia Galvan
  Jill Oliver

2006 Kathryn M. Nowotny

 

Joseph S. Werlin Fund Award

The Joseph S. Werlin Fund Award has generously provided support to further graduate studies in sociology through various awards to assist with thesis and internship binding, support for student travel to conferences, and other program needs. Application for these awards can be made to the Department Graduate Studies Committee as the need arises. While there is no deadline for these awards, students are expected to apply prior to incurring the expense for which they are seeking the award. Recent recipients of this award include:

Fall 2011 Heather Cox
  Erin Mione
Monica Hernandez
Summer 2011 Yi Ren
 
Spring 2011 Ryan Belli
Shantel Buggs
Monalisa Chandra
Rasa Kusleikaite
Ian Fitch
Sheila Singh
Earletta Sykes
Fall 2010 Tamara Cobb
Isolina Maria Sanchez
Summer 2010 Laura Achenbaum
  Daliah Morris

Spring 2010 Sarath K. Menon-Chembottil
  Gianncarlo Muschi

Fall 2009 Jill Oliver
  Cecelia Pham
  Kelli Scott

Spring 2009 Colleen Ireland
  Carlos Lazo
  Belgin Ozbay
  Simay Ozlu-Diniz

Fall 2008

Dogan Koc

Spring 2008 Jennifer Fackler
  Kathryn Nowotny
  Simay Ozlu-Diniz
  Lindsey Wilson

Fall 2007

Brad Powell

Summer 2007

Christina Herrera

Spring 2007 Christina Herrera
  Gianncarlo Muschi

Fall 2006 Amity Overall Laib
  Micah Riley

Spring 2006 Kelly Ballenger
  Miyuki Inoue
  Robin Leonard
  Guenevere Lee Mead

 

For more information about student awards, please contact:

Dr. Stella Grigorian, Graduate Advisor
Department of Sociology, University of Houston
473 Philip G. Hoffman Hall
Houston, TX 77204
Email: sgrigorian@uh.edu
Phone: (713) 743-3960
Fax: (713) 743-3943