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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.

His 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.

During the 1940s, Professor 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 coursework 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.

His 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 for 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, he received the Distinguished Visitor's Medal and diploma from the government of the Federal District of Mexico.

In spring of 1960, he 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-U.S. Cultural Understanding

Forty years after his death, the Joseph S. Werlin Sociology Faculty Award to Promote Latin American-U.S. 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:

Year Awardee
2022-2024 Pamela A. Quiroz
2020-2022 Zelma Oyarvide Tuthill
2018-2020 Sheila Katz
2016-2018 Kathryn Freeman Anderson
2014-2016 Maria Monserud
2012-2014 Xavia Karner
2010-2012 Amanda Baumle
2008-2010 Jarron Saint Onge
2006-2008 Joseph Kotarba
2004-2006 Nestor Rodriguez

Joseph S. and Rosella H. Werlin Memorial Scholarship Endowment

The Joseph S. and Rosella H. Werlin Memorial Scholarship Endowment 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 semester. Recent scholarship recipients include:

Year/Semester Awardee
Fall 2023  Caleb Moore
Fall 2021 Connor Mitchell
Spring 2021 Lizbeth Figueroa
Fall 2020 Sheryl Woodall
Fall 2019 Daniella Richardson
Spring 2018 Angelica Lopez
Spring 2017 Suezen Salinas
Spring 2013
Kristin Richie
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. and Rosella H. Werlin Student Success Fund

The Joseph S. and Rosella H. Werlin Student Success Fund 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:

Semester Awardee
Fall 2023
Wanjun Chen, Fatma Demirtas, Emilie Fisher, Nasim Koohi
Summer 2023 Carlos Guajardo
Spring 2023
Carli Copell, Kaltrina Feraj, Osa Egbon, Rebecca Shields, Caroline Wolski, Tim Zhou
Fall 2022 Fernando Cabrera
Spring 2022 Camurria Cooper, Hannah Knight Lewis, Sloan Rucker
Fall 2021 Jahnee Baker
Caroline Creekmore
Fall 2020 Chelsea Cooper
Juana Campos
Summer 2020 Sandra Poblano
Spring 2020 Angelica Lopez
Dylan Simburger
Summer 2019 Sarah Castillo
Jonathan Khandaker
Laura Livesy
Spring 2019 Suezen Salinas
Fall 2018 Fanni Farago
Summer 2018 Lindsay Oncken
Spring 2018 Angelica Lopez
Annie Pham
Erian Aquil
Lisa Sargent
Fall 2017 Shannon McNamara
Hannah Richard
Summer 2017 Monika Cassell
Fernando Clark
Michael Ohsfeldt
Spring 2017 Yvonne Chen
Greg Daues
Suezen Salinas
Alyssa Yan
Fall 2016 TiMar Long
Summer 2016 Joshua Lowry
Krisitin Richie
Aida Nikou
Andrew Strange
Spring 2016 Dipabali Saha
Fall 2015 Jacob Gunter
Summer 2015 Cameron Rivers
Laura Halcomb
Praveena Lakshmanan
Spring 2015 Trenton Haltom
Nan Li
Fall 2014 Feyza Aslan
Spring 2014 Phoenicia Fares
Giorgia Pozzan
John Mueller
Zelma Oyarvidez
Danesa Ruiz
Lianglei Huang
Fall 2013 Tommi Ross
Summer 2013 Natalie Castaneda
Spring 2013 Adriana Estrada
Angela Leal
Patrick Casey
Ragini Sengupta
Fall 2012 Kenneth Powers
Summer 2012 Ayse Esmali
Hasan Yilmaz
Lucia Galvan
Spring 2012 Moumita Mukherjee
Carlton Ahrens
Jared Wright
Julianna Clifton
Megan Holston
Matt Henderson
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
Spring 2007 Christina Herrera
Gianncarlo Muschi
Fall 2006 Amity Overall Laib
Micah Riley
Spring 2006 Kelly Ballenger
Miyuki Inoue
Robin Leonard
Guenevere Lee Mead

Joseph S. and Rosella H. Werlin Graduate Competitive Scholarship

The Joseph S. and Rosella H. Werlin Graduate Competitive Scholarship has generously provided support to those who pursue graduate studies in sociology at the University of Houston. Students are nominated by the Department Graduate Studies Committee. For students to remain eligible for the scholarship, they must meet high academic standards, continue to make academic progress, and be enrolled full time. Recent scholarship recipients include:

Semester Awardee
Spring 2024

Tiaira Conley

Spring 2023

Hamed Nikookalamyaghoubi

Fall 2023
Regan Bennet
Natsuki Iwaura
Caleb Moore
Domenique Montgomery
William Reid
Dominique Torrence
Kaitlyn Watson
Spring 2022
Wanjun Chen
Fall 2021
Jahnee Baker
Caroline Creekmore
Fall 2020 Jahnee Baker
Camurria Cooper
Branaun Galentine
Victoria McDonald
Spring 2019 Lizbeth Figueroa
Fall 2018 Juana Campos
Fall 2017 Steven Barrientez
Spring 2017 Erian Aquil
Mojan Modaresi
Fall 2015 David McBride
Spring 2015 Alyssa Yan
Fall 2014 Nan Li
Fall 2013 Giorgia Pozzan
Praveena Lakshmanan
Dipabali Saha

For more information about student awards, please contact:

Stella Grigorian, Graduate Adviser
University of Houston
Department of Sociology
3551 Cullen Boulevard
Houston, TX 77204
Phone: 713.743.3960
Fax: 713.743.3943