Margaret Eisch Memorial Award in Sociology

Joan and John Eisch created this award in 1987 in honor of their daughter Margaret, a rising senior at Notre Dame in sociology who was killed on July 22, 1976 by a drunk driver. Each year, the most outstanding senior sociology major receives the Eisch Memorial Award at commencement time. 

In 2008, Joan and John Eisch expended their generous contributions and established the Eisch Endowment for Excellence. As a result, greater numbers of sociology majors who share the enthusiasm which Margaret had for sociology are receiving support to aid them in their independent research efforts and other types of creative academic endeavors.

2021 WINNER: Maeve Simon

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Our 2021 recipient of the Margaret Eisch Award in Sociology is Maeve Simon. Maeve is a Sociology major with a supplementary major in Spanish and a minor in Business Economics. Her senior thesis, "Alliance Formation, Intersectionality, or Group Solidarity? How Organizations Can Leverage Identity Frames to Grow Public Support" explores the question of how the identity language organizations use to present themselves and their missions affects the degree of popular support organizations receive from the public. After graduation, Maeve looks forward to returning to hometown Chicago, IL to pursue work opportunities in public relations.

Past Eisch Memorial Award Winners

Senior Essay Award

Each year, the Sociology Department sponsors a competition among graduating Sociology majors for the best essay or research paper submitted on a topic of sociological relevance. The recipient of this award receives a monetary prize along with having his/her name inscribed on a plaque displayed in the Sociology Department. In addition, the winner’s name will appear in the University’s commencement bulletin, and her/his name will be announced at the Sociology Department’s Senior Recognition Event, which takes place on the Friday of commencement weekend.

Though the prize is awarded to a graduating senior Sociology major, the paper need not have been written during your senior year. 



2021 WINNER: Ryan Israel

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Our 2021 senior essay award winner is Ryan Israel for his thesis, “‘Listen to the Music’: Active and Passive Listening on Streaming Services." Ryan examines user practices on music streaming services, asking what opportunities these services provide for active and passive listening. Ryan's work demonstrates the importance of user created playlists for active listening and the continued dominance of the music industry in its promotion of the top artists. It also highlights the many approaches which can be taken when examining user experience and the importance of working with clear and specific definitions for active and passive listening.

Ryan majored in Sociology and Film, Television and Theater, with a concentration in Television. He plans to enter the music business and introduce you to your next favorite artist. 

Past Senior Essay Award Winners

Alpha Kappa Delta

Alpha Kappa Delta is an international honor society in Sociology, which was founded for the purposes of stimulating scholarship and promoting the scientific study of social phenomena for the promotion of human welfare.

Academically distinguished students are nominated for membership in Notre Dame’s Epsilon Chapter of Alpha Kappa Delta in either their junior or senior year. During their senior year, AKD members who were initiated as juniors are encouraged to become involved in activities that enhance the intellectual life of the department.