DeMartini Award supports graduate student teaching

The Joseph R. DeMartini Excellence in Teaching Award provides support to graduate students in the Sociology department who share the late DeMartini’s commitment to teaching excellence. The award is given to students who demonstrate excellence through their teaching portfolio and provides funding for students to attend professional conferences to learn and share knowledge about teaching strategies.

The award was established in memory of Joe R. DeMartini, who was a faculty member at WSU from 1978 to 1993. Joe graduated from the University of Santa Clara in 1964 with a BA in sociology and received his MA and PhD in sociology from the University of Illinois. Before joining the faculty at WSU, Joe was a faculty member at California State University Long Beach, the University of Santa Clara, and the University of California Santa Barbara.

Eric Allen, Jake Hammond, and Monica Johnson are standing side-by-side smiling.
Previous graduate students Eric Allen, left (PhD 2020), and Jake Hammond, right (PhD 2019), receiving the DeMartini Teaching Award from professor and then department chair, Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson in 2018.

At WSU, Joe taught Introduction to Sociology, Collective Behavior and Social Movements, and Social Policy courses. He was associate editor of Teaching Sociology for six years and chaired the ASA section on Undergraduate Education from 1985 to 1986. Joe was deeply committed to teaching and took a strong interest in helping others become better instructors. Joe’s passion for teaching lives on through the fellowship in his name and provides important support for WSU Sociology graduate students who share that passion. The most recent winner of the Joseph R. DeMartini Excellence in Teaching Award was Kyle Rakowski, and the most recent winner of the Joseph R. DeMartini Travel Grant was Samantha Castonguay.

If you would like to support students and programs in the Sociology department, gifts are welcome and can be made securely online. For more information about giving to the Department of Sociology, please contact the College of Arts and Sciences Development team at 509-335-1096 or