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Looking forward: SOC Honours program open to new admissions

Wed. Jan. 18, 2017

The University of Winnipeg’s Department of Sociology has a long-standing tradition of graduating Honours students who continue on in graduate programs elsewhere in Canada. Dr. Colleen Dell, who was in Winnipeg last fall to give a talk as the Department’s visiting lecturer, is one such graduate. Dr. Dell went on to do her M.A. and Ph.D. and is now a faculty member at the University of Saskatchewan where she is the Centennial Enhancement Chair on One Health and Wellness.

Unfortunately, the Department had to temporarily suspend new admissions to the Honours program as of the 2013-14 academic year. The Department made accommodations for those who were already in the program, and the Honours program continued to graduate students. As in previous years, several of these students continued on to do graduate work elsewhere. But there’s been good news, according to Dr. Glenn Moulaison, Dean of Arts; the University of Winnipeg Senate has recently approved the admission of new students to the program.

The Department of Sociology is very pleased to be rebuilding the strength of this program. In addition to graduating students who continue on to grad school and/or in various professions in the field, there are other benefits of bringing back the Honours program, according to Catherine Hunter, Acting Chair of Sociology. One of the more obvious benefits is that the program provides the Department with well-qualified teaching and research assistants. But there are less tangible benefits as well, she explains. Honours students are required to take SOC-4405 “Honours Research Paper” in Year 4, during which students work one-on-one with a faculty supervisor, preparing and presenting a research paper in an area of special interest. And while this is clearly a good learning experience for students, preparing them for graduate work in a supportive environment, it is also an important source of job satisfaction for the faculty members who supervise.

In addition to bringing back the Honours program, the Department is undertaking a renewal of its entire curriculum. This was begun last year by then Department Curriculum Committee (DCC) Chair, Curt Pankratz, and has been continued on by this year’s DCC Chair, Ken Fish.

"Over the past couple of years," says Dr. Moulaison, "the Department of Sociology has accomplished tremendous work. I congratulate all the members on their commitment to their program and their students."