Mauldin with MSA Reynolds Award

Sociology professor and his former student notch top state honors

Mauldin with MSA Reynolds Award

LAUREATE AND LEGACIES – Lake Superior State University Professor R. Kirk Mauldin (center, left) receives the Michigan Sociological Association’s Larry T. Reynolds Award for Outstanding Teaching of Sociology from Larry T. Reynolds, Professor Emeritus of Central Michigan University and the award’s namesake. Mauldin’s former students – Simon Purdy, a professor at Western Michigan University, and Rhoda Marshall, a graduate student at WMU – joined Mauldin when he received the citation during an MSA annual meeting last October in Grand Rapids, Mich. (MSA Photo)

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – A faculty member and his former student in Lake Superior State University’s sociology program have been recognized at the state level by earning top-tier awards from their peers.

Katherine DeLaura, a 2016 graduate of Lake Superior State University, received the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters Kapp Award last March for most outstanding piece of undergraduate research across all categories. Her former professor, R. Kirk Mauldin, was presented with the Michigan Sociological Association’s Larry T. Reynolds Award for Outstanding Teaching of Sociology during the society’s annual meeting held Oct. 27-28 at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids.

The Reynolds award honors Mauldin for more than a decade of teaching and mentoring sociology to students at LSSU. Two of his former students – Simon Purdy, a professor at Western Michigan University, and Rhoda Marshall, a graduate student at WMU – were on hand when Mauldin received the citation.

Mauldin started at LSSU in 2006 and is campus chapter advisor of the Alpha Kappa Delta international sociology honor society. In 12 years at Lake State, he has directed 43 senior research theses, six of which won the Michigan Sociological Association’s Student Paper Award 2011-16.  Two went on to receive the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Paper Award from the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters in 2010 and 2016. Mauldin has published in journals such as Sociological Imagination, Race, Gender and Class, and the International Journal of Humor Research.

Mauldin earned a Ph.D. in sociology in 2001, and an M.S. in American studies in 1997, both from Utah State University. He holds a Bachelor of Integrated Studies (B.I.S.) from Weber State University. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Utah State University, as well as Idaho State University.

DeLaura with Kapp AwardDeLaura’s Kapp award was for a paper she presented during the Michigan Academy’s 2016 conference entitled, “The Development and Maintenance of Romantic Relationships in Relation to Feminist Ideology.” She received a $100 honorarium and recognition at the 2017 Michigan Academy conference last March.

Only one Kapp award is given annually. DeLaura competed with students from colleges and universities throughout Michigan in more than 30 disciplines to land the honor. Mauldin was DeLaura’s adviser on the yearlong award-winning project that also served as a senior research thesis required for graduation.

The Michigan Academy’s annual conference draws presenters from several states and Canada, as well as scholars from across the state of Michigan. Meetings include presentations in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences.

DeLaura, originally from Shelby Township, Mich., is currently studying at the Michigan State University College of Law, where she will earn her Juris Doctor degree in 2019.