Honor Society & Awards

Whittier operates local chapters of national honorary academic and leadership societies. Members of these organizations are selected based on criteria such as grade point average, and, in general, exhibit a keen dedication to scholarship, service, and leadership.

Alpha Kappa Delta (AKD)

AKD stands for Alpha Kappa Delta, a non-secret, democratic, international society of scholars dedicated to the ideal of Athropon Katamannthanein Diakonesin or “to investigate humanity for the purpose of service.”

AKD seeks to acknowledge and promote excellence in scholarship in the study of sociology, the research of social problems, and such other social and intellectual activities as will lead to improvement in the human condition.

AKD offers the following opportunities:

  • AKD Undergraduate Student Paper Competition
  • AKD Student Travel Grant to the Pacific Sociological Association Annual Meeting

For information on joining AKD, contact Professor Julie Collins-Dogrul at jcollins@whittier.edu.

Awards at Graduation

The Department of Sociology also recognizes outstanding students in the major with awards to graduating seniors:

  • Charles J. Browning Prize in Sociology
  • Outstanding Student in Sociology
  • Outstanding Student in Sociological Praxis

Sociology Support Fund

The sociology department provides support for student travel to academic conferences to present research. 


  1. Acceptance of an academic paper or poster at a student or regular session of an academic conference.
  2. The student should be a sociology major or minor, an anthro/soc major or minor, or the paper in question should have been written for a sociology course.
  3. The student should have a faculty sponsor in the sociology program.
  4. Only pre-approved conference costs will be reimbursed.

Application Process:

Write a letter to the chair of the Department of Sociology/Anthropology with the following:

  • The name of the conference. 
  • The title of the paper or poster and the abstract. 
  • A bulleted list of estimated costs that can include; conference membership and registration, airfare/train, lodging, parking. Total the estimated costs. Deduct costs covered by other funding sources. Identify the cost requested to be covered by the sociology support fund. 
  • Signatures of the student and the faculty sponsor.
  • NOTE: Students will only be considered for sociology support funding if they have applied to other available funding opportunities including but not limited to AKD (the sociology honors society) and the Dean’s Student Travel fund. 

Backing Documents:

To be reimbursed, students must submit by May 1st:

  • Either a letter of acceptance from the session organizer or an official conference program with the student’s name listed.
  • Original receipts (please keep a copy of these receipts for you own records).
  • An acceptance letter from the Whittier College Department of Sociology that includes the approved funding.