Sociology alumna receives national Herbert Blumer Graduate Student Paper Award

Andrea Laurent-Simpson headshot

Andrea Laurent-Simpson, Ph.D., TWU sociology alumna and recipient of the 2017 Herbert Blumer Graduate Student Paper Award.

Andrea Laurent-Simpson, Ph.D., a December 2016 graduate of the Texas Woman’s University sociology doctoral program, has received this year’s Herbert Blumer Graduate Student Paper Award. This award is presented annually to the author of the best graduate student paper in the tradition of symbolic interaction by the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction.

Laurent-Simpson’s winning paper, "Considering Alternate Sources of Role Identity: Childless Parents and Their Animal ‘Kids’," explores the formation of role identity in non-human animals through interviews with childless and childfree companion animal owners. Previous winners include students from the University of Colorado-Boulder, Northwestern University and Indiana University. This award is the second national award won by Simpson, who also received the American Sociological Association’s Animals and Society Jane Goodall Award for Distinguished Graduate Scholarship in 2016.

“Andrea offers our students a sound role model. She represents the kind of outcome we have envisioned for our students as we have worked to make research a strong focus within our program. I am very proud that a new TWU sociology alumna is already achieving such prominence,” said Celia Lo, Ph.D., professor and chair of the TWU Department of Sociology and Social Work.

According to Chair Lo, “Andrea already has become a very well-received research scholar in social psychology, medical sociology and a newer field, animals and society. Less than a year after receiving her Ph.D., Andrea has published three papers based on her dissertation, placing them in major sociology journals. She currently is in talks with a university press about modifying her dissertation to produce a book.” As of August 2017, Laurent-Simpson has accepted positions as a visiting lecturer at Southern Methodist University and lecturer at TWU.

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