MSU SOC senior wins the Ruth Hamilton All-University Award

May 19, 2022

MSU Sociology senior Alyssa Bowen has been named as the 2022 Ruth Hamilton All University Award winner.

Alyssa BowenOriginally from Spring Lake, Bowen came to Michigan State University knowing she wanted to major in Sociology. As a student of an International Baccalaureate school, she first learned about Sociology as a way to understand how people think and act.

"I was drawn to the social issues of it and what it could teach me," Bowen said.

In her time at MSU, she has enjoyed many Sociology class but especially focused on Sociology and the Environment. She also greatly appreciated the guidance and advice of Sociology senior academic advisor Regan Kania.

"Mr. Kania has been one of the best parts of the program. He's always pushing me in the right direction," Bowen said.

Kania said Alyssa has contributed greatly to the Department of Sociology and will continue to do important work related to her Sociology degree.

"I have known Alyssa since the summer of 2019, when she attended orientation.  She has done an outstanding job in all of her classes, and has participated in many activities, as well, including the Honors College, the Undergraduate Sociological Association (where she served as an officer more than once, including as Secretary for two years, then President this past year), the Social Science Dean's Student Advisory Council, and working in a variety of positions, as well. She has been a great leader!" Kania said.

Bowen, who will graduate in the Winter 2022, hopes to get a job in human relations, possibility involved in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion or employee relations.

"I really enjoy being a problem solver," she said.

In addition to her studies, Bowen enjoys painting and thrift shopping. She is learning piano and loves all kinds of music. Her advice to other students is to take the time to enjoy the full college experience:

"You don't have to figure it all out right away. Nothing ever goes the way you want it to and it goes by so fast," Bowen said. "Really try to enjoy the social aspect of college and balance that with school. It has honestly been the best years of my life so far."

The Ruth Hamilton Award is one of MSU's “All-University Awards for Excellence,” which has a perpetual endowment, and is named after Dr. Ruth Simms Hamilton, a distinguished sociologist whose work over decades made major contributions to the understanding of the African Diaspora. Dr. Hamilton also made significant contributions to sociological theory and to our understanding of international migration, urbanization, and inequality.