Social sciences students recognized for successes

UW-Platteville campus

The Department of Social Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville recently announced awards highlighting outstanding student work and accomplishments, including the Outstanding Political Science Graduate Award, special recognition certificates for political science graduates and Outstanding Social Sciences Paper awards.

“It's great to see our students recognized for their significant achievements and successes here at UW-Platteville,” said Dr. Shan Sappleton, associate professor of political science. “Given the recent COVID-19 disruptions the last two years, I was particularly excited to see our students continue to thrive and excel – both within and outside of the classroom. The recognition of the excellent work these students have done is truly well-deserved.”

Alyssa Marroquin, a senior political science major from Plainfield, Illinois, is the recipient of the Outstanding Political Science Graduate Award. Her accomplishments at UW-Platteville include being awarded an undergraduate research fellowship in 2021, receiving the Outstanding Social Sciences Paper Award in 2021 and presenting her work at the annual Midwest Political Science Association Conference this spring. 

Marroquin’s work centered around the research topic of exploring how frames – or, the lens through which people choose to portray a certain topic – affect undocumented immigrants. She first focused on the primary frames used to portray how undocumented immigrants affect the U.S., noting that most of those frames are negative. Her later research shifted, in response to COVID-19, to focus on how certain frames affected U.S. citizen support for allowing undocumented immigrants to receive COVID-19 vaccines. 

“UW-Platteville was a great experience for me,” said Marroquin. “I met so many great professors who made me a better student and supported me on my journey to law school. Further, I have met a couple of my best friends here, through soccer, the classroom and clubs. Everyone here is so friendly, so I always knew I would have the support I needed.”

Marroquin was accepted into several law programs and will attend the University of Colorado-Boulder. She is considering criminal or immigration law.

Three students also received the Department of Political Science’s special recognition certificate for overall academic achievement and campus involvement: Melissa Mendez-Madrid, Kurstin Frey and Anthony Downs.

The Social Sciences department also recognizes Outstanding Social Sciences Paper awards for both lower-level and upper-level social sciences courses. This year’s award winners in the lower-level courses include Laura Baco Torres for the anthropology paper, “How a Woman’s Past and Present Influence her Independence,” and Elisa R. Versetto, Ben Van Oss and Sam Kronick for the international relations paper, “International Freshwater Resources.” This year’s upper-level honorees include Sarah Haskell for the environmental sociology paper, “A Case Study: Sociological Analysis of the Environmental Degradation by the ACME Steel Coke Plant,” and Maia Delwiche for the social inequalities paper, “Addressing the Gender Wage Gap.”

"The winners of the Outstanding Social Sciences Paper award have all brought creativity, depth and empiricism into their writing,” said Dr. Claudine Pied, associate professor of sociology. “We are happy to be able to honor UW-Platteville students who are doing exceptional social science scholarship."