You are here

Sociology Professor Penny Edgell Named Recipient of the 2019-20 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education

February 20, 2020

The Department of Sociology is delighted to announce that Professor Penny Edgell has been named a recipient of the 2019-20 Award for Outstanding Contributions to Graduate and Professional Education. This honor is awarded to exceptional candidates nominated by colleges in their quest to identify excellence in graduate and professional education.

Professor Edgell is a cultural sociologist who studies contemporary American religion and has earned a national and international reputation as a leader in the discipline. Her work is influential, highly cited, and has had a major impact on scholarly discussions of religion’s influence on American society. Mentoring and collaborating with graduate students has always been at the core of Dr. Edgell’s scholarly passion and commitments, and she is a tireless instructor and mentor who provides practical training along with boundless support and encouragement for helping students finding their intellectual voices and professional pathways.

As 
Jack Delehanty, former advisee and Assistant Professor of Sociology at Clark University, shares, “Penny pushes her students to develop novel ideas, collect data, and begin formulating publishable research reports from the moment they come under her tutelage. She is rigorous yet nurturing, demanding yet affable. She has a remarkable record of helping her doctoral students publish groundbreaking research, become exemplary teachers, and land academic positions after graduation. There is a strong consensus among sociologists of religion that Penny is the very best faculty mentor for sociology graduate students studying religion today. When I attend academic conferences and people learn I did my doctoral work at Minnesota, it is normal for them to say, “You must be a Penny student.” It is meant as a compliment to me and to her, and it is taken as one.”


Congratulations, Professor Edgell!