Meredith Worthen Receives Outstanding Assistant Professor Award

April 2013 was a big month for Professor Meredith Worthen, receiving two major awards. The first award is the Irene Rothbaum Award for the Outstanding Assistant Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. Meredith is shown above being notified of the award by College of Arts and Sciences Dean Paul Bell. The Rothbaum Award was established with a generous donation from Julian Rothbaum in honor of his wife.
Rothbaum Award winners must be model teachers, recognized for dedication, effectiveness and ability to inspire students to high levels of achievement, and dedicated scholars. Meredith regularly teaches the undergraduate courses Sociology of Deviance, and Sexual Deviance and Society and graduate courses on similar topics. Meredith is adept at lecturing about and handling discussions on the sensitive topics her courses consider and her students appreciate this ability. Meredith’s research focuses on various dimensions of social stigma: how do various groups become stigmatized, how do others interact with stigmatized groups, and how do stigmatized groups respond to their stigma. Her recent publications include “An Argument for Separate Analyses of Attitudes toward Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Men, Bisexual Women, MtF and FtM Transgender Individuals” in Sex Roles: A Journal of Research68(11/12) 703-723, 2013 and “Understanding College Student Attitudes toward LGBT Individuals” in Sociological Focus 45(4): 285-305.
Each year the OU Center for Social Justice honors one faculty member who works to make our world a better place with the Robert D. Lemon Social Justice Award. Winners of the award must be people who demonstrate courage, compassion, and leadership while working to eliminate discrimination, oppression, and injustice locally and globally. The Social Justice Award highlights individuals’ tireless efforts to impact our world, and inspire others to do the same.
Meredith was nominated for the Social Justice Faculty Award by two colleagues and a student for her activism creating an inclusive campus and community for LGBTQ people. "Just two years after arriving at OU as an assistant professor, Meredith single-handedly developed The Welcoming Project, a non-profit organization designed to create a welcoming community for LGBTQ individuals and their allies. Her initial objective was to encourage local businesses, organizations, and churches in Norman and throughout the United States to display welcoming signs designed to make LGBTQ individuals and allies feel welcome as patrons...I believe Meredith has done more to promote social justice in two years than a typical team of people could accomplish in many years." – Dr. Amy Kroska, nominator.