Professor at UCI - Department of Criminology, Law & Society

Scholarship Established to Honor Sociology Professor Laura L. Appleton


Central Washington University professor of Sociology Laura L. Appleton wanted to make sure students like her had opportunities for continued education.

With that in mind, the family and friends of the late educator have donated $400,000 to establish the Laura L. Appleton Endowment for Graduate Study in Sociology to help a CWU sociology major attend the graduate program of his or her choice.

“The transition between undergraduate and graduate school can be very challenging, especially for first-generation students,” said Staci Sleigh-Layman, director of human resources at Central Washington University and a colleague of Appleton’s. “Faculty will then support the students in their transition (with the help from the Laura L. Appleton Endowment Scholarship).”

Jay Osborn, Appleton’s former teaching assistant at Central and close friend, said the scholarship will be an instrumental tool for first-generation and second-generation college students to move forward in their careers.

“Her scholarship is intended to provide the bridge between undergrad and grad school. The act of applying, researching, interviewing and just getting there can be challenging,” Osborn said. “Dr. Appleton wanted to ensure that brilliant minds could go as far as they can. She also relied on scholarship money to get her education.  Her impact at Central over the last 46 years will carry on into the future.”

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Valerie Jenness