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Ken Mietus and Chris Adamski-Mietus Sociological Master's Scholarship.

January 18, 2012

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MACOMB, IL -- "Theory is not a sub-discipline in the field of sociology, it is the field itself." - William Goode

Ken Mietus and Chris Adamski-Mietus are very mindful about sociological theory, particularly how it is taught and learned at Western Illinois University. Both earned their master's degrees in sociology at WIU, both have been on the faculty of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and both are convinced that sociology is a skill that can be applied to any career or any situation.

"Sociology is a part of every job," said Ken. "If a student learns to think sociologically, it will inform their perspective in everything they do. Theory is everything in sociology, and it is part of learning how to think logically and critically."

Graduate study in sociology was a critical element in the professional career development of both Ken and Chris. In acknowledgement of the value of their graduate studies at Western, they have established an endowment to provide scholarship assistance to outstanding graduate students in their pursuit of a master's degree in sociology.

"We have been thinking for a long time about doing something," said Chris. "It wasn't until I served on the department's fundraising committee that it occurred to me that Ken and I could establish a scholarship. We have been both students and faculty of the department, and we know from both perspectives that financial worries can interfere with graduate students' concentration. Our hope is to be able to somewhat alleviate that particular worry."

Ken was the first person to earn a Master of Arts degree in sociology from WIU.

"I found while working on my Ph.D. that Western's graduate program was very effective. I learned a great deal, particularly in research design and methods, that prepared me well for doctoral studies," he added. "I feel it is appropriate, if not clichéd, to give something back."

The couple met (1977) at Jagiellonian University in Cracow, Poland, where they each were studying Polish language and culture. Known as the "grand old man of Polish academia," Jagiellonian University was founded in 1364, and after Prague University, is the oldest university in central Europe. That beautiful, romantic setting set in motion a marriage of 34 years, two children and two careers at Western, and now, the Ken Mietus and Chris Adamski-Mietus Sociological Master's Scholarship.

Posted By: Julie Murphy, WIU Foundation (
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