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Remembering George Balgobin

Below is a portion of a message that was sent on February 5 by Professor and Chair of Sociology Steve Epstein to department faculty, graduate students, and staff members within the Department of Sociology. The Graduate School would like to inform others in our PhD community who may have known George while respecting the nature of the situation by not sending a message to the broader Northwestern community.

It pains me to report that Sociology graduate student George Balgobin passed away earlier this week after a long struggle with an illness. George entered our Ph.D. program in 2010 after receiving his J.D. from the Northwestern School of Law. He was in the midst of writing a dissertation that blends ideas about criminal law with political socialization theory.

George used survey methods to test ideas linking these fields and was making considerable progress despite his health challenges. As his adviser, John Hagan, has noted (and as I also had the opportunity to witness), he was a smart and engaging person whose insights and determination to do important work will be much missed. George’s family members will also remember him for what his mother, Barbara, has described as his passion for human rights as well as his love of music and cooking. I want to extend our condolences to those who were closest to him, including his partner, Melissa.

From what I understand, George chose to keep his illness private, and so this news has come as a shock to me, as I imagine it does to you. I hope that in the coming days we will keep George in our thoughts, and also look out for one another, especially at this time. Please know that there are many resources available at Northwestern should you need them:

For Students:

For Faculty and Staff Members:

Steve Epstein

Categories: From the Dean