On August 9, 2019, Dr. Joseph Jakubek, Lecturer in Sociology, was awarded the Fred Buttel Outstanding Scholarly Achievement Award by the Rural Sociological Society for an article that situates W.E.B. Du Bois as the first American rural sociologist. This article re-situates the long-acknowledged academic work of W.E.B. Du Bois within a lens that highlights his early empirical research which was focused on social justice in rural communities. This award is given for academic research that substantially contributes to the field of rural sociology and it acknowledges the contribution of Dr. Jakubek's work to fields such as rural sociology, the sociology of communities, and the sociology of race and ethnicity.