Doctoral Students

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Ahn, Changhye

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-1

Changhye’s research interests include gender, migration, race/ethnicity, and sexuality. She is currently studying the influence of South Korea’s gendered migration policy on migrant women’s vulnerability and racialized sex trade. She received her B.A. in Sociology from University of Seoul and her M.A. in Sociology from Chung-Ang University. Her master’s thesis analyzes the ways in which Korean migration policy hierarchically constructs migrant groups based on gender, nationality, ethnicity, and political economic status of the country of origin. She has worked as a researcher for National Solidarity against Sexual Exploitation of Women and as an activist at Dasi Hamkke counseling center for victims of sex-trafficking. 

Allen-Kyle, Portia

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Office: Davison Hall, 119

Arthur, Elizabeth

Elizabeth Arhtur

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-2

Liz’s primary interest is in cognitive sociology, with particular emphasis on culture, identity, and morality. Her past research explored how individuals and groups actively managed “deviant” identities in response to shifting public attitudes. She earned her B.A. in Sociology from Pepperdine University.

Bailey, John

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Office: Davison Hall, 020

John's primary interests include gender, sexuality, culture, and technology studies. In the past, he has studied how young men construct masculinity in online communities, and how gendered identities facilitate symbolic violence in digital space. He completed his B.A. in English and Sociology at the University of Connecticut, and his M.A. in Sociology at the University of Michigan.

Battle, Brittany

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 015

Brittany is a Ford Foundation Doctoral Program Fellow for 2018-2019 and an ASA Minority Fellowship Program award recipient for 2017-2018. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology (Law & Society concentration), Black American Studies, and Women's Studies from University of Delaware in 2008, a Master's degree in African American Studies from Temple University in 2012, and a Master's degree in Sociology from Rutgers University – New Brunswick in 2015. Her research interests include social and family policy, poverty and (un)deservingness, conceptualizations of family and parenthood, courts (criminal and family), and culture and cognition. Her MA thesis, “War Widows and Welfare Queens: The Semiotics of Deservingness in the American Welfare System,” used a sociology of perception framework to examine the cognitive underpinnings of distinctions between the “deserving” and “undeserving poor” and creates a conceptual model to understand “deservingness” along axes of morality and eligibility for benefits (forthcoming, Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Sociology). In another paper, “Deservingness, Deadbeat Dads, and Responsible Fatherhood: Child Support Policy and Rhetorical Conceptualizations of Poverty, Welfare and the Family,” published in Symbolic Interaction, she examines the relationship between presidential rhetoric and the evolution of child support policy since the 1970s. Her dissertation, “Deadbeat Dads, Single Moms, and Broken Homes?: Parents’ Experiences with the Child Support System,” examines the U.S. child support system through observations of family court proceedings and in-depth interviews with individuals involved in the system. The project explores areas such as the use of shaming and stigma, the conceptualization of parenthood and family, and the criminal and financial consequences of involvement with the system. In addition, she is the Director of the Sociology Department's Multi-Generational Mentoring (MGM) Program which provides support and resources for undergraduate students interested in attending graduate school.

Beck, Armani

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Office: Davison Hall, 108

Armani Beck is interested in the construction and maintenance of race, gender, and sexuality in contemporary U.S. society. Her research focuses on the intersecting complexities of transgender identity, maleness, and race. At present she is conducting interviews with trans men about their experiences navigating privilege and systems of oppression. Armani is extremely passionate about educating scholars at the undergraduate level, specifically in courses related to gender and sexuality. Armani has earned a B.A. in Psychology and a Certificate in Sexuality and Gender Studies from The Pennsylvania State University, University Park (2014), and an M.Ed. in Human Sexuality from Widener University (2016). 

Callejas, Laura Maria

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 108

Laura received her B.A (Sociology and Women and Gender Studies) and her M.A. in the Sociology department at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.  For her Master's thesis she examined where racial/ethnic minority students go for college-entrance information and how that information impacts their chances of applying to college. As a research assistant she has done work examining the racial/ethnic and gender composition of student fans at college football games as well as providing statistical assistance on a project looking at gender and racial/ethnic inequality in faculty promotion and pay at Rutgers University. For her dissertation work Laura is using network data to examine the relationship between conflict and social status mobility in middle schools. 

Campion, Lisa

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Lisa's primary areas of interest include culture, cognition and identity, and she is particularly fascinated with the process of identity construction and maintenance. Through in-depth, semi-structured interviews with individuals associated with diverse identities, Lisa's dissertation explores how "doing identity" operates as a generic, social process. Lisa received her BA in Sociology from Loyola University (Maryland) and her MA in Sociology from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Catone (Mueller), Andrea

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Bridging sociology, psychology, and molecular biology, Andrea Catone’s research illuminates how the effects of trauma get transmitted within families. Her dissertation examines the extent to which parenting practices, ranging from neglect to over-attachment, trigger epigenetic changes in genes that regulate offspring’s mental health. She aims to identify and target factors that would alleviate the consequences of trauma, child abuse, and neglect. Andrea is the recipient of an AAUW American Dissertation Fellowship for the 2016-17 award year.

Andrea’s areas of interest include social movement networks, data science, cognition and culture, social genomics and epigenetics, neuroscience, ethnography, and narrative analysis. Andrea’s experience and training make her equally adept at analyzing micro-interaction and big data with the ability to switch between scopes with agility.  In addition to her dissertation, Andrea recently researched the role of the future in memory, the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, social movement network dynamics, and intergenerational transmission of trauma. She was also a Graduate Associate with the Center for European Studies at Rutgers University. Andrea previously studied philosophy at Rutgers University, where she received her BA, as well as at Humboldt Universität Berlin during her Fulbright Fellowship year. Andrea is the co-founder of Action Together New Jersey and Action Together Network.

Crawley, Kayla

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Office: Davison Hall, 012

Kayla received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics. Since graduating, she has been the Director of Student Programs for the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, and recently served as the Alumni Relations Coordinator at the University of Pennsylvania. Kayla is interested in inequality in education and higher education environments with a particular focus on short- and long-term consequences for personal, social, and educational outcomes.  She looks forward to conducting research on the psychosocial experiences of minority students in higher education, with a comparative focus across cultural contexts.

Daghagheleh, Aghil

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Office: Davison Hall, 048

Aghil Daghagheleh is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Sociology, Rutgers University. He is currently a graduate fellow at the Center for Cultural Analysis at Rutgers University (CCA) and recently finished a project on social movements and electoral politics in Iran. In his current research project, "Refusal: Resistance, Subjectivity, and Construction of Arabness in Iran," Aghil explores the geography of social marginalization in contemporary Iran, a topic which brings together research on the politics of marginalized communities, social movements, race and ethnic relations, nationalism, political economy, religion, and resistance. Through an ethnographic study of the everyday experiences and politics of Arab minority, Aghil shows how ethnicity becomes a significant facet of subaltern politics and explores modalities of resistance, subversion, negotiation, and refusal that marginalized communities deploy to cope with the effects of ethnoreligious nationalism and to unsettle ethnicity, nationhood, and citizenship, as major products of state classification. He problematizes the notions of citizenship and belonging in the Islamic Republic by highlighting the work of classification in perpetuating structures of power and forms of everyday domination and resistance. Aghil is also participating in a comparative research project, "The Rise of The Peripheral," that explores the conflicts about the extraction of natural resources that are increasingly expressed in indigenous, ethnic, racial, and decolonial terms. He works with Dr. Zakia Salime (Rutgers) to examines the collective and individual forms of resistance at the nexus of neoliberal economics and political authoritarianism in the United States, Morocco, and Iran.

Demir, F. Dilara

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Office: Davison Hall, 138

My interests are globalization and political economy, sociology of expertise and science, technology studies. More specifically, my research focuses on the interactions between international, regional and "national" organizations struggling and negotiating to frame intellectual property after the emergence of the World Trade Organization, 1995 in Turkey. I received my BA in Philosophy (highest) and Political Science (high honor) from Bogazici University , Istanbul. I have an MA degree in Human Rights (distinction for the thesis) at University College London, awarded by Jean Monnet Scholarship Agency. I am currently a graduate fellow of a project "Networks of Exchange: Mobilities of Knowledge in a Globalized World" at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis.

Duffy, Robert

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Office: Davison Hall, 019   

Rob’s research interests include the environment, science and technology, media, and social movements. His research investigates how people and organizations make sense of risky or controversial technologies, and how these evaluations tie in with or challenge societal power structures. His current project examines how science has been used and misused in discourse about fracking. Rob holds a B.A. in Sociology and English from Bucknell University.

Eda, Haruki

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Office: Davison Hall, 012

Hello! I'm a sociologist trying to understand geopolitics in the Trans-Pacific region from queer, feminist, and decolonial perspectives. My questions gravitate towards the issues of the Korean division and unification, Korean diaspora, Japanese and U.S. imperialisms, and community solidarity. For instance, is it possible to achieve unification without reinforcing patriarchal Korean nationalism? What does Korean unification mean to diasporic Koreans and queer/trans Koreans? How do Korean community organizers cultivate solidarity across oceans and borders? I use ethnographic methods to explore the experiences of Koreans in the diaspora, especially women, queers, and trans folks who are engaged in community organizing. In addition to research, I also really enjoy teaching sociology, from introductory courses to research methods and theory. In the classroom, I focus on challenging, inspiring, and empowering my students by asking them critical questions rather than spoon-feeding answers. I am committed to fostering my students' intellectual, professional, political, and spiritual growth through collaborative learning. I believe that relevant education that activates the community leaders in ourselves is what this world needs for the 21st century. As a servant of public higher education, I strive to offer world-class quality education that heals our society, one student at a time. 

Enos, Jenny

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 105-3

Drawing on her experiences growing up in Stockholm, Sweden, Jenny Enos’ main research interest is comparative conceptualizations of race and ethnicity across cultures and societies. As her senior honors thesis in Sociology, she conducted a qualitative study of the linguistic strategies used by Swedes, both in conversation with each other and in public media, to symbolically connote ethnoracial differences and understandings of national belonging. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Gettysburg College in 2018, with a minor in Spanish. In addition to her interest in studies of race and ethnicity, Jenny also seeks to research the ways in which welfare structures in Nordic societies interact with social conceptualizations and manifestations of gender roles.

Espinoza, Maria

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Office: Davison Hall, 012

Maria I. Espinoza research interests include the privatization of health, as well as the media and community response to epidemics and environmental risk, environmental racism, and biopolitics. Prior to pursuing a graduate degree, Maria worked in the social sector as a venture coordinator for ASHOKA in the Andean Region, seeking and obtaining financial support for social entrepreneurs. Later, she worked in Peru as a consultant, conducting social and environmental impact assessment studies. Maria earned her B.A. from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, and her M.A. in Sociology from Syracuse University. She is currently a graduate fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, participating in the 2015-2016 project “Ethical Subjects: Moralities, Laws, and Histories.”

Fast, Idit

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Curriculum Vitae

Dissertation Abstract                 

Office: Davison Hall, 017

My research focuses on the intersection of education, policy, and inequality. In my dissertation I study the factors hindering and facilitating the success of school integration policies. I draw on data from two years of fieldwork in three public elementary schools implementing a voluntary integration program to examine the core issues administrators, parents, and staff confront in their attempt to numerically and substantively integrate the school, how they act to facilitate integration and overcome obstacles, what school practices result from these actions, and whether schools meet their numeric and substantive integration goals. I recently received a dissertation writing fellowship from The Center for Engaged Scholarship to support my work on this project. Additionally, I am also working with Hana Shepherd on a study of how middle schools in New Jersey implement an anti-bullying policy. We look at the implications of the variation in how the policy is implemented for students’ perceptions of school climate. In another study, currently under review, I examine the differences among students across the United States in the time they spend on trips to school, and how these differences are shaped by the school districts in which they live. Before coming to Rutgers, I received an MA in sociology from Tel Aviv University, where I studied the development of school violence policies. My MA thesis was published in the journal Sociology of EducationI also published an article in American Behavioral Scientist comparing how individuals from different stigmatized groups in the Israel respond to instances of discrimination (co-authored with Josh Guetzkow).

Foley, Benjamin

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Office: Davison Hall, 140

Ben received a BA in Anthropology and an MA in Education from the University of Michigan. He also has an MA in Humanities and Social Thought from New York University. Ben is the co-founder and advisory board member of the human rights video advocacy organization, Organization for Visual Progression (visualprogression.org). He is interested in human rights advocacy, globalization, development, post-colonial theory, gender, race/ethnicity, and visual media. 

Galarneau, Lydia

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Office: Davison Hall, 136

Lydia received her BA from Alfred University in May 2017, graduating summa cum laude with an individually structured major titled “Social Justice and Popular Media.” Her undergraduate senior thesis examined factors causing emotional abuse recognition ability, specifically focusing on romanticization of intimate partner violence in fictional media, and received a Sigma Xi Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award. She plans to continue research in the interactions between people and fictional media, with a concentration on the representation of intimate partnerships.

Gervis, Alexandra

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Office: Davison Hall, 012

Alexandra (Lexi) Gervis is broadly interested in economic and cultural sociology; specifically, she explores questions around income and wealth inequality, race and inequality, social mobility, and how organizations (particularly, philanthropic ones) play a role in the reproduction of inequality. Her MA thesis explored the relationship between social class, social distance, and allocating decisions when donating, both in terms of magnitude (how much a family gives) and type (the kinds of organizations they select). She holds a BA from Emory University, and she is currently a Rutgers Presidential Fellow.

Good, Adrian

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Office: Davison Hall, 013

Adrian Good is interested in culture and cognition, health, alcohol use, accidents, and the life course effects of traumatic events. He received his BA in Management and Society from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005, and completed an MA in Sociology at UNC-Greensboro in 2013. His MA thesis examines the ways male college students describe their relationship with alcohol as a cultural object. He is also interested in how people make sense of traumatic events, building bridges between former and present selves.

Guastella, Dustin

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Office: Davison Hall, 009

Dustin received his B.A in Sociology from Temple University in 2013. His research interests include the labor movement, political-economy, social class and economic inequality. Particularly he is interested in researching the working lives of recent college graduates and how their economic prospects have changed in relation to the shift toward neoliberalism and the fallout from the great recession. Dustin has previously worked in the labor movement as an organizer and mobilizer. 

Han, Tsai-Yen

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Office: Davison Hall, 016

Tsai-Yen is interested in gender, education, food and science and technology studies. She has studied how an engineering laboratory became masculinized. She is currently working on a study of high school curriculum tracking decisions in Taiwan. Tsai-Yen received her bachelor's degree in Sociology from National Taiwan University and her M.A. in Sociology at National Tsing Hua University.

Hayes, Endia Louise

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Office: Davison Hall, 015

Standing by the words of Toni Morrison to “familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar,” Endia seeks to honor these words through her scholarship. Endia graduated from Spelman College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Anthropology in May 2017. Her undergraduate thesis and final Mellon May Undergraduate Fellowship project studied the case of Jaelyn Young, the only Black woman arrested in an attempt to travel to Iraq and Syria to join ISIL. Endia used Young as the focal point of an analysis of media and news accounts to offer nuance to the evolving role of women as informal leaders of the group as well as Young’s experience as a criminalized subject under law. Her work earned her departmental honors as well as prize for Outstanding Thesis. Endia hopes to continue studying social movements and its intersections with religion, the political, gender/sexuality, and, possibly even, race.

Hitchens, Brooklynn K.

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 016

Brooklynn K. Hitchens is a distinguished Louis Bevier Dissertation Fellow, Minority Fellow for the American Sociological Association (ASA), and Ruth D. Peterson Fellow for the American Society of Criminology. Her research explores the lived experiences of low-income, urban Black Americans, particularly at the intersections of race, class, and gender in shaping attitudes, identity, and behavior. Her multi-method dissertation, “Coping in MurderTown USA: How Urban Black Women Adapt to Structural Strain in a Violent, Small City” uses street participatory action research (PAR) to explore variations in how urban Black women and girls use violence and/or crime to cope with the structural strain that permeates low-income communities of color. Data for her dissertation emerge from a collaborative, community-based project entitled the Wilmington Street Participatory Action Research (PAR) Project, which examines how low-income, street-identified Blacks experience and understand community violence in Wilmington, Delaware—a city recently labeled “MurderTown USA” for its elevated rates of violent crime per capita.

Her dissertation addresses three research questions. First, she analyzes variations in how low-income, street-identified Black women cope with and adapt to various types of structural strain—economic stressors, criminal victimization, discrimination, and academic stressors—and how these strains influence their involvement in street life or violence and crime as sites of resilience. Second, she examines how coping mechanisms—social, psychological and economic wellbeing— mediate the effects of the strain-violence relationships among the women. Third, she analyzes how racial/ethnic identity moderates the relationship between strain and violence/crime, and how awareness of Blackness as an identity strengthens or weakens this relationship. She argues that although structural strain imbues deleterious effects on poor communities of color, modes of adaptation and coping strategies differ among urban Black women as a function of their relationship to the streets and access to structural means of opportunity.

Her work has previously been published in Sociological Forum, Race & Justice, Feminist Criminology, and the Journal of Black Psychology.

Hofstra, Jorie

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Office: Davison Hall, 044

Jorie works in the areas of mental health and illness, embodiment, biology, disability, social support, and emotion within dyadic and network contexts. Her projects include the development and testing of a biopsychosocial model of postpartum depression, a qualitative investigation of how laypeople think about and respond to sadness in their social partners, and a study of how brain-injured subjects account for emotional disturbance in relation to the damaged brain. Central to all these projects is the matter of how cultural and social-network factors influence the ways we perceive, explain, and address our own and others' suffering. Jorie also serves as Editor for the journal RJS: The Rutgers Journal of Sociology. She is presently an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, and she holds a BA in anthropology from the University of Chicago.

Hollingshead, Ashley

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Office: Davison Hall, 011

Ashley received her B.A in Sociology from the City University of New York at City College. Her research interests include examining the intersections of race, gender, institutions, and public policy impeding opportunities for people of color. In the past Ashley worked as a project associate at The Center for Social Inclusion, a racial equity and policy strategy organization. Her past research includes examining racial disparities in beast feeding, Black and Latino activism, and Obama Fatherhood policies.

Huang, Hwa-Yen

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Office: Davison Hall,  139

Hwa-Yen's research interests include social psychology, narrative, cognition and the senses, trauma, health and illness, and violence. He has studied Taiwanese folk healers' narratological management of the contradiction between a closed and an open vision of the future. Currently, through reading illness narratives published in the U.S., Hwa-Yen is examining how "positive" changes in temporal and spatial experience in the midst of life crises are mediated by certain generic narrative strategies. Hwa-Yen holds a bachelor's degree in finance and an M.A. in sociology, both from National Taiwan University. In his free time, Hwa-Yen enjoys napping, daydreaming, and the art of air guitar.   

Jaffe-Dax, Hamutal (Tali)

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Office: Davison Hall, 017

My research interests stand in the crossroads of culture and cognition. I am fascinated with cultural knowledge and classification. The inquiry of social conceptualization and categorization embedded and performed in everyday practice, leads me to engagement with innovative phenomenological and visual methodologies. In my Master Thesis (Hebrew University of Jerusalem) I studied the spatial perceptions of Jerusalemites and Qudsis – local Israelis and Palestinians. Through the analysis mental mapping and sketch-mapping, Jerusalem and Al-Quds were interpreted from bottom-up perspective on borders, patterns, categorizations, experiences and identities.  

Kaplan, Amanda

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Office: Davison Hall, 140

Amanda Kaplan is generally interested in the sociology of ideas—hegemonic social orders, grammars of thinking, and their social and material implications—and is committed to a study and praxis of love, listening, and radical pedagogy/ intellectual exchange broadly defined. These interests and commitments inform Amanda’s everyday life, activism, teaching practice, and research, which currently concerns (re)presentations of female genitalia, cosmologies and cosmetics, colonialism, whiteness, and the trope of discovering. Amanda holds an MA in Sociology (Rutgers), an MA in Humanities and Social Thought (NYU), a BA in Sociology and Mathematics (Vassar), and a graduate certificate in Women and Gender Studies (Rutgers). If seemingly preoccupied, Amanda is most likely dreaming of transdisciplinary education, new narratives, cheese, or really big dogs.

Kramer, Brandon

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Curriculum Vitae

Brandon’s research interests lie at the intersection of medical sociology, science & technology studies, computational social science, and social neuroscience. His dissertation explores how assumptions about race, gender, and sexuality become imbued into biomedical research on testosterone and how that affects the politics of health disparities research. In his work, Brandon incorporates a range of sociological methods, including content analysis, biosocial experiments, computational text analysis, and aspects of social network analysis including exponential random graph models.

Lora, Dashiell

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-4

Dashiell completed his BA at Bowdoin College in Sociology and Music. He is broadly interested in race, youth culture, new media, popular culture and the production of identity.

Lozinskaia, Aleksandra

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Office: Davison Hall, 011

Martin, Aaron

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-5

Aaron comes to Rutgers with six years of professional experience as a human rights and global development practitioner, where he focused on building strategic partnerships between government, philanthropy, and the social sector. Aaron's research interests lie at the intersection of individual and collective trauma, culture, cognition, memory, and inequality. He received his B.A. in English and Education from Houghton College.

Mechbal, Sirine

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Office: Davison Hall, 017

Sirine received her B.A and her M.A in American Studies at the Sorbonne University in Paris. She is now pursuing her PhD through a dual degree program between Rutgers University and La Sorbonne. Sirine is interested in immigrant workers, collective mobilization and intergroup competition - recently turning her focus onto self-employed immigrants. Her dissertation research seeks to examine the trajectories of New York City street vendors-- Egyptians and Mexicans --and their relationship to labor organizing.

Mercado-Diaz, Mario

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 014

Mario Mercado-Diaz is generally interested in international migration, social inequality, urban development, urban space, community life, decolonial theory and cultural sociology. His current research focuses on Puerto Rican migrant integration outcomes in new or emerging destinations and established destinations. He uses a mixed method approach (quantitative and qualitative) and an intersectional lens to study the effects of race and ethnicity, gender, class and education on migrant integration in new and emerging migrant destination. Specifically, he looks at migrants with relative advantage entering the professional labor markets in Texas and New York. For his dissertation research, he will compare integration outcomes and experiences of Puerto Ricans, Cubans and Venezuelans moving to Houston, Texas. Mario has ample research experience having served as a research assistant on numerous projects, more recently having done fieldwork for the Afro-Latin@ Forum and serving as a research assistant for a project on neighborhood inequality led by Dr. Laurie Krivo, Dr. Zaire Dinzey-Flores and Dr. Hana Shepherd. He earned his MA on Latin American Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. His masters thesis ("Distances and Proximities: Havana and San Juan from the Point of View of Literature and Oral Histories") used an interdisciplinary approach (Anthropology, Sociology and Cultural Studies) to compare the changing dynamics of urban space in specific neighborhoods of Havana, Cuba and San Juan, Puerto Rico (see http://lavigia.wix.com/elmuelle). He has also published journalistic articles in various online magazines, both in English and in Spanish.

Murphy, Lauren

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Office: Davison Hall, 046

Lauren is interested in the structural and psychosocial determinants of health, social stratification, and the spatial contexts of health disparities. Her Master’s work explores various pathways which link socioeconomic status to outcomes in sleep quality.  Lauren received a BA from Fairfield University in 2010.   

Nicorici, Irina

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-8  

Panait, Alexandru

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Office: Davison Hall, 138

Alex graduated with a BA in sociology from the University of New Hampshire in 2014. His primary research interests include sociology of culture, institutions, networks, and digital media. His current project focuses on digital divides and the relationship between gender inequality in the labor market and digital technology use in Japan. 

Peña-Alves, Stephanie

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Office: Davison Hall, 013

Steph Peña-Alves received her B.A. in Psychology from the City University of New York at Hunter College. Her research interests include culture, cognition, emotions, identity, language, and symbolism. In past projects, she has written about the culture of modern psychiatry and diagnosis of mental illness as a cultural rite of passage. Steph's current work revolves around spatial metaphors and the symbolic dimensions of material objects.   

Phillips, Jason

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 110

Jason's research interests are in criminology and victimology, with an emphasis on the socioemotional consequences of violent victimization, as well as in health inequalities. His dissertation, “The Socioemotional Impact of Robbery on Social Networks: A Qualitative Study of Victim and Supporter Perspectives,” considers how robbery incidents affect relationships between victims and persons close to them. The study recognizes that survivors of criminal violence often turn to their social networks for emotional, informational or instrumental forms of support that can attenuate the demonstrated negative impacts of violent crime. By relying upon matched, semi-structured interviews with robbery victims and members of their social networks, the project aims to better characterize how postincident social support for violent crime victims is or is not activated and illuminate how bi-directional relationship processes are affected by violent incidents.

He has also been engaged in several other research projects. One concerned the relationship between violent crime and the interpersonal difficulties of adolescent victims with members of their social networks. Another examines trajectories of violent and property crime change between 1999 and 2013 to assess how structural disadvantage, housing and demographics explain differences across urban neighborhoods. One ongoing project considers the link between the self-protection behaviors of crime victims and levels of postincident socioemotional distress. And a final project in progress is an investigation of the social determinants of preventive health behavior among sexual minority men. Jason holds a B.A. in Government (Harvard College) and an M.S. in Library and Information Science (Long Island University).

Pocinki, Allegra

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Resume

Office: Davison Hall, 046

Allegra received her B.A. from Swarthmore College in 2014, where she majored in History and Political Science. Following graduation, she worked as the senior center coordinator for the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Allegra is interested in racial disparities in the criminal justice system, more specifically on the impacts of incarceration for those "doing time on the outside." Her work seeks to examine the effects of coercive mobility and concentrated disadvantage on Black women’s capital formation in neighborhoods experiencing significant numbers of “missing” Black men. She hopes to add to a new but slowly developing literature on the effects of the cycle of incarceration on women, especially because it seeks to build a new set of data of these impacts on their social, human, and economic capital.

Poling, Jessica

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Office: Davison Hall, 044

Jessica is interested in cultural sociology with a particular focus on the social construction of artists and art institutions.  She received her BA in Sociology from Haverford College.  In the past Jess has conducted research on the various roles of mental illness in art therapy and the Outsider Art movement, examining how art therapists contend with Outsider Art’s conflicting presentation of mentally ill artists and maintain their professional legitimacy. 

Pulotova, Muqaddas

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Office: Davison Hall, 016 

Raia-Hawrylak, Alicia

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Office: Davison Hall, 015

Alicia's dissertation research uses a mixed-methods approach to explore how peer interpersonal aggression varies between and within schools. She designed and piloted an original survey called the School Climate Understanding and Building Aspirations (SCUBA) Survey, which includes new measures for studying generalized forms of peer aggression. Alicia uses data from this survey, along with ethnographic observations and interviews in high schools that vary in socioeconomic makeup and neighborhood setting, to 1) explore the nature, extent, locations (covert or overt) and targets of youth interpersonal aggression; and 2) to understand how variation in exposure to victimization is shaped by community factors, organizational qualities such as school culture, as well as by variation across classroom environments within the school. Prior to beginning her doctoral work, Alicia worked as a classroom teacher in disadvantaged communities in New York City and New Jersey. These experiences inform her research interests related to inequalities in educational experiences influence student outcomes. Her previous work explores how gentrification shapes the ways in which youth experience spaces within their communities. Alicia completed the Pre-Doctoral Leadership Development Institute at Rutgers University and currently works with the School Climate Transformation Project through the Center for Applied Psychology, which supports New Jersey schools in using data to drive the school climate improvement process.

Raileanu, Lilia

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In addition to sociology, I have a background in psychology, participatory theatre and fine arts. Prior to joining the doctoral program, I have worked extensively for national and international non-profit organizations in Moldova. I have joined the Sociology Department at Rutgers through an Open Society Foundation Doctoral Scholarship.

My central research and societal interests span over the areas of uncertainty and temporality, migration, climate change, critical cartography, visual and participatory methods, as well as science communication. For my doctoral dissertation, I use an interdisciplinary approach to examine how people experience waiting for salient events and how these experiences are impacted by modern organizations. One strand of this research explores alternative ways in which the indeterminate waiting experienced by migrants can be visualized using the medium of maps.

Currently, I am conducting research in Europe and teach interdisciplinary courses at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany. The teaching methods are highly interactive, experiential, and stimulating creativity. My studies on indeterminate waiting have sparked a collaboration with the artist Marcha van der Hurk, who created the installation Sometime Soon, exhibited at the LECQ Gallery in Rotterdam (Netherlands) and part of the Art Rotterdam Week 2017. 

Salas, Jomaira

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Office: Davison Hall, 020

Jomaira Salas Pujols is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University whose research focuses on higher education, race, and the academic achievement of girls of color. She studies various forms of resistance to structural racism on college campuses by analyzing campus protests and the everyday academic strategies of Black and Latina students. Jomaira uses mixed-methods and participatory action research to develop new epistemologies of underrepresented communities. In the Spring of 2017, she became a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Fellow.

Sie, Amanda

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-6

Amanda's research interests are in environmentalism and science and technology. She graduated from Boston College in 2017 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Her honors thesis investigated the foundations of modern agricultural science in America’s land-grant universities and their impact on the modern agricultural landscape, specifically in cranberry farms in Massachusetts. She has also previously work on international energy policy research and hopes to continue studying the sociological aspects of climate change.

Stroffolino, Andrew

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Office: Davison Hall, 110

Andrew’s research examines the normative order of science communication, with an emphasis on environmental hazards. Along with Lee Clarke and Harvey Molotch, he conducted in-depth interviews with Louisiana scientists to assess how Hurricane Katrina affected the ways they communicate risk. He has also analyzed how science organizations responded to the manslaughter case against scientists and engineers who told the citizens of L’Aquila, Italy that there was “no danger” a few days before an earthquake struck the city, killing 309 people. The two cases reveal that some scientists face moral dilemmas in communicating risk, characterized by a responsibility to help people, coupled with the impression that communicating with the public may be academically or politically inappropriate. In his free time, Andrew enjoys reading, making music, exercising, and spending time with his wife and son. He is currently working at a software company in New Brunswick. 

Troxel, Hannah

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Office: Davison Hall, 136

Hannah received her B.A. from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2013, where she studied social change, oppression, performance, and German. She is interested in gender and sexuality, urban-rural divides, and the social construction of the "obesity epidemic" - particularly issues of medical authority, social control, and discrimination. Her previous research includes work on weight loss campaigns, post-WWII German memory and identity, and inequities in education. 

Tuangco, Katherine

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-7

Katherine’s research interests lie at the intersection of medical sociology and the sociology of knowledge. She received her B.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Seton Hall University during her occupational therapy dual-degree program. Her fieldwork experience at the Mount Carmel Guild Behavioral Healthcare System in Union City, NJ informs her interest in the factors that shape the acquisition and acceptance of medical information and understanding. She aims to examine how health outcomes may coincide with changes in perception.

Uzun, Nil

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Office: Davison Hall, 049

Nil Uzun is interested in global sociology, sociology of speed, sociology of knowledge and sociology of science. She holds a B.A. in economics from Bogazici University (Istanbul), an MA in cultural studies from Sabanci University (Istanbul), and an MA in social anthropology from Central European University (Budapest). Nil has been working on multiple different topics, including transnational networks of human rights organizations in Argentina and Turkey, the representations of ‘Middle East women’ in Western contemporary art, and the sociology of academic knowledge production in area studies scholarship. Her dissertation examines the geopolitics of computing speed and the global race for the fastest supercomputers. 

Vuolajarvi, Niina

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Office: Davison Hall, 014

Niina Vuolajärvi's (MSSc, MA) primary research interests include gender, sexuality, migration, prostitution and immigration policies, and ethnographic methods. In her ethnographic PhD research "Precarious Intimacies - Commercial Sex and Migration in the Nordic Region", she combines migration and precarization research perspectives to the inquiries of intimacies. For the study she conducts fieldwork in Finland, Sweden, and Norway.

Niina is a Fulbright scholar and part of the management and steering committee of a EU-funded research network 'ProsPol: Comparing European Prostitution Policies: Understanding Scales and Cultures of Governance.' 

Yohanani, Lior

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 009

Lior’s primary research interests span over the areas of immigration and transnationalism, movements and micro-mobilization, networks, and identities. In his current research, Lior examines transnational attachments and manifestations of “long distance nationalism” among second generation immigrants. He has also studied and published on the complexity of the Zionist identity through the relationships between Jewish and British police officers in the Palestine Police Force during the British Mandate of Palestine (http://in.bgu.ac.il/bgi/israelis/DocLib/Pages/2017/Lior-Yohanani.pdf). Lior received a BA from Tel Aviv University in 2013, a Master’s degree from Tel Aviv University in 2016, and a Master’s degree from Rutgers University in 2018.