Doctoral Students

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Ahn, Changhye

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Office: Davison Hall, 108

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

Portia Allen-Kyle is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology. Her research explores race at the intersections of law and sociology, with a particular interest in policing, deadly force, social control, racial threat, and experiences of law. Her dissertation examines Supreme Court opinions on deadly force to examine how the court legitimates both the institution of policing and deadly force, while balancing their own objectivity and legitimacy. Outside of academia, Portia is a civil rights attorney fighting for racially equitably public policy, at the local, state, and national levels. Portia earned a B.A. from Wellesley College, M.A. from Columbia University, M.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University, and a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law-Newark.

Aparicio, Sarah

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Sarah Aparicio is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. Her research interests focus on racial socialization within families, including how parenting practices translate to racial attitudes and patterns in young children. Her prior work in the non-profit world primarily examined child behaviors and parent-child relationships in an early childhood home visiting context. Sarah holds a Master of Science in Applied Social Research from CUNY Hunter College (2017) and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from CUNY Queens College (2015).

Arthur, Elizabeth

Liz Arthur

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Office: Davison Hall, 044

Liz’s primary interest is in cognitive sociology, with particular emphases on culture, identity, and moral reasoning. In 2014 she co-authored a paper published in Sociological Inquiry about the ways in which conversion therapists framed their practices as ethical despite growing stigmatization from both mainstream society and the mental health profession. Her current research extends theories of group culture and meaning-making in the world of extreme sports, with particular focus on how recreational skydivers make sense of risk. Liz earned her B.A. in Sociology from Pepperdine University.

Baffoe-Bonnie, Marilyn S.

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-1

Marilyn S. Baffoe-Bonnie is a second-year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology studying health, population, and life course. Her research focuses on race and ethnicity, immigration, health disparities, and the ethical and social implications of emerging genomic biotechnologies. Her work utilizes qualitative and quantitative methods. Her current and past work focuses on sickle cell disease and is published in Bioethics. Marilyn holds a Master of Bioethics from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania (2017) and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with minors in Health Studies and Peace, Justice, and Human Rights from Haverford College (2016).

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.

Beck-McField, Armani

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Office: Davison Hall, 108

Armani Beck-McField 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). 

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.

Ceesay, Fatoumata M.

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Curriculum Vitae

Fatoumata M. "Ceesay" is a first-year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology studying crime and social control. Her research focuses on three subfields within sociology: criminal justice, digital sociology, and health population research. She examines topics within the justice system such as policing & community surveillance, pretrial justice, and incarceration, as it pertains to race and health inequalities, disparities, and policies. She also examines digital media (data) in relation to identity, collective action, and crime/violent imagery. She incorporates qualitative and computational method approaches in her research. Ceesay is a current National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow (GRF). She holds an MA in Sociology at Stony Brook University (2020) and a BA in Sociology, with minors in Gender Studies and African American Studies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY (2018), where she was also a Ronald E. McNair Scholar.

Chang, Yung-Ying

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 105-2

Yung-Ying's research interests include Political Sociology, Political Communication, Cultural Sociology, Culture and Cognition, Nations and Nationalism, Digital Politics, and Popular Culture. She received her B.A and M.A in Sociology from the National Taiwan University. Her previous research explores the self-censorship, strategic actions, and activism developed by popular culture fans in East Asian societies when they encounter political incidents. The study reveals how the dynamism in the nonpolitical field shapes and being shaped by the broader political sphere in which geopolitics and nationalism are at play. Yung-Ying's ongoing research is investigating the censorship imposed by autocracies in democracies. Specifically, she is examining the form of censorship imposed by authoritarian regimes on the cultural, leisure, or recreational industries in democracies. One goal is to understand the reactions of consumers in democracies when confronting the censorship. The research will explain how consumers reconcile perceived conflicts (if any) between the consumption of desirable cultural objects and the undesirable censorship imposed on them.

Crawley, Kayla

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Office: Davison Hall, 012

Kayla J. Crawley's research interests include the intersection of race and education policy, school discipline and the school-to-prison pipeline. Her Master's thesis focuses on the historical underpinnings of school discipline policy in Virginia, and the barriers to reform. Her dissertation will focus on school discipline policy alternatives in New Jersey, using Karate dojos as a comparative case. She earned her B.A. in political science from the University of Pennsylvania.

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.

DelGenio, Kathryn

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-3  

I’m a second-year doctoral student, and am broadly interested in relationships between white supremacy, nationalism, collective memory, narratives, and emotions. My research is focused on narrative productions of meaning and their material and political consequences. Particularly, I am interested in studying historical preservation and collective remembering with the goal of identifying hegemonic reproductions of white supremacy and nationalism. I pay special attention to how these reproductions reflect or deviate from broader cultural narratives related to race and nation. My Master’s thesis, completed at the University of South Florida, examines narratives surrounding Confederate monument removal published in a Southern newspaper. In this project, I analyze similar reproductions of white supremacist and nationalist logics across the supposed political divide of the Confederate monument removal debate, and work to complicate the liberal/conservative binary which often defines this debate in popular discourse. I also identify the rhetorical strategies used to obscure links between the moral and emotional justifications for or against Confederate monument removal and wider systems of racism and U.S. nationalism.

Demir, F. Dilara

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Office: Davison Hall, 046

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 projects examine how science has been used and misused in discourse about fracking and how fracking policymaking highlights or ignores consequences related to climate change. Rob holds a B.A. in Sociology and English from Bucknell University.

Eda, Haruki

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 012

Hello! I'm a sociologist specialized in social movements, transnational migration, critical geopolitics, race and ethnicity, and gender/sexuality. My research concerns the issues of peace and security, sovereignty, and decolonization across Asia/Pacific and North America, and I'm trained in qualitative methods and queer theory to investigate how community organizing impacts geopolitical dynamics and identity construction. I'm working on a book project entitled Queer Unification: Community and Healing in the Korean Diaspora, which examines the possibilities and imaginations of Korean unification from the perspective of queer diasporic Koreans by centering their embodied experiences as a praxis of what I call geopolitical healing. My work has appeared in Research Justice: Methodologies for Social Change (Policy Press, 2015), Social Text Periscope, and Contemporary Archipelagic Thinking: Towards New Comparative Methodologies and Disciplinary Formations (Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming). In addition to research, I enjoy teaching sociology, Asian American studies, Asian studies, and English composition. In the classroom, I focus on challenging my students by asking them critical questions about real-world problems rather than spoon-feeding easy answers. At Rutgers University, I'm also involved in the Asian American Cultural Center, where I teach a Living-Learning Community course (check out our Instagram Photovoice project). I believe that relevant education that activates the community leaders in ourselves is what this world needs for the 21st century, and I am committed to fostering my students' intellectual, professional, and political growth through collaborative learning. 

Enos, Jenny

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 044

Jenny Enos received her B.A. in Sociology and Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies from Gettysburg College (2018) and her M.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University (2020). Her main research interests are anti-immigrant sentiment, ethnoracial bias, and extreme-right political parties in Europe. Jenny's M.A. thesis examined how increases in immigrants from Muslim-majority countries during the refugee crisis and unemployment rates led to increases in extreme-right voting in Sweden between 2014 and 2018, using the theory of "group threat". Her current and future research investigates the individual-level cognitive processes behind anti-immigrant sentiment and ethnoracial bias, in addition to how gender and sexuality play a role in constructing immigrant threat perceptions among Whites/natives.

Espinoza, Maria

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 012

My research is in the fields of environmental sociology, medical sociology, and science and technology studies. My main interest is in how certain narratives about infectious diseases (e.g., the “outbreak narrative”) become the norm, prioritizing biotechnological fixes and shifting attention away from questions of social and environmental justice, public health infrastructure, and the lingering impact of economic reforms that enable disease to spread in the first place.

For my dissertation project, I focus on the dengue epidemic that hit Peru in 2017 after the unexpected climate phenomenon El Niño Costero. Specifically, I’m investigating how public health experts communicate with decision-makers and diverse publics about the expansion of climate-sensitive diseases in the face of a changing climate. I aim to shed light on the challenges that public health professionals encounter when communicating about dengue risk and climate change, and on the technologies of legitimacy they rely on to render their claims legible to different publics.

In addition to my dissertation project, I am working on a book with Melissa Aroncyzk, and Bob Brulle, titled The Climate of Publicity, for Oxford University Press. In this project we take a historical look at how promotional culture and environmental information systems have shaped environmental problems in the United States since the birth of the PR industry in the early twentieth century.

During my time at Rutgers, I have been a graduate fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, participating in the 2015-2016 project “Ethical Subjects: Moralities, Laws, and Histories.”

Prior to pursuing a doctoral degree, I earned a B.A. from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and an M.A. in Sociology from Syracuse University. I have also worked both in the social sector as a venture coordinator for Ashoka in the Andean Region and in the private sector as a consultant conducting social and environmental impact assessment studies.

Foley, Benjamin

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Office: Davison Hall, 140

Benjamin’s scholarship—sparked from his experience as an activist, academic, and teacher— focuses on how anti-racist and other social justice oriented organizing and discourse interacts with, reaffirms and/or disrupts the social reproduction of power and hierarchy in society. As a theorist of the sociology of racial inequality, his research and teaching draw from critical race, post-colonial, and feminist theory as well as social movements scholarship. Benjamin’s research agenda focuses on the limitations of hyper-individualism—or the reduction of anti-racist practice to a politics of psychology— when imposed on models for social and political change, and introduces a new sociological approach to white anti-racist practice. His dissertation is a historical sociological study of the Young Patriots Organization—a group of poor white migrants from Appalachia who were recruited by the Black Panther Party to join the “Rainbow Coalition” alongside the Young Lords. The Young Patriots rallied for the cause of “oppressed white people” and remarkably utilized both Confederate flag and Black Power imagery. Together with the Black Panthers, they organized protests against police brutality, abusive landlords, and urban renewal projects. They also started free breakfast programs, free medical clinics, and other “survival programs” in their respective communities. His project explores how this heterodoxical coalition complicates our understandings of race and social movements, and offers potential for an alternative modality of anti-racist practice. Benjamin was a 2019-2020 graduate fellow at the Rutgers Center for Cultural Analysis. He is also the co-founder and advisory board member of the human rights video advocacy organization, Organization for Visual Progression (now called Catara).

Gervis, Alexandra

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Office: Davison Hall, 012

Alexandra (Lexi) Gervis is a doctoral candidate and Rutgers Presidential Fellow (2019). Her research interests sit at the intersection of economic and cultural sociology, with a focus on labor, low-wage work, and the social safety net. Her MA thesis (2017) 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). Her dissertation, “Portable Benefits: The Bending, Breaking, and Rebuilding of the Social Safety Net,” investigates how a diverse set of experts, state actors, and organizations are responding to the challenge of redesigning the social safety net for non-standard workers. She is also a research assistant to Dr. Hana Shepherd and Dr. Janice Fine on a Russell Sage-funded project, “Understanding Local Labor Law Enforcement: A Comparative Organizational Study of City Labor Standards Enforcement Agencies,” which investigates the enforcement practices of four local labor offices tasked with enforcing the most progressive worker protections in the country.

Good, Adrian

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Office: Davison Hall, 013

Adrian Good is currently interested in how creativity and emotional energy intersect in the production of stand-up comedy. He has also conducted research on the attribution of agency to nonhuman entities. Adrian earned one M.A. in Sociology from Rutgers University and another one from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He completed his B.A. in Management and Society at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Han, Tsai-Yen

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 016

Tsai-Yen is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Sociology, Rutgers University. She is interested in gender, inequality, knowledge production, dirt and cleanliness, care work, science and technology studies, food, and STEM education. She had published peer-reviewed journal articles about the asymmetrical gendered high school curriculum track decisions in Taiwan and how an engineering laboratory became masculinized in a research university. In her dissertation, "Dirt Management: Cleanliness, Hygiene, and Childcare in the United States," Tsai-Yen explores how modern Americanized hygienic subjects, childcare practice, and social order are shaped by the contested medical knowledge and the intersecting social positions (gender, class, race/ethnicity, and immigrant status/nativity).

Hayes, Endia Louise

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 015

Standing in the words of Toni Morrison’s “familiarize the strange and mystify the familiar,” Endia Louise Hayes is a doctoral student in Sociology at Rutgers University, New Brunswick who studies the epistemological contributions of formerly enslaved women to social theory. She studies how formerly enslaved, specifically Afro-Texan women, intimately storytell with Texas land creating an alternative archive that corresponds to their radical ways of knowing Black female flesh, life, revolution and its many geographies in Texas. Endia's Masters paper, entitled 'but everyone knows what I taste like': An Exploration of Afro-Texan Women's Nourishing Power,' excavated 'nourishing power' as a way to misread the archives. Here, Afro-Texan women used land as a technology to engage in embodied discourses around the plantation labor that rendered their bodies consumable, yet simultaneously able to fulfill desires and needs of their flesh. This paper is currently being revised for publication.

Endia's work posits these Afro-Texan women as avenues through which the Black female body and her social legacies can be properly viewed within sociology to revisit the past, unpack the present and better integrate slavery into contemporary sociological work. Currently, Endia is working on a second paper that engages Black enslaved imaginaries in the Federal Writers' Project Born in Slavery archive. These imaginaries depend on an encounter with haunting, the phenomenological response of recollecting enslaved life, to name the terror of whiteness in the past and present.

Endia is also deeply committed to abolitionist teaching and pedagogy. From earning her Bachelor’s from Spelman College alongside her time as both a student and, then, employee of Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) and the Institute for the Recruitment of Teachers (IRT), Endia's pedagogy seeks to instill critical thinking of student's daily social experience using the perspectives of queer/scholars and teachers of color. This teaching strategy pushes the sociological canon to be queer and BIPOC inclusive, encourages student's role as knowledge producers centered within the classroom content, and, finally, encourages community engagement and transformation.

Hoagland, Brent

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-4

Brent's general research interests include cognitive and social psychology, organizational theory, economic sociology, social stratification, law and society, and algorithmic cultures. He blends cultural and social network analysis to investigate problems of assessment, evaluation, and valuation. He completed his BA in economics at Lafayette College (2012) and MA in social sciences at the University of Chicago (2018).

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.

Horst, Juliana de Oliveira

Juliana de Oliveira Horst

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Juliana’s main research interest is the relationship between gender theory and criminology, but she is also interested in Crime and Social Control, Theories of Deviance, Social Epistemology, Political Sociology, and Social Movements. She received her B.A. in Law and her M.A in Law, with an emphasis in Law, Power and Control, both from the Federal University of Paraná (UFPR, Brazil). Her master thesis was a study on the criminalization of feminicide in Brazil and the theoretical conflicts between critical criminology and feminist movements. She also has published works on female incarceration for drug trafficking in the state of Paraná (Brazil).

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.  

Joshi, Apoorvaa

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-5

"Apoorvaa is a doctoral student, interested in researching resistance to hegemonic ontologies, postcoloniality, feminized forms of knowledge, and the occult. Her previous research focused on the production of empathy in human rights discourse, and the gendered dimensions of positivist reportage.

She holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, and an MSc Human Rights from the London School of Economics and Political Science."

 

Kaplan, Amanda

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Office: Davison Hall, 140

Amanda (Man) Kaplan is a PhD candidate working in and with the fields of cognitive sociology, decolonial feminism, critical theory, and feminist methodologies. Their dissertation, “Against Discovering, With Facing” pursues a thoughtful, mixed-methods investigation into the values, stakes, and symptoms of dominant and dissident modes of knowledge production. Man 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, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Rutgers). If seemingly preoccupied, she is most likely dreaming of transdisciplinary education, social transformation, cheese, or really big dogs.

Landers, Anthony

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-6

Anthony is generally interested in social control, organizations, policing, and incarceration. His current research looks at the weaponization of inmate identities and its use as a form of social control in prison. Anthony has ample research experience having been a Ronald E. McNair scholar, where he used a mixed methods approach to analyze gang discourse and it’s effects on racialized communities in South Alameda County, California. He has one article pending publishing through the McNair Scholars Journal titled, Marked for Death: The Necropolitics of Gangs. Anthony received his B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018. Additionally, Anthony brings eight years of community organizing, prisoner support, and mentorship to his work at Rutgers

Loprieno, Daniele

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Office: Davison Hall, 105-8

Daniele is a first-year doctoral student, interested in social determinates of health, gender, and medical sociology. She recently worked with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Center for Health Impact Evaluation, where she contributed to a health impact assessment on the effects of recreational cannabis legalization in Los Angeles County. Daniele received her BA in Sociology with double minors in History and Italian from Pennsylvania State University in 2007 and completed her Master’s in Sociology at California State University, Northridge in 2013. Additionally, Daniele brings over ten years of applied research experience and four years of teaching experience to her work at Rutgers.

Outside of the classroom, Daniele enjoys consuming and (endlessly) discussing all things pop culture, practicing yoga, and spending time with her pug, George.

Lora, Dashiell

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Office: Davison Hall, 009

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.

Martin, Aaron

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Office: Davison Hall, 044

Aaron’s research examines the social construction of existential threats and potential negative futures, the organizations and institutions that shape public understandings of these threats, and the effects of these understandings on policy and behavior. He is interested in the apocalyptic endings we create and why, and in imagining alternative perspectives for moving into the future.

Prior to Rutgers, Aaron spent six years building partnerships between government, philanthropic actors, and the social sector as a human rights and global development practitioner in Washington, D.C. 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.

Nicorici, Irina

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Office: Davison Hall, 020  

Peña-Alves, Stephanie

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 013

Steph Peña-Alves is a Doctoral Candidate with research interests in the areas of culture and cognition, space and place, access, deviance, semiotics, and sociological theory. Her work explores how people make sense of inclusion and exclusion, and how they negotiate issues of access and restriction in everyday spaces. In her dissertation, she examines patterns in how spatial boundaries are set, regulated, and crossed at multiple levels of analysis, focusing on tensions between personal and collective definitions of rules of access as manifest in individual accounts, public discourse, law, and policy. Her work is published in Symbolic Interaction, Journal of Health Communication, The Oxford Handbook of Cognitive Sociology, and Contemporary Sociology. She teaches courses in deviance, sociology of race, social psychology, and sociological theory.

Pia, Genesis

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Curriculum Vitae

Genesis Pia is Guatemalan American and a first-generation college student. Her primary research interests include immigration, Latina/o sociology, higher education, family, race/ethnicity, gender, and mental health. She received her B.A. from Cal State Northridge, where she was selected as one of 30 students nationally to participate in the HSI Pathways to the Professoriate Program funded by the Mellon Foundation. As a Mellon Fellow, Genesis developed an IRB approved independent research project titled “Understanding Modern Day Hembrismo: Latinas in Higher Education Negotiating Equality while Honoring Tradition.” The research conducted focused on modern hembrismo ideology and how it is used to understand the ways Latina college students fulfill multiple roles in egalitarian ways while navigating their intersecting identities. For her doctoral work, Genesis intends to use mixed methods in order to explore how family, culture, religion, formal/informal employment, and immigration/generational status shape mental health help seeking behaviors amongst Latina college students. She is currently a Rutgers Presidential Fellow.

Plum, Samantha

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Samantha’s research interests include culture and cognition, health and illness, and gender. Her current work focuses on conceptions of gender in university recreation, with a specific focus on non-binary and gender non-conforming students. Samantha’s previous work has looked at representations of gender norms in pharmaceutical advertisements for psychotropic medications, conceptions of gender in the sport of body building, and remission narratives. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Brown University.

Pocinki, Allegra

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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, a public policy think tank in Washington, DC. Allegra is interested in racial disparities in the criminal justice system, more specifically the impacts of incarceration for those "doing time on the outside." Her work seeks to examine how women form social networks - both online and in person - to mitigate the effects of the incarceration of their loved ones.

Poling, Jessica

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Office: Davison Hall, 044

Jessica Poling received her B.A. from Haverford College in sociology (2015) and her M.A. in sociology from Rutgers University (2018). She is primarily interested in culture, cognition, and the body. Her current research investigates the intersection of culture and cognition with gender and the body by studying how women cognitively navigate dramatic physical changes such pregnancy and mastectomy. Her M.A. thesis, "Art in the Time of Frugality: Uncertainty, Cooperation, and Change in American Art Museums", investigates how art museums have experienced financial uncertainty since the Great Recession and how museum staff have strategically responded to preserve their professional goals. Jessica also currently serves as the managing editor for Sociological Forum and is a contributing author for the Everyday Sociology Blog.

Salas Pujols, Jomaira

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Office: Davison Hall, 015

Jomaira Salas Pujols is a doctoral candidate studying race, Black girlhood, and education. Her dissertation examines Black girls' racialized and gendered experience through multiple educational spaces, with particular attention to how movement in and between these spaces informs Black girls' sense of identity and social (in)justice. Jomaira also writes about the emerging field of Black Latina girlhood through a study about the Black identity development of Afro-Latina girls who participate in social justice and activism trainings. Jomaira is a National Science Foundation-GRFP Fellow, a research assistant with the Afro-Latin@ Forum, and a member of the Black Latinas Know Collective. She also conducts workshops on race and educational injustice for local organizations.

Sie, Amanda

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Office: Davison Hall, 017

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.

Traylor, Fred

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Curriculum Vitae

Fred Traylor is a first-year doctoral student interested in how social forces affect interpretations and perceptions of climate change. Among other things, his research has touched on the religious forms of climate change denial, gendered differences in climate change concern, and the words used by educators when discussing climate change with learners. He holds a BA in Sociology and an MS in Social Data Analytics and Research from The University of Texas at Dallas.

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, 015

Katherine's research interests include medical sociology, professions, knowledge, and science and technology studies. Her work explores how health professionals are shaped by their education and work cultures. Katherine's current research examines how nurses in US hospitals experience autonomy under managerialism. She received her B.A. in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Seton Hall University in 2017 during her occupational therapy dual-degree program.

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, 011

Niina is a Mellon/ACLS dissertation fellow and a visiting student at the Gender and Sexuality Studies Program at Princeton University. Niina is finalizing her dissertation Governing Sexuality, Producing Benevolent Nations - Commercial Sex and Migration in 'Nordic Model' of Prostitution that examines the increasing role that governing sexuality and gender play in contemporary neoliberal politics and state-making. She explores this question through a Swedish prostitution model focusing on punishing sex buyers that has come to define global politics around human trafficking and commercial sex. For her dissertation, Niina conducted 215 interviews and intensive fieldwork in three Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, Norway).

Niina's academic publishing portfolio includes over 20 articles, book chapters, book reviews and research reports on the policies and politics of immigration, commercial sex, and healthcare. Her work has been published in journals, such as Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, and Cultural Studies, and in collected volumes Technoscience, Gender and Society and Assessing Prostitution Policies in Europe. Her work has been recognized by the Fulbright Foundation, the Visual Journalism of the Year Award, the American-Scandinavian Foundation Award, and the Scandinavian Research Council for Criminology, among other. Her research has been featured in various newspapers, including The Economist and The New York Times.

Yohanani, Lior

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Curriculum Vitae

Office: Davison Hall, 138

Hi! my research interests lie in the intersection of mobilization, nationalism, and immigration. In particular, I am interested in why people volunteer into high-risk forms of collective action, such as social movements, or foreign armies. Currently, I study how and why Americans of Israeli origin join the Israeli military.

I am also interested in processes of identity formation. I recently published a paper on Zionist identity in Nations and Nationalism – “Zionist identity and the British Mandate: Palestine's internment camps and the making of the Western native.”

I hold an MA in Sociology from Rutgers University, and an MA in Sociology and Anthropology from Tel Aviv University.