Graduate Students

Women's and Gender Studies Master's Students

Master of  Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Marilyn Bean

Marilyn Bean graduated from Western Michigan University in 2014 with her BA in Sociology and Gender & Women's Studies. She spent her final semester participating in a study abroad program titled "Comparative Women's & Gender Studies in Europe" where she conducted research for her paper "Write Down Your Stories: Audre Lorde, Poetry, & the Afro-German Women's Movement." Her interests include gender socialization, Arts-based research methods, politics of rape culture, media studies, body image studies, women's literature, German language & literature, American literature, studies of the novel, and creative writing.

Kaitlin Seegman

Kaitlin Seegman received her B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Northridge. Her research at CSUN centered around intersections of gender, sexuality, race, ability, and feminism as they relate to the media, mental health, and development of "the self." During her participation in "The Blues Project," a program designed to give college students information regarding depression, Kaitlin received the opportunity to directly influence thousands of students through in-class lectures she created to include content about marginalized groups. This experience finalized her desire to pursue Women's Studies and teaching. At Brandeis, she hopes to further investigate intersectional feminism and the interplay between age development, environment, and sexual/gender identity.

Joint MA in Anthropology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Steven Gonzalez

Steven Gonzalez graduated from Keene State College in 2014 with an individualized Bachelor of Arts degree of Feminist Anthropology. As an undergraduate, Steven conducted ethnographic fieldwork in the small New England City of Keene, NH, where he interviewed locals and engaged in participant observation to study the cultural scene of a community soup kitchen and the mobile world of a local public transportation system. For graduate study, Steven is interested in Science & Technology topics including, mobile phones and computing cultures in developing countries, ethnosciences, digitally-mediated postcolonial subjectivities, the ontology of data, qualitative studies of data centers, politics of indigeneity, science fiction, postcolonial feminist science studies and cyborg anthropology.

Melanie Vandegrift

Melanie Vandegrift graduated Muhlenberg College in 2014 with a B.A. in Dance and Anthropology.  In 2013, she participated in the study abroad program SIT Samoa: Pacific Communities and Social Change, during which time she developed a strong interest in the concept of “third gender” and conducted research on Samoa’s “third gender” or fa’afafine.  In her graduate research, Melanie would like to focus on how the “third gender” identity among native Pacific Islanders changes or fluctuates when they immigrate to westernized nations such as New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. 

Leah Wasil

Leah Wasil holds a BA in Anthropology from Central Washington University with a minor in Pacific/East Asian Studies. At Brandeis, she hopes to explore the contemporary practice of archaeology in Japan and East Asia. She is interested in gender politics and the weight of Japanese Imperial history, and how academic and contract archaeology in East Asia may be understood as a complex political process that ideologically organizes connections among different East Asian national communities and structures internal relations of gender and ethnicity.

Joint Master of English and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Phillip Carlisle

Phillip Carlisle graduated from Albion College in 2015 with a BA in English and music.  After spending two summers doing full-time research on Albion's campus, Phillip wrote his senior thesis -- a two-act musical titled The Portrait of Mr. Oscar Wilde: A Grossly Indecent Musical.  As he begins his studies at Brandeis, Phillip hopes to continue research related to Oscar Wilde and (late) Victorian sexuality; and when he's not reading a book or eating pizza rolls, Phillip enjoys watching Netflix and being a political junkie.

Larissa Cvach

Larissa Cvach received her BA in English literature and sociology in 2012 from the University of Nevada Reno. Larissa's research has focused on the intersection of identity categories and cultural studies. Her academic interests are feminist and queer theory, postcolonial theory, American postmodernism, cultural studies, and representations of the body and space in literature. Her honors thesis is titled "Masculinity in Southern California-based Hardcore Punk Rock". Larissa presented a revised version of this paper at a conference in Reno. Her future research interests include examining the use of space in queer Southern (gothic) literature and examining the ways Irish and Irish American punk lyrics can be read as postcolonial texts.

Joint Master of Public Policy and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Brie McLemore Brie McLemore graduated from New College of Florida in 2013 with a BA in Anthropology and Gender Studies. She wrote her undergraduate thesis on the criminalization of pregnant substance users and the implications for reproductive rights. After graduating, Brie served as the Anti-Racism Advisory Committee Intern at the Boston Public Health Commission. While at Brandeis, Brie plans to further her interest in reproductive rights, especially for women of color.

Joint MA in Sociology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Becky Barton Becky Barton received her BA in Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Connecticut.  Becky’s interests include religion, identity, gender and sexuality, and social and feminist theory.  Currently, Becky is investigating religious identity negotiations among Mormon feminists. She is pursuing a doctorate in Sociology, and a joint master’s in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis.
Christina Hutson Christina Hutson earned her BA in Anthropology from Vanderbilt University in 2013. She also has minors in Sociology and Latin American Studies. Her interests include queer studies, intersectionality, and issues surrounding identity. Interest in identity issues includes, but is not limited to, self-identifying/labels/labeling and the idea of “outing”/being “outed.” She is interested in the different ways individuals choose to navigate identity, labeling, and outing in different environments and various aspects of daily life.
Sam Leonard Samantha Leonard received her BA in anthropology and sociology, with a minor in Hispanic Studies, from Vassar College in 2011. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Sociology and the joint MA in Sociology and Women & Gender Studies at Brandeis. Before coming to Brandeis, Samantha served as a Youth Development worker with the Peace Corps in the Eastern Caribbean and has worked for several years in the U.S. in direct services, primarily in foster care and domestic violence counseling/advocacy. Her primary research interests include gender/sexuality, cultural sociology, social movements/social change, and the dynamics of community development and social networks. 
Amity Pauley Amity Pauley earned her BA in Women’s Studies and Interpersonal Communication with minors in Anthropology and French and an Honors Program certificate from Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Her Honors Program thesis is titled “Terroir of Two Places: Exploring the Potentials and Limitations for Feminist Outcomes in French and US Food Movements.” Amity looks forward to continuing her research, refining it, and potentially expanding it to other national contexts. Her general interests include but are not limited to: feminist theory, human geography, food studies, critical theory, cultural studies, history, social movements, ecology, anarcha-feminism, empathy, and rhetoric.

Joint MA in Sustainable International Development and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Nidhi Sen

Nidhi Sen is currently a Senior Programme Officer with National Foundation for India, based in New Delhi. After completing her Master's in Political Science from Jawaharlal Nehru University, she has worked in the field of human rights, governance and development with some of the leading civil society organisations in the country. She has engaged at the grassroots level with a range of issues like strengthening systems of care and protection for vulnerable adolescent girls in urban poor communities and trafficking of women and children along the Indo-Bangladesh border. At the policy level, she has looked at specific laws and policies to address violence against women in public and private spaces as well as strengthening gender responsive budgeting in India.