PhD Students in Sociology
Julia's interests include medical sociology, aging, death and dying, and the family. Her dissertation research examines end-of-life decision-making and family experiences of bereavement.
Becky's interests include religion, feminism, identity, gender and sexuality. Becky is currently investigating religious identity negotiations among Mormon feminists. She is pursuing a doctorate in Sociology, and a joint master's in Sociology and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Brandeis University
Thomas' general research interests include science, technology, health, and culture. His previous work focused on psychiatric attitudes towards the promise of neuroimaging in clinical practice. He is currently working on a project that examines how lab scientists integrate multiple levels of analysis to theoretically model sense perception.
Margaret's research interests include religion, social movements, sexualities and gender. She has previously researched liberal religious leaders' responses to Proposition 8 in California (the 2008 ballot initiative that defined marriage as between one man and one woman) and the relationships between atheism and sexualities.
Jing's general research interests include sociology of art and culture, sociology of education, inequality, globalization, and nationalism, particularly cultural nationalism and postcolonial nationalism.
Jillian's general research interests include genocide, mass atrocity, gender and human rights. She is particularly interested in the use of national narratives following mass atrocity.
She is also pursuing 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 research interests include gender/sexuality, cultural sociology, violence/trauma, community, and creative practices in social movements/social change.
Prior to attending Brandeis Nicholas taught reading and social studies as a member of Teach For America in Chicago and Gary, Indiana. Nicholas' interests include race and class based inequalities, educational inequality, as well as social movements and social change.
Jake's research interests include mass media, popular culture, economic sociology and inequality. His previous work focused on allegorical messages in "Star Trek: The Original Series" in the context of the American Civil Rights Movement and the Cold War. He is currently working on a study of online illegal markets and another on the role of the insurance industry in the economic dangers of climate change.
Catherine's dissertation research compares two major health social movements—autistic self-advocacy and alternative biomedical—that have mobilized around Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and are challenging conventional scientific and medical authority. Through observations, interviews, and textual analysis this study examines how different orientations toward a medicalized condition structure access to embodied and (dis)embodied knowledge, direct health social movement identification, and shape epistemological affinity. By looking across these two orientations, partial knowledges are examined collectively to create a multi-faceted understanding of experiences with a medicalized condition. Catherine's areas of interest include medical sociology, science knowledge & technology, and qualitative methods.
Alex is a PhD candidate whose work focuses on innovation, professions and organizational culture. Her dissertation explores how professional labor market experiences impact firm innovation. Her previous research examined how sociology can be used as a strategy to support the long-term unemployed. Her work in this area has led to the recognition of the Obama administration and the successful formation of The Institute for Career Transitions. Alex also focuses on several topics within medical sociology, and continues to research the connection between health, technology and environments. She is a passionate qualitative researcher who is currently conducting ethnographic research in Chicago, Illinois, and an experiential educator who motivates her students to achieve at their highest potential.
For her recent publications, please visit Alex's website.
Ann's interests include environmental sociology, community development, social policy, public sociology, and qualitative methods. Prior to attending Brandeis, Ann spent four years as an AmeriCorps member through the Bonner Service Leaders Program. She is currently working on research regarding deliberative democracy, the environmental justice movement, and the concept of local knowledge.
PhD Students in Sociology and Near Eastern and Judaic Studies
Rachel's research interests include religion in emerging adulthood, Jewish culture and the arts, and gender and sexuality. Rachel has previously conducted research on new Jewish leadership, Jewish education, and gender and American Jewish families. She has published on images of young Jewish women in television and film, and the gendered division of household and religious labor in Jewish families. She is currently working on her dissertation research investigating the cultural and ethnic connections of Jewish young adults in their 20s and 30s and the relationships that impact Jewish identity during this life phase.
PhD Students in Sociology and Heller School for Social Policy
Sara is pursuing a joint doctorate in sociology and social policy. Her research focuses on workforce development programs for low-wage job seekers, with a particular interest in the cultural assumptions that define employability for low-wage workers. Her dissertation uses ethnographic research combined with quantitative analysis to examine job readiness training programs for low-income people. Sara also works as a Research Associate in the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at The Heller School, where she conducts research and program evaluation on family homelessness, low-wage work, and collaborative service delivery models.
Kim's research interests fall at the intersection of sociology, economics, and social policy; she studies women in the workforce with a focus on low-wage work and volunteer organizations. Her dissertation will uncover and explore the business and labor practices used by self-employed careworkers, and it will address the issue of turnover in early childhood education. Other projects include an ethnographic study of subcultures, organizations, and market economics in modern roller derby and a qualitative interview project on family child care providers' perceptions of education regulations. Kim is currently the Civic Research Director at the Mayor's Office of New Urban Mechanics in the City of Boston.
Rachel's general research interests include environmental sociology, community and urban sociology, sustainability, housing, environmental justice, and disaster and risk. Current projects examine how sustainability plans and affordable housing policies are coordinated, developed, and implemented at multiple levels of government. Rachel has also been working with the National Fire Protection Association to study disaster preparedness, response practices, inter-agency collaboration, and community risk reduction in wildland-urban interfaces around the country.
Alexis Mann is a Research Associated at the Institute on Assets and Social Policy and PhD Candidate in the joint Social Policy and Sociology program and Brandeis University. With a background in mixed methods research, her interests focus on the how regional and city context shapes economic inequality. In particular, her research focuses on how families build and sustain economic security, in the face of increasing rates of economic insecurity nationally. Alexis also holds a degree in documentary photography from The Salt Institute of Documentary Studies in Maine.
Allison is pursing a joint PhD in social policy and sociology with the Heller School. Allison's research interests include youth civic engagement, policy design and political voice, and participatory research methods. She has previously served as the Assistant Director of the Center for Ethics & Social Responsibility at the University of Alabama, and completed internships and consultancies with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA), and the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE).