Princeton University Shield Princeton University

Graduate Students

First Year

Clark Bernier received his BA from Knox College in 2002, with a major in Political Economy and earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland in 2004, with a focus on energy policy. He spent several years doing energy policy research before co-founding a software company San Francisco tech industry. Studying social theory in his spare time, he became interested in the roles that quantification and software play in organizations and in coordination more broadly.

Jessamin Birdsall received her BA from Harvard College in 2010, graduating with highest honors in Sociology. Her senior thesis – “Divided by Faith: Religion, Ethnicity and the Boundaries of Belonging in Contemporary Fiji” – examined the interaction of religious and ethnic identities in social boundary dynamics and immigrant integration for the Indo-Fijian community. After college, Jessamin spent four years working in the international development sector, based in Delhi and in London. At Princeton, Jessamin is keen to continue investigating social boundary processes around immigrant integration and the role of religion in boundary crossing/blurring/shifting. She is particularly interested in comparative study of the South Asian diaspora in the United States and Western Europe.

Megan M. Blanchard received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley, graduating with high honors in Sociology. After graduating, she worked at Mathematica Policy Research as a research assistant and statistical software programmer primarily in education, health, and early childhood policy topic areas. Her research interests include neighborhood inequality, police brutality, race and segregation.

Kyle Chan received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Chicago and an M.Sc. in Political Sociology from the London School of Economics. Before coming to Princeton, he worked in management consulting for several years in San Francisco and London, covering a range of industries including health care, pharmaceuticals, financial services, IT, and media and entertainment. His research interests include the formation of state institutions, authoritarian regimes, political corruption, and the transnational diffusion of ideologies. He also loves junk food from around the world.

Liora O'Donnell Goldensher graduated from Smith College in 2010 with majors in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies. After college, she worked as a labor and faith-based community organizer in Massachusetts and California, participating in campaigns around issues such as progressive taxation and worker protection in the care industry. Her interests include gender and sexuality and social movements.

Gozde Guran received an MA in Near Eastern Studies at New York University and a BA in Political Science from Bogazici University, Istanbul. Her research has focused on the politics of expertise in a variety of settings, including rural credit markets, transnational energy projects, and legal advocacy organizations. At Princeton, she hopes to explore the role of expertise in market arrangements, political control, and social contention in the Middle East.

Kalyani Monteiro Jayasankar received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Mount Holyoke College in 2013. Before coming to Princeton, Kalyani worked as a research assistant at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai on a comparative project that explored the link between urban restructuring and structural violence in Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, and Durban. Her previous research has explored the impact of urban redevelopment on community life in an informal settlement in Mumbai. In graduate school she is interested in comparatively studying cities and social movements in the context of the global south.

Rebecca JohnsonRebecca Johnson received a B.A. studying psychology (honors) with a minor in economics, and an M.A. in modern religious thought, ethics, and philosophy, each from Stanford University. Before coming to Princeton, she was a research fellow at the National Institute of Health’s Department of Bioethics. Previous research focused on cultural notions of what activities should count as paid work, ethical and historical aspects of psychiatric classification, and the effect of disease-specific advocacy groups on health inequalities. Her broad research interests while at Princeton include organizations, knowledge/medicine, and economic sociology. (web page)

Leah Reisman graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in Anthropology in 2011. Before coming to Princeton in 2014 she worked as a researcher in the museum field, most recently on the staff of UC Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science. In graduate school she is interested in pursuing work in the sociology of culture and organizational ethnography, with applications to cultural policy. Her specific interests include cultural organizations, evaluation, and philanthropy in the United States and Mexico.

Grace TienGrace Tien received a B.A. from Wellesley College, where she majored in Political Science and minored in Economics in 2012. Her senior thesis was a study of China’s Boss Christians – Christian entrepreneurs whose economic success and geographic concentration has yielded them substantial autonomy – and their distinctive business practices, focusing on the synthesis of Confucian and Christian influences on business practices and management. After working as a corps member in Baltimore with Teach for America, she came to Princeton where she has served as a research assistant in the Center for the Study of Religion. At Princeton, she plans to pursue research in sociology of religion and culture and examine how these intersect with politics, business, and development in the context of China.

Hannah WaightHannah Waight received an MA (2014) and BA (2010) in East Asian Studies, both from Harvard University. Before coming to Princeton she also spent a year at Yunnan University (2011) in Kunming, China. Her previous research concerned the Chinese educational system, in particular the organization of Chinese universities. Hannah is interested economic and cultural sociology, especially the construction of labor markets in developing economies, the impact of quantified measures in research organizations, and, increasingly, the household economy.

Second Year

Amanda Cheong,
graduated with a B.A. (Hons) in Sociology from the University of British Columbia in 2012. Her research interests include the human rights crisis of statelessness, nation-building, migration, and race/ethnicity. Prior to coming to Princeton, Amanda worked with stateless and undocumented communities in Malaysia as part of a local child rights legal advocacy organization. She received a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Award for Statelessness Research for her undergraduate thesis on the civic attitudes of stateless Chinese-Bruneian immigrants.

Sharon Cornelissen received her B.A. in Liberal Arts and Sciences at University College Utrecht (the Netherlands) and her M.A. in Sociology at the New School for Social Research. During her Master’s she did participant-observation fieldwork with dumpster divers in New York City. Her areas of interest include ethnography, inequality, consumption and the sociology of culture.

Leah Gillion received her MA in Math Education from the University of Rochester and her BS in economics from Florida A&M University.  For the past seven years, she has taught mathematics in urban city school districts.  Her teaching experiences have influenced her research interest in the sociology of education.  More specifically, her interests include education inequality, race and ethnicity, and public policy.

Samantha Jaroszewski graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2013 with a BA in Sociology with honors and distinction and minors in Women’s Studies and the Study of Christianity and Culture. While at UNC, Sam worked as a research assistant in sociology, a demography trainee at the Carolina Population Center, and a tutor at the Writing Center. Her research interests include social theory, gender, and religion.

Andrés Lajous,
Master’s in City Planning (MIT); BA Political Science and International Relations. (CIDE, México City). Before coming to Princeton, Andrés worked as a journalist and editor in Mexico. His main areas of interest are political sociology and urban studies. He is particularly interested in state-formation, institutions and intuitional capacity, violence, and Latin America. 

Andrew Ledford,
Andrew has an undergraduate degree in Ocean Engineering with a minor in Spanish as well as a master's degree in International Relations. His focus will be on Iranian Studies and Social Network Analysis. He has a working knowledge of Spanish and Arabic and is currently learning Persian.  In addition to spending time with his wife and four children, he enjoys surfing, skydiving, and dog training.

Joel Mittleman (SOC) received a B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College in 2009.  After graduation, he worked for two years as a research assistant in the Urban Institute's Education Policy Center.  As a Marshall Scholar, he studied Comparative Education at London's Institute of Education and Philosophy and Public Policy at the London School of Economics.  He is interested in stratification, sociology of education, sociology of the family, and organizational theory.

Sophie Moullin is in the joint program in Sociology and Social Policy with the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She received a B.A. in Social and Political Science from the University of Cambridge, and a Masters in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences from Columbia University, where she was a US-UK Fulbright Scholar. Between 2008 and 2010, Sophie was a Senior Policy Advisor in social policy in the UK Prime Minister's strategy unit. A member of Princeton’s Office of Population Research, she is primarily interested in inequality, social mobility, demography, and child and family wellbeing. 

Nicole Pangborn earned a BA in Mathematics from Johns Hopkins University and an MPhil in Applied Biological Anthropology from the University of Cambridge. Her MPhil thesis used the frequencies of certain food- and eating-related terms in 38 million Twitter posts to detect regional obesity trends in the continental United States. After graduation, Nicole continued to analyze Twitter data while working for social search engine Topsy in San Francisco. Her broad areas of interest include web-based social research and spatial patterns of health-related ideologies. (web site)

Emilce Santana received a B.A. in Sociology from the University of Pennsylvania (2013).  As an undergrad, she has done qualitative work exploring the life goals of Mexican immigrant families in new destination areas. For Emilce’s senior thesis, she used a quantitative approach to examine how the teacher-student relationship relates to the educational outcomes of children of Latino immigrants. Her research interests broadly include immigration, social stratification and race/ethnicity.

David Schwartz graduated from Hamilton College in 2013 with a B.A. in Sociology and Government. His undergraduate honors thesis investigated the impact of foreclosure on neighborhood life in the Sun Belt. While attending Hamilton, David worked on survey development at the Bureau of Labor Statistics and studied refugee networks in Utica, New York. His research interests include neighborhood effects, suburban development, urban institutions, and survey methodology.

Martin Sybblis,
B.A., University of Connecticut; M.P.P., Princeton University – Woodrow Wilson School; J.D., University of Michigan Law School.  Martin was a corporate lawyer in Boston, MA and a local government lawyer in Miami, FL before he began his graduate studies at Princeton.  He also served as a consultant to the World Bank and a law clerk to the Hon. Marcia G. Cooke in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida.  Martin is a member of the Massachusetts, Florida and Washington, DC. bars. His research interests include the sociology of development, political sociology and sociology of law.  

Mélanie Terrasse graduated with a B.A. in Sociology from Franklin and Marshall College in 2013. Her senior thesis examined the portrayal of ethnic minority characters in popular French films. Her research interests include comparative and historical sociology, race and ethnic relations, immigration and national identity. 

Jason Windawi,
received a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University and an M.A. in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences from Columbia University. His work experience before beginning graduate studies at Princeton included consulting to pension funds and investment managers. Jason’s academic interests include risk, complexity and governance in economic institutions, as well as economic and organizational sociology more broadly.

Han Zhang,
B.S., Computer Science and B.A., History (Minor), Peking University (2013). Han's board research interests include social networks, computational social science, quantitative methods, and historical sociology. He conducted a computational-model based study of relative deprivation, showing that, under certain assumptions, feelings about inequality may vary (given constant real levels of inequality) based on the relationship between the number of friends one has, the number of friends one’s friends have, and the correlation between number of friends and own income. He also hopes to explore methods of doing social science research with online data. For more information, you can visit his webpage.

Third Year

Cheng Cheng,
Cheng graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2012 with a BA in Sociology with Concentration in Analysis and Research. Her areas of interest include aging, demography, and family sociology. Her senior honors thesis examined the interactive effects of retirement and children on the mental health of older Americans. While at UW-Madison, she worked as a research assistant in Wisconsin’s Applied Population Lab and for the Wisconsin Scholars Longitudinal Study. Cheng is also part of the Office of Population Research.

Angela Dixon received a B.S. in Psychology and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2011). Prior to coming to Princeton in fall 2012, she lived in 11 countries as a volunteer with local organizations. Her experiences in a variety of cross-national contexts (including Singapore, England, Tanzania, and Mexico) have prompted a strong interest in the cultural construction of race and its implications for social and economic mobility for people of African descent. Her research interests include race/ethnicity, sociology of education, and social stratification.

Heba Gowayed earned a BA in Political Science from the American University in Cairo (AUC) and an MA in Sociology from Columbia University. Upon graduating from the AUC, she became a researcher at the Social Research Center of the same institution, on a team that designed and oversaw the implementation of the Egyptian Conditional Cash transfer; a poverty alleviation program. Heba's areas of interest include Economic Sociology and Social Policy.

Caroline Holcombe received her B.A. in Sociology and the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality from Rice University (2009). Since graduating, she has worked her way from a research intern to director of social measurement and evaluation at Children at Risk in Houston, devoting much of her attention to the use of data in education. She is interested in the sociology of the family, sociology of education, and stratification.

Sarah James,
Graduated from Rice University in 2012 with a B.A. in Sociology and a Minor in Business. Her research interests include education, demography, and family, and she is also a part of the Office of Population Research. Her undergraduate honors thesis examined attitudes toward undocumented immigration policies among residents of Houston, Texas. While at Rice, Sarah was also a part of the NSF-funded Perceptions of Women Academic Scientists study and Religion and Public Life Program.

Allison Kenney
B.A. Public Policy Studies and German Languages & Literature, Duke University. Following her undergraduate degree, Allison spent one year in Essen, Germany as a Fulbright Fellow and then three years in Chicago, Illinois working for the Distributed Leadership Study at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy. Her research interests include sociology of education, organizational studies, and leadership. 

Jean Nava earned B.A.'s in Sociology, Economics, and Mathematics at The University of Texas at Austin. His Honors thesis explored the impact emigration has had on population structure in Mexico on a state and regional level by examining census data and providing a brief historical analysis of Mexico-to-U.S. migration. His research interests include political economy, economic sociology, neoliberalism and globalization, the international flow of labor, and macroeconomic processes in general.

Kendall Park,
B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, Kendall’s worked as a researcher on gender and the media. After graduation, her work focused on cultural institutions and policy. She is particularly interested in food, food culture, and nutritional policy.

Fourth Year

Cary Beckwith,
Cary comes to sociology with a background in publishing, community organizing, and waiting tables.  As a graduate student he is interested broadly in the sociology of markets, culture, and knowledge.  He is particularly interested in how people negotiate the market's influence on areas of life considered off-limits to the market.  He has a B.A. in philosophy from Amherst College.

Janeria Easley graduated from Duke University in 2011 with a BA in sociology and in English. Janeria's past work has addressed racial disparities in the transmission of wealth across generations. Her research interests include race/ethnicity, stratification and mobility, and neighborhood effects. She is interested in continuing to develop projects that explore racial differences in intergenerational mobility.

Linsey Edwards,
MA Sociology of Education (New York University); BA Journalism (University of Maryland, College Park). Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, Linsey worked as an education researcher at the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education while a graduate student at NYU, and most recently at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College. She has also spent several years in K-12 education and college access programming in New York City. Linsey’s research interests are in education, social inequality, race/ethnicity, gender, and neighborhoods/residential segregation.

Alfredo García,
BS, Duke University.  MTS, Harvard University.  Alfredo's current research interests focus on the arts and urban renewal in Wynwood, Miami.  He is currently conducting a multi-year ethnography of the neighborhood, which was once the Puerto Rican barrio of Miami and is now one of the most popular arts districts in the area.  In the past, Alfredo has focused on the segment of the U.S. population that identifies itself as having "no religion" on surveys, a diverse group that includes the irreligious, unreligious, anti-religious, and anti-clerical.  Of particular interest to Alfredo have been those who disaffiliate from their religion of birth and also those who join secular organizations such as American Atheists, Humanist societies, etc.  (web site)

Aaron Gottlieb,
B.A., Public Affairs and Political Science, Syracuse University; M.S., Social Welfare Policy, Columbia University. Aaron is interested in exploring the life-course effects of childhood poverty, especially pertaining to education and criminal justice outcomes. He is currently using Fragile Families data to examine the relationship between the Great Recession and private financial transfers. Aaron is also part of OPR

Yossi Harpaz,
M.A. in Sociology and Anthropology, Tel-Aviv University (2009). Yossi's research interests include nationalism, ethnicity, migration and the state. While at Tel-Aviv University, he conducted research on Israelis who obtained passports in their European countries of origin and analyzed the way they understood and experienced their status as dual citizens. Yossi's current project explores the phenomenon of dual citizenship from multiple perspectives and compares the forms it takes in different settings, including Israel, the former Yugoslavia, Western Europe and the United States. His work was published in the journals International Migration Review and Megamot.

Glenn Harrison,
B.A. Sociology, Reed College. Glenn's main interests lie in the intersection of sociology of culture, economic sociology and network analysis. His previous research examined the network of collaborations between popular music artists, with results suggesting that more collaborative artists experienced higher rates of success than their noncollaborative peers.

Heather Kugelmass,
Heather Kugelmass earned an M.A. in Quantitative Methods in the Social Sciences (Columbia University) and a B.A. in Psychology (Stony Brook University). Heather’s areas of interest include racial inequality, mental illness, postsecondary education, and experimental methods. Prior to joining Princeton's graduate program, Heather worked in postsecondary education assessment. Her current research focuses on disparities in access to mental health care.

Melanie Wright,
B.A. in Public Policy and Theater Studies, Duke University. Melanie's research interests include the causes of the achievement gap during early childhood, particularly from a family neighborhood perspective. She is also interested in the government's role in mitigating inequalities among children. Before graduate school, she worked as a research assistant on the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Project and researched social capital among disadvantaged single mothers.

Fifth Year

Edward BerchickEdward Berchick,
B.A., Health & Societies and Philosophy, University of Pennsylvania; M.P.H., Yale University. Edward's research focuses on the relationship between health and inequality across people, populations, and cohorts. His previous research examined socieconomic inequality and the health consequences of involuntary job loss.  He is in the joint degree program in social policy and the Office of Population Research.

Angelina GrigoryevaAngelina Grigoryeva,
Angelina graduated with a BA in Sociology from the State University-Higher School of Economics (Moscow, Russia) in 2010. Her broad interests include economic sociology, social inequlity, and quantitative methods.

Patrick IshizukaPatrick Ishizuka,
B.A. Philosophy, Santa Clara University. Patrick’s research focuses on the intersection of work, family, and gender. Prior to coming to Princeton, he worked for several years in education, both in the United States and in Europe. Patrick is affiliated with the Office of Population Research and is in the joint degree program in sociology and social policy.

Scott Moskowitz is interested in the way culture, politics and economics converge to shape identities in the developing world. Currently he is working on the  formation of class identities in the People's Republic of China. Before coming to Princeton he spent several years in Beijing working as an English teacher, journalist and general raconteur. He spent an additional year in Shanghai on a research fellowship after earning an MA in East Asian studies from Yale. He enjoys baking  and hanging out at IKEAs around the world.

Arum ParkArum Park,
BA and MA in Sociology, Seoul National University. Arum's research interests are focused on the issues of information society including internet community, internet addiction, information policy and digital divide. For her master's thesis, she researched the impact of commercial factors on the trust of internet communities. Prior to entering doctorate program, she worked as an intern at the Internet Addiction Prevention Center in Seoul, Korea.

Alex Tham,
Alex graduated with a bachelors in social sciences (honors) from the National University of Singapore in 2004. He is interested in the sociology of risk and uncertainty. Before beginning his graduate studies in 2010, he worked as a political analyst and economic strategist. Alex also has an MSc in Applied Finance from Singapore Management University and an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.

Catherine Thorkelson,
Catherine Thorkelson earned her B.A. in Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species at Columbia University. She subsequently received a M.Sc. in Human Georgraphy from Umeå University, Sweden. Her Master's thesis examined the role of immigrants' origins on chances of being overqualified in the Swedish labor market. Her broad interests include comparative contexts of immigrant integration in the US and Europe, spatial aspects of inequality, and racial and ethnic identity among immigrants and their children. She is a member of the Sociology Department and the Office of Population Research.

Sixth Year

Maria AbascalMaria Abascal,
BA Sociology, Columbia University. Maria’s broad interests include intergroup relations, race/ethnicity and im/migration, nationalism, and political sociology. Her dissertation examines the impact of Hispanic population growth on black-white relations in the United States. For more information, visit her webpage.

Sarah BrayneSarah Brayne,
B.A. (Hons), Sociology, the University of British Columbia. Sarah is a doctoral student in the Joint Degree Program in Sociology and Social Policy. Her research interests include the criminal justice system, stratification and technological change. In her dissertation research, she analyzes the use of Big Data in the criminal justice system. Sarah is part of the Prison Teaching Initiative, teaching sociology classes at a state prison in New Jersey. She is the recipient of a doctoral fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Alexander DavisAlexander Davis,
B.S. in Sociology and Psychology, James Madison University. Alex’s research interests include culture, gender, sexualities, inequality, and organizations. His previous research has examined gender actualization on reality makeover shows and the use of fashion to mobilize multiple and dynamic gender performances. His current work focuses on the structural determinants of homophobia and the organizational production of gender categories and boundaries.

Sergio Galaz GarcíaSergio Galaz García,
BA Political Science and International Relations (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, Mexico City). Sergio’s senior thesis use statistical methods to explore the dynamics of conflict between informal economies and the local government in Mexico City. Prior to entering graduate school, Sergio worked to introduce Budgeting for Results techniques as an internal consultant in the Mexico City Government. His interests include sociology of culture, sociology of space, and political sociology.

Denia GarciaDenia Garcia,
B.A. Sociology and Psychology (Northwestern University). Denia's interests include race/ethnicity, culture and non-profit and ethnic organizations. Her previous research was a qualitative study of status differentiation among youth in Aguascalientes, Mexico. Before starting her graduate studies at Princeton, Denia worked at a non-profit legal assistance agency in Chicago.

Lauren GaydoshLauren Gaydosh,
Lauren received her B.A. in Sociology and Women's Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include the social determinants of health, and the intersection of health, family and gender in the context of development. She is currently working on a project investigating the health and social consequences of parental absence in rural Tanzania. Prior to coming to Princeton she worked for Poverty Action Lab on randomized health economics experiments in Zambia. Lauren is a recipient of the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Tina LeeTina Lee,
B.A. Sociology (Wellesley College).  Her current research uses the market transition theory as a framework to understand how market exposure influences the way in which jobs are attained.  Her research interests lie at the intersections of organizations, economic, and political sociology.  Before coming to Princeton, she worked as the bureau manager of The New York Times in Shanghai. Tina is a recipient of the Edna V. Moffett Fellowship.

Karen MuthKaren Muth Fraley,
Karen received a B.A. in Sociology and International Studies from Northwestern University in 2007. After graduating, she taught English in Russia for a year before receiving a Fulbright grant to do research in Armenia about the families of labor migrants. Her current research interests include international migration (particularly in the former USSR), social networks, and the intersection between xenophobia, race, ethnicity, and nationalism.

Manish NagManish Nag graduated with an A.B. (1997) in Computer Science from Brown University. He followed this with 12 years in the software industry as a consultant and entrepreneur. Manish's sociological interests include social networks, globalization, space/place, labor markets, gender, and organizations. As a research assistant at Harvard, Manish devised a method for visualizing network data in geographic space, the output of which will be included in an AJS article on the social structure of the world polity. Manish is the creator of Sonoma, a software tool for creating geospatial visualizations of social network data. For more information, you can visit his webpage.

David ReineckeDavid Reinecke,
B.A. and M.A. in History and Sociology of Science (University of Pennsylvania). David’s research interests include science studies, information technologies, economic sociology, and the sociology of culture. His past work has examined the challenge of open-source hardware, how to conduct a laptop orchestra, and the market for vintage music equipment. He recently co-taught a class at Penn on the history of science fiction—nerdy perhaps, but oh so fun... (web site)

Brad SmithBrad Smith,
Since completing an undergraduate business degree (B.A., Baylor University) Brad has traveled domestically and abroad as a management consultant, survived and enjoyed life in the investment banking industry, earned a master’s degree in religion (M.Div., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), and directed a leadership studies program at Rice University. Reflecting this array of academic and professional experiences, his research interests include the sociology of: culture, morality, economic phenomena, and religion.

Kyla ThomasKyla Thomas,
B.A. Sociology and Communication Studies (University of California, Los Angeles). Kyla’s research interests include the sociology of culture, economic sociology, creativity, and innovation. While at UCLA, she examined the increasing “corporatization” of Broadway musical theater and its impact on levels of innovation, creative success, and creative diversity in the industry.

Seventh Year & Over

Elizabeth S Derickson

Elizabeth S Derickson,
BA Psychology and Public Policy (Swarthmore College). Her research interests include urban and suburban sociology, inequality, social policy, socio-spatial relations, and culture. Her work includes studies of neighborhood gentrification in New York City, suburban affordable housing development, the social organization of urban small business, and the culture of play in city parks.

Elaine EnriquezElaine Enriquez,
Elaine graduated with a B.A. in Religious Studies from the university of Arizona in 2001, followed by two years in Kazakhstan, two years working in business, then two years studying for a Masters in Russian (University of Arizona, 2007). Areas of sociological interest include economics, specifically informal economies, political sociology of the state, and punishment. She is currently conducting research on prison economies as well as state capacity in developing countries.

Rachael-Heath Ferguson,
B.A. Sociology, Columbia University. Rachael's research interests include ethnography, inequality, culture, social networks, and urban sociology. Her current focus is on the structure and interactions of networked groups in the informal economy, notions of durable inequality, and the formation of social capital in disenfranchised populations. Previously, Rachael studied Philosophy and Theology at the University of Durham (England) and worked for several years as a Wall Street equities trader.

Kerstin Gentsch received her B.A. in Economics and Linguistics from Swarthmore College in 2005. Before coming to Princeton, she worked at the Urban Institute on an evaluation study of financial investments and child outcomes in low-income urban areas. Her dissertation is on peer and place influences in selective college admissions.

James GibbonJames Gibbon,
BA Wheaton College. James' main interests include religion, migration and the Near East, with special emphasis on the role of Islam in modern Turkey and the experiences of Muslim immigrants in the U.S. Before attending Princeton, James spent three years in Istanbul, initially working as the finance manager for a disaster relief project and later teaching English as a foreign language.

Joanne Wang GolannJoanne Wang Golann,
B.A. English, Amherst College (2004). M.A. Social Sciences, University of Chicago (2006). Joanne's research interests include social inequality, higher education, and family. She has worked as a senior research assistant at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, and as an English teaching assistant in Taiwan under the Fulbright program. Her past research has focused on community colleges, the high school to college transition, and undocumented day laborers.

Jennifer HuynhJennifer Huynh,
B.A. Sociology (University of California, Berkeley), M.A. Anthropology (University of Bristol). Jennifer's general interests include immigration, ethnography, and race/ethnicity. Her previous research included work in central/southern Vietnam with racial minorities and in the United Kingdom with first and second generation Somali immigrants. Before joining Princeton, she worked as a sociology instructor in northeast China.

Devra Jaffe-BerkowitzDevra Jaffe-Berkowitz,
B.A. University of Pennsylvania, M.A. Rice University (Sociology of Religion). Devra's interests include religion, culture, families, and minority groups.  Her current research looks at the ways in which individual religious identities are formed in religiously pluralistic societies where identity involves agency - the act of choosing.

Erin Johnston,
B.A. Sociology, Psychology (Rutgers University). Erin’s main areas of interest include culture, religion, social psychology, social and collective identities, and new religious and social movements. Erin’s research includes an investigation of the consequences of contextual racial diversity within US congregations on members’ congregational involvement as well as ethnographic fieldwork and interviews in the New Jersey neo-Pagan community. For more information, please see her web site.

Sarah Kaiksow holds a Masters in Socio-Legal Studies from the University of Oxford (Balliol College), a Masters in Arab Studies from Georgetown, and Bachelors in Sociology and Women's Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include the sociology of law (with a focus on international law and Islamic law), the sociology of gender (with a focus on gender in cross-cultural perspectives), political sociology (with a focus on variations in state formation) and the sociology of the Middle East. Her dissertation examines the role of human rights monitoring in the advancement of democratic governance. In 2012, she was awarded a National Science Foundation Law and Social Science Division Dissertation Grant. Alongside her academic work, Sarah has worked with local women's NGOs in the Middle East to provide start-up and development support, and has served as a Technical Committee member reviewing grants from the Arab States for the UN WOMEN's Fund for Gender Equality.

Kathryn Li,
B.A. Sociology (Rice University). Kati's research interests include religion, health, and family. She is particularly interested in examining how medicalization has shaped the professionalization of the mental health field. Her past research has focused on public attitudes towards Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and on factors that encourage father engagement.

Victoria ReyesVictoria Reyes,
BA International Studies, BA Psychology, The Ohio State University. Victoria’s interests include globalization, power relations, interracial intimacies/encounters, and the fusion of the macro and the micro. Prior to coming to Princeton, she conducted research in the Philippines as a 2006-2007 Fulbright Fellow, and worked as an education associate at a reproductive health non-profit in Washington DC. Victoria is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. (web page)

Allison Youatt SchnableAllison Youatt Schnable,
B.A. Social Relations and Political Theory, Michigan State University; M.A. Social Sciences, University of Chicago. Allison's general areas of interest include globalization, non-profit organizations, religion, and culture. She is writing a dissertation that examines the relationship between globalization and the emergence of American grassroots international aid groups. Before coming to Princeton, Allison served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal and was a Presidential Management Fellow with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She is a graduate fellow of the Center for the Study of Religion, the Center for Arts and Culture Policy Studies, and the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning.

Lauren G SenesacLauren G Senesac,
B.A. Sociology and Computer Science (Furman University). Lauren's research interests include technology, culture, networks, and organizations. Her past research has included such diverse topics as neutralization techniques in fairy tales, needs of lower income residents in a neighborhood center, and the relationship between online game design and emergent norms.

Lori D. SmithLori D. Smith,
B.A. Indiana University 2005. Lori's interests include development, political economy, organizations, and political sociology. More specifically she is interested in how organizational and institutional theories may be used to understand economic performance and interactions between macroeconomic and microeconomic processes, and to account for variation in organizational arrangements and practices. Her next project will explore the "supply-side" of democratization cross-nationally.

Mahesh Somashekhar,
B.S. Engineering Management Systems, Columbia, 2005. Mahesh studies immigration, organizations, economic sociology, and networks, but he is interested in all parts of sociology. His dissertation looks at entrepreneurship and ethnic economy formation among Mexicans in new immigrant destinations across the U.S. In addition to his dissertation, he has done work on how the meso and micro levels of society connect as well as work that analyzes the evolution of social networks among the Freemasons of Washington D.C. Before coming to Princeton, he worked as a research assistant at the Urban Institute. He also served as a research assistant in sociology, anthropology, political science, and demography as an undergraduate.

Jessica YiuJessica Yiu,
Jessica Yiu. B.A. and M.A. Sociology (University of Toronto). Jessica is a PhD Candidate in Sociology with a specialization in Demography. Her broad interests include race/ethnicity, immigration, social stratification and cross-national research. She is particularly interested in the adaptive processes and outcomes of the children of immigrants in comparative perspective. She is affiliated with the Princeton Global Network on Child Migration. She is a recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s Doctoral Fellowship.