Graduate Student

Jessamin Birdsall

Jessamin Birdsall in the joint degree program in Sociology in Social Policy. After receiving her B.A. in Sociology from Harvard (2010), Jessamin spent several years working in the international development sector, based in Delhi and in London. Her current research focuses on religious pluralism, identity formation, and political mobilization in the United States and United Kingdom.

Martin Sybblis

Martin’s research examines commercial law in a comparative context. His dissertation focuses on the role of lawyers in the development of commercial law in the British Caribbean post-colonies of Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. Immediately prior to his doctoral studies, Martin served as a consultant to the World Bank; he also practiced law for over seven years, as an Assistant County Attorney (in-house counsel) for Miami-Dade County and an Associate at Bingham McCutchen LLP. Upon graduating from law school, he served as a Law Clerk to United States District Court Judge Marcia G.

Megan Michelle

Megan is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology and Social Policy. Her broad research interests include policing, neighborhood inequality, race, and social control. Her current project uses mixed methods to examine the impacts of low-level interactions between police officers and civilians. At Princeton, Megan is affiliated with the African American Studies Department and Prison Teaching Initiative. She earned her BA in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and worked at the Institute for Policy Studies and Mathematica Policy Research before coming to Princeton.

David Barron Schwartz

David Schwartz is an organizational ethnographer who studies new organizational forms, workplace technology, and alternative work arrangements. His dissertation work explores collaborative relationships between firms and online communities. The motivating questions include: how firms foster long-term commitment from online communities and their members, how firms use software tools to manage innovative projects with collaborators beyond their walls, and how knowledge is transferred between internal teams and external contributors.

Vivekananda Nemana

Vivek Nemana is a PhD student in Sociology and Social Policy. He is interested in the effects of global markets and media on people's constructions of community and identity. To that end, his research examines changing norms of masculinity in small towns in India and the midwestern United States. Other interests include the the sociology of culture, migration, ethnomethodology, and science and technology studies. Vivek holds a master's degree in Economics from New York University, as well as an undergraduate degree in journalism and economics, also from New York University.

Shay O'Brien

Shay O'Brien studies elites and conservatives in the United States. Her areas of interest include economic sociology, elite sociology, race & ethnicity, and religion. Before beginning graduate school at Princeton, Shay worked on a large-scale randomized control trial at the social policy research firm MDRC. She graduated from Brown University with a B.A. in Anthropology (Honors), where she was a research assistant in the Anthropology department and won the prizes for Best Honors Thesis and Highest Achievement in Linguistic Anthropology.

Ulrike Bialas

Ulrike’s research is on unaccompanied minor asylum seekers in Germany. At this early stage of fieldwork, she is interested in how young asylum seekers and the various actors they encounter during their first years in Germany--including social workers, medical examiners, and legal guardians--differently construct youth and minority as both sociocultural and legal categories. Ulrike received her BA and MA in Social Sciences from Humboldt University of Berlin, where she also worked as a research assistant at the Urban Sociology department.

Taylor Paige Winfield

Taylor Winfield graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University in 2013, with a major in sociology and a minor in anthropology. Her dissertation investigates how the United States Military transforms civilians into soldiers. She is interested how incoming recruits, whose civilian identities are constrained by the regimented institutional context, re- fashion personal self-definitions. How do they experience trading in their unique clothes for uniforms, their preferred food for mess halls meals, and individualized routines for rigid schedules?

Henry Gomory

Henry received a BA in sociology from Harvard College with a minor in statistics. He is interested in poverty, social mobility, and housing insecurity. His past research used administrative datasets to look at the consequences of rising rent prices in Boston, and his current research examines the connection between substandard housing conditions and eviction. He is part of the Joint Degree Program in Social Policy and affiliated with the Office of Population Research.

Sarah Reibstein

Sarah’s research is concerned with sites and narratives of political, economic, and cultural alternatives to neoliberalism and authoritarianism. She has pursued this thus far in her graduate degree through mixed method empirical and theoretical work on the liberty movement and on broad-based income sharing policies. Sarah previously held positions at Foundation Center and Post Growth Institute, and she received a B.A. from Northwestern University in 2012 in Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences, Anthropology, and Economics.

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