Current Students

Maria Azocar

Maria is a doctoral candidate in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Sociology. Her research interests are at the intersection of the sociology of expertise, sociology of professions, sociology of law, and the sociology of gender. She studies how professional groups construct their expert knowledge and how power differentials matter in that process. For her doctoral dissertation, she is studying the policy debates on pension reform in Chile and how economists in interaction with lawyers and social scientists have constructed the boundaries of their expertise.

Miriam Barcus

Miriam is a PhD candidate in sociology at UW-Madison. Her research interests include gender, work, and the family as well as policy related to these areas, with a particular focus on parental leave. She is especially interested in how workplace factors and policy influence the way couples divide paid and unpaid work and how this division of labor becomes gendered or degendered. In 2016, Miriam was part of a small research team that was awarded a U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau grant to study family and medical leave use and need among City of Madison employees. The study included a survey of all 2,800 City employees, longitudinal administrative data, and interviews with supervisors and key personnel. The results of the study are being used to inform the development of a potential paid family and medical leave policy for City employees. Additionally, Miriam is drawing on this rich data to explore the workplace, relational, and attitudinal factors that encourage and discourage men’s caregiving leave use.

Ruby Bafu

Ruby is a Mellon Mays Fellow and first-year Doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. She recently graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and minors in Inequality Studies and Spanish. Her previous work examines the racial nature of Black natural hair in the Dominican Republic and the United States as well as its impact on the everyday social experiences of Black women. Drawing on 20 IRB-approved interviews in both English and Spanish, her study looked at the political, gendered and racial aspects of Black natural hair in the context of the Dominican Republic and the United States. Broadly, her research interests include race and ethnicity, social inequality, education, and mass incarceration. She hopes to couple her work experience as a middle school teacher this past summer with her interest in race and gender to do work on disproportionate disciplining in schools and its impact on the educational outcomes and life experiences of young, Black girls.

Yun K. Cho

Yun, a doctoral student in Sociology, comes from a hard science background, having studied Environmental Science, Biology, and Civil and Environmental Engineering. After noticing the distinct lack of women in engineering, she became interested in researching women in male dominated fields, cultural and institutional changes through interactions and relationships, and higher education as a workplace as well as an educational institution. She is completing her master’s thesis in Sociology using cross-national interview data on women scientists and engineers in academia in South Korea and Madison. Her thesis research explores how mentoring relationships support individuals’ strategies and facilitate cultural transformation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Alexis Dennis

Alexis is a graduate student in Sociology. Her research interests include autoethnography, microsociology, gender, race and ethnicity, and urban and community sociology. Her research has focused on Black women and their lived experiences particularly in both their personal and professional lives, their relationships to mainstream feminism, and their conceptualizations of community. She is especially interested in the upward mobility of poor racial groups and their experiences as they break into the middle-class. She explores aspects of alienation and the families/communities they are compelled to create within and outside of professional and familial communities. Her current work examines the experiences of working class women of color who work and/or are students in the academy and how they struggle to make meaning of race and class membership in predominantly white, privileged spaces.

Frankie (S. Frank)

Originally from Denver, Colorado, Frankie (S. Frank) is currently a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Wisconsin – Madison in the Department of Sociology. Research interests include: gender, sexuality, menstruation, relationships, intimacy, sex roles, bodies & embodiment, body modification, disabilities, intersectionality, qualitative methods. Recently, Frankie was published in Sexuality and Culture. Frankie spends her free time kayaking, crafting and spending time her cats.

Kristina Marie Fullerton Rico

I am a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research interests include ethnography, gender, race and ethnicity, migration and transnationalism. My work is inspired by my own experiences as a Mexican immigrant. Currently, I’m working on a project at the intersection of migration and communication to examine how technologies impact relationships in general and how these technologies can, and cannot, circumvent distance to maintain emotional closeness in the absence of physical contact –– an increasingly common experience for migrants in a globalized world. Before coming to graduate school, I worked in the feminist non-profit sector.

Shreenita Ghosh

Shreenita Ghosh (SJMC) is a third-year doctoral student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at UW-Madison. Her primary field of research interest is in Social Movements, digital media, and social networks.

Annaliese Grant

A graduate student at UW-Madison, Annaliese’s research focuses on low-income families in the U.S. as they relate to each other, to media/pop culture, and to the state. She uses mixed methods to focus mainly on the experiences of low-income women in families, as well as larger questions of gender and media/technology. In undergrad at Barnard College, she double-majored in Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a minor in Math. All three of these interests show-up and frame her current work.

Nona Maria Gronert

Nona is a doctoral student in Sociology and a Law & Society Graduate Fellow. Her research focuses on sexual consent and sexual assault in the context of higher education. Her dissertation studies how the governance of sexual assault and harassment has changed at one large, public, Midwestern university from 1972 through 2017. Nona’s other current project investigates study abroad coordinators’ and their students’ perceptions of gendered risk in Germany. Outside of her research, Nona serves on the board of Breakthrough Dance Company. | homepage

Garrett Grainger

Garrett L. Grainger is a PhD student in the department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His dissertation research incorporates theoretical models/findings associated with intimate relationships, life course, emotions, gender, and social stratification. More specifically, he contributes to life course scholarship by exploring the impact of institutional inclusion on relationship stability/longevity amongst gay and lesbian couples transitioning into retirement. To this end, Garrett utilizes a multi-method design that incorporates survey data and in-depth interviews to illuminate the processes associated with this status transformation. Garrett earned his M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (2013) and B.S. from the University of Central Florida (2010).

Isaac Sohn Leslie

Isaac, or “Ike,” researches connections between social justice and ecological sustainability in food systems in the U.S. and Latin America. His article about gender and sexuality in agriculture, “Queer Farmers: Sexuality and the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture,” is published in Rural Sociology. Ike’s work can also be found in Agriculture and Human Values and the Handbook of the Sociology of Racial and Ethnic Relations. Before starting his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ike earned an M.A. in Sociology and M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire and a B.A. in International Studies and Music from Vassar College. | homepage

Gina Marie Longo

Gina Marie Longo is a recent PhD graduate of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she is a post-doc at the Law School at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She specializes in the sociology of gender, race and ethnicity, immigration, and digital sociology. Her current research focuses on how the U.S. spousal reunification system (re)constructs and polices citizenship and nation | homepage

Morgan C. Matthews

Morgan is a PhD student in sociology whose research areas span gender, political sociology, and work organizations. Her research, which has appeared in Socius and The Society Pages’ Feminist Reflections blog, focuses on gender inequalities in political representation and legislative leadership. She is currently working on a project that examines how trends in gender representation in state legislatures are affected by rising partisan polarization. Morgan holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.S. in Sociology from UW-Madison. Before moving to Madison, she worked in the field of teaching and learning supporting the evaluation of educational initiatives at her alma mater.

Chiara Packard

Chiara is a Sociology PhD student with research interests in criminal justice, politics of punishment, gender, and race. Her Master’s focuses on how feminist activists navigate the television news discourse that emerged following a highly publicized gang rape in New Delhi in December 2012. In particular, she analyzes the process through which activists move the discourse beyond the criminal justice frame, bringing in feminist understandings of violence against women. Moving forward, Chiara is doing preliminary research on the development of the punitive state in the US, looking in particular at how and why states have followed diverging carceral trajectories. She uses a variety of methods in her work, such as discourse analysis, content analysis, and comparative-historical methods. She is always happy to discuss her research or similar topics with anyone that might have overlapping interests.

Lauren Parnell Marino

Lauren is a PhD student in the Development Studies Program. Her research interests include gender, empowerment discourse, women’s labor force participation, and international development. She is particularly interested in Uganda, but is broadly interested in the African continent. Lauren is currently studying Luganda as a FLAS Fellow and also spends time working in the university’s African Studies Program. Before coming to Madison, Lauren worked in the international development sector, including time at Ashoka, Uganda Crafts, and the Interfaith Youth Core. She earned a Bachelor’s degree with honors from Northwestern University in Social Policy, and a Master’s degree in Gender, Globalization, and Rights from the National University of Ireland, Galway as a George J. Mitchell Scholar. In her spare time, she’s a birder, baker, and photographer. | homepage

Madeleine Pape

Madeleine is an Australian Ph.D candidate in Sociology at UW-Madison. Her dissertation examines how the institutions of sport, law, and science make decisions about how to define sex and gender difference. In 2015, Madeleine was involved in an international court case where Dutee Chand, an Indian sprinter, successfully appealed the Hyperandrogenism Regulations of the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations). These regulations imposed a limit on the amount of naturally occurring testosterone allowed in the bodies of female athletes. You can read more on Madeleine’s website. Her other research explores the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in participatory budgeting, drawing in particular on feminist theories of participatory democracy and citizenship.

Isabel Pike

Isabel is a PhD Candidate in Sociology. Her research focuses on gender, economic change, and the transition to adulthood in sub-Saharan Africa, drawing on qualitative and quantitative methods. Based on life-history interviews with a broad age range of men and women, her dissertation examines how shifting patterns of work amidst persistent economic uncertainty shape gendered attitudes and experiences in rural and urban Kenya. She likes thinking about how gender and socio-demographic theoretical approaches can be integrated. Before graduate school, she worked at the UN World Food Programme in West Africa.|homepage

Malú Machuca Rose

Malú Machuca Rose is a graduate student in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Their research focuses on trans and queer death and survival, nightlife, sex and risk, feminism, critical theory, art and healing justice. They have co-authored Nuestra Voz Persiste (2016) and Estado de Violencia (2014) as part of their work in the No Tengo Miedo collective in Lima, Perú.

Di Wang

Di Wang is a feminist researcher and advocate from China. She is a PhD candidate of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin−Madison, with a focus on LGBTQ rights, legal mobilization and social policy. Her research has been informed by her ten-year experience as a women’s and LGBTQ rights advocate. Using family rights as a focal point, her dissertation investigates the globalization of LGBTQ rights, with an empirical focus on two powerful states – China and the United States. Her work is committed to research-based advocacy and the advancement of analytical tools for social change. She has worked on projects that evaluate the impact of law on women’s and LGBTQ rights in China and in the U.S. with organizations like the Center for LGBTQ Studies (CLAGS), PILnet: the Global Network for Public Interest Law, Gender Equality Advocacy and Action Network (GEAAN) and the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Dee Wilkinson

Dee is a graduate student in the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies working on her second Masters degree. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from University College London’s (UCL) Institute of Education and came to UW-Madison in July of 2017 after finishing a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice. Dee’s Ph.D. research presented the first ‘home international’ comparative analysis examining England’s and Northern Ireland’s policy processes with regard to making sex and relationships education a statutory component of their national curricula for schools. Her central research interest is in studying the sexual attitudes and behaviours of young people and sex and relationships education policy-making in European countries of post-religious and national identity conflict. A research goal of Dee’s is to secure funding so that she can (working with local scholars and third-sector sexual health organisations) conduct a similar study as the British Nastal – which since 1990 has purposefully excluded the Northern Irish population from its research – to look at the sexual attitudes and lifestyles of those within Northern Ireland. Additional areas of research interest include: evaluating and comparing public health and education policy-making and management at the national and local level; comparing the (often times missing) discourse of sexual pleasure and rights within sex and relationships education policies and the ways in which dominant gendered discourses vary across countries, variously effecting young people’s sexual meaning-making practices within schools and their own intimate relationships; and the similar and dissimilar ways women express their gender, sexuality and reproductive rights in post conflict European countries.

Jaclyn Wypler

Jaclyn is a doctoral student in the departments of Sociology and Community & Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison. She brings her background working on small vegetable farms to her ethnographic research on lesbian and queer sustainable farmers is the rural Midwest. In an era of intense political polarization, she investigates the social and economic relationships between the farmers and their neighbors, their customers, and their families. What might these relationships say about queer experiences, rural life, and the ways in which people negotiate differences? Her research speaks to the intersections of gender, sexualities, rurality, agrofood systems, and social psychological subfields.

Katie Zaman

Katie’s dissertation is about the relationship between women’s economic empowerment and the social risks required to challenge gender oppression. She is using the stories of women who live and work in the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh to explore this topic. She loves teaching the Sociology of Gender and the Sociology of Marriage and Families. Katie has a background in community health, program planning, and project evaluation. | homepage | CV