Regular Participants

Mosi Adesina Ifatunji | email | website

Ifatunji is an Assistant Professor in the Department of African American Studies and the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is also a Faculty Associate at the Program for Research on Black Americans, which is located in the Research Center for Group Dynamics, at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor; and a Research Scientist at the Institute for Research on Race and Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is interested in racial and ethnic theory and the methodologies used to study inequality and stratification. He is particularly focused on studying the degree to which African Americans and Black immigrants are racialized differently in the United States. His research draws on mostly quantitative methods, and include: large-scale surveys, linked administrative data, social experiments, and historiography.

Pamela Oliver | email | website | blog

Pamela Oliver is a professor. She developed “critical mass” theories of collective action and social movements that stressed the role of organizers, and has written other pieces on social movements theory. She has studied news coverage of protests and other public events. Her current research focuses on Black and other racial minority protest movements, racial disparities in criminal justice, linking theories of repression with theories of crime control, and on developing theory that puts ethnicity and minority/majority dynamics at the center of social movement theory. She has had extensive involvement doing public sociology in Wisconsin around racial disparity issues, including more than a hundred public presentations and involvement in a number of public organizations, boards and commissions over the past decade. She is part of the Du Boisian Scholar Network

Joshua Garoon | email

Garoon studies the ways in which health, development, and the environment intersect across Africa and the United States, and how those intersections manifest in health inequalities at the local level. He is particularly interested in how health inequalities are shaped by global, national, and local stakeholders’ attempts to define and act on community and neighborhood resources; in short, I investigate environmental governance. His work work cuts across anthropology, sociology, and epidemiology, and my projects in both Africa and the U.S. employ a community-engaged research framework.

Katherine Jensen | email | website

Katherine Jensen is an Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  As an ethnographer, her research interests include race/racism, political sociology, and forced migration in the Americas, with a focus on Brazil. Her work has been published in Ethnic and Racial StudiesQualitative SociologySocial CurrentsCity & Community, and Contexts, as well as in edited volumes with university presses.  Her book project, tentatively titled The Color of Asylum: The Racial Politics of Safe Haven in Brazil, is under advance book contract at the University of Chicago Press.

Ruby Bafu | email

Ruby Bafu is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology. Ruby is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, and is also affiliated with the Race, Ethnicity, and Inequality in Education Collaborative Training Grant Fellowship at UW-Madison. As a qualitative researcher, Ruby’s interests lie at the intersections of race, gender, Black girlhood, and education. Her current work examines how Black girls’ educational experiences are framed in the media. Ruby holds a Master of Science in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor of Arts and Science from Cornell University in Sociology with minors in Spanish and Inequality Studies. When she is not conducting research, Ruby is mentoring Black girls, working with community organizations in Madison, and doing fun activities like biking and yoga.

Jill Richardson | email

Jill Richardson is a graduate student who conducts ethnographic research in Montana, studying how consensus can be achieved for wildlife management among people with diverse and often conflicting interests. Areas of interest include: qualitative methods, food and agriculture, environmental sociology,  social movements, science and technology studies, and economic change and development.

Stepha Velednitsky | email

Stepha Velednitsky is a PhD student in the Department of Geography. In her fieldwork, she has been collaborating with a workers’ rights organization supporting migrant caregivers in Israel/Palestine. This research allows Stepha to explore how economies of social reproduction reproduce the differential embodiment of migrant workers, structuring citizen and non-citizen disabilities.

Avery Warner | email

Avery Warner is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in Sociology and Economics and minors in Criminal Justice Studies and Statistics. Her research interests largely revolve around studying social inequality and the ways in which the criminal justice system and legal institutions structure race and class inequalities. As an undergraduate, she served as a research assistant on a study of discriminatory practices in monetary sanctions and will continue studying the intersection of race and the justice system this year as a research assistant.

Alex Mikulas | email

Alex Mikulas is PhD candidate in Community and Environmental Sociology with training in social and spatial demography. His primary research interests relate to how race and space combine to influence social life and communities of place. Space racialization – or, how, where, and why space come to have racial meaning – is of particular interest. Currently he is interested in the sociology of housing, real estate, and neighborhoods as they relate to race, neighborhood change, gentrification, and foreclosures.

Wendy Kanghee Lee | email

Wendy K. Lee is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology. She is broadly interested in race, gender, social movements, and science and technology studies. Before coming to Madison, she spent several years working with defense attorneys on cases involving emerging surveillance tactics and technologies. She recently researched how data-driven policing programs, algorithmic tools, and government databases are increasingly being used to surveil, profile, arrest, and prosecute individuals in the criminal legal system. She holds a B.A. in Gender & Sexuality Studies from the University of Chicago, where she specialized in studies of gender and public policy and pursued a minor in Race & Ethnic Studies.

Jungmyung Kim | email

Jungmyung Kim is a PhD candidate of the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His projects have two broad directions. First, he centers inequality and stratification in revisiting classic concepts of organizational sociology. These concepts include decoupling between formal policy and organizational practices, diffusion of innovation, and division of labor. For his dissertation, he examines how division of labor can be a value-laden concept. Motivated by the Defund the Police movement that proposes the re-allocation of state resources, he seeks to achieve this task by conducting an ethnography of a Midwestern law enforcement agency. His research also regards mainly collaborative efforts to analyze relations between organizations and social lives of various kinds. As a part of this direction, he studies the relationship between workplace paid leave policies and labor market participation and the impacts of police departments’ sanctuary policies on citizenship disparities in criminal outcomes.

Youbin Kang | email

Youbin Kang is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her research interests include labor and labor movements, community and urban sociology, and race, class, gender. Her dissertation research is a comparative project of transit workers in New York City and Seoul, of which a chapter examines the way the racialization and gendering of workers interact with periods of municipal crises. Her work has been published in the International Labour Review. Prior to pursuing a PhD, she worked at the International Labour Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. She has a MPhil in Innovation, Strategy, Organisations from the University of Cambridge, a B.A. in International Relations from Brown University, and a B.F.A. in Textiles from Rhode Island School of Design.

Mariah A. Lindsay | email

Mariah A. Lindsay is a Kemper Knapp Fellow and first-year Doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. She earned her Juris Doctor from UC Irvine School of Law in 2018 and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, summa cum laude, from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2015. Her previous work examines the role of women on the judiciary and how increased representation can impact the outcome of cases. Her research interests include race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, reproductive justice, and law and society.

Joseph Romero-Reyes | email

Joseph is a third-year doctoral student in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis (ELPA, Higher Education Concentration) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a doctoral student, he hopes to continue studying how first-generation and low-income males of color utilize their cultural and personal strengths to overcome social and academic barriers to access and persists through the community college to four-year university pipeline. He is also interested in studying how community colleges can implement strong multilevel strengths-based policies that will support the retention and transfer of first-generation and low-income males of color from community colleges to four-year institutions. 

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