Graduate Students

Jordan Colosi |


Dagoberto Cortez |

Dagoberto Cortez is a graduate student in the department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and research fellow supported by a grant from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). His interests include qualitative methods; medical sociology; urban sociology; social psychology; and collective behavior. His Master’s thesis explored how a community used deliberative democratic tactics to build a coalition and contest the sale of public land to private land developers. Dagoberto is currently conducting an ethnographic project on mixed-martial arts with Michael Halpin. His doctoral project focuses on doctor-patient interactions in cancer clinics. Dagoberto examines how patients that have been diagnosed with incurable lung cancer, their doctors, and their caregivers talk about end-of-life/quality-of-life issues, the barriers to having these types of conversations, and how they make treatment decisions. He plans to use ethnographic observations of clinic visits, to draw on conversation analysis to interrogate audio recordings of these visits, and to utilize in-depth semi-structured interviews to further explore interactions between terminal lung cancer patients and their doctors and examine medical decision-making. Dagoberto received his B.A. in sociology from the University of California-Davis.


Katie Fallon |

Katie Fallon is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at UW-Madison. She is interested in urban spaces, race, gender, and human geography. Katie is currently working on a few different projects: (1) an analysis of how raced and gendered bodies are situated within hierarchies of beauty; (2) a project with Casey Stockstill about how single, heterosexual, professional women in New York City approach finding a partner; (3) an ethnographic exploration of the UW Madison metro bus system; and (4) an analysis of how urban studies departments have attempted to increase racial and gender diversity of faculty and graduate students.


Garrett L. 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 extends current 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, Mr. Grainger utilizes a multi-method design that incorporates survey methods and in-depth interviews to illuminate the processes associated with this status transformation. Mr. Grainger earned his M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and B.S. from the University of Central Florida.


Chloe Haimson |

Chloe is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology. Her research interests include the criminal justice system, urban sociology, race and ethnicity, micro-sociology, and ethnography. Her past projects have focused on prison reentry, as well as homeless individuals’ use of a public library. She is currently conducting ethnographic research on two different local criminal justice reform movements.


Michael Halpin |

Michael Halpin is a doctoral student in Sociology at UW-Madison with a focus on medical sociology, science studies and social psychology. His dissertation research addresses how technological advances in the neurological sciences impact mental health care for both clinicians and patients. He is also conducting an ethnographic project on mixed-martial arts with Dagoberto Cortez. Michael’s previous studies have focused on a number of topics, such as Huntington Disease, suicide, prostate cancer and sex work. Michael received his M.A. in sociology from the University of British Columbia and his B.A. from the University of Calgary.


Matt Hollander |

Matt Hollander is a doctoral candidate at UW-Madison. His research interests include interpersonal relationships, obedience to authority in interaction, social psychology, and conversation analysis and ethnomethodology. His dissertation research examines directive/response sequences and resistance to authority in a large collection of recordings of the Milgram Obedience Experiment.


Taylor Laemmli |

Taylor Laemmli is a graduate student in Sociology at UW-Madison. She focuses on qualitative research in class, culture, and emotions in the contexts of interactive service work and higher education. One of Taylor’s current projects is an ethnographic examination of work in the restaurant industry, in which she focuses on the relationship between the body and the emotions of the job. In a project with Eric Grodsky (PI), Taylor uses in-depth interviews to understand first-generation college students’ higher education experiences and trajectories. She received her B.A. in Sociology and German Studies from Macalester College.


Nathan Guye Shelton |

Nathan comes to SPAM as a sociologist looking for new ways to see nuance in interaction. He received a BA from Haverford College with a double major in Sociology and Linguistics in 2011, where he focused on social theory, syntax theory, and language conservation. Now he explores gun culture in America through participant ethnography.



Casey Stockstill is a PhD candidate in Sociology. Casey uses original data to investigate the micro-level foundations of race, class, and gender inequalities. Her dissertation is an ethnography of children’s social experiences in class-segregated preschools. The project details how children react to peers’ and teachers’ socialization attempts, how children understand their material circumstances, and how children organize pretend play. She argues that class-segregated classrooms may produce experiences just as divergent as what children might have experienced at home. Casey has also conducted an experimental study of how people react to racial identity assertions and an interview-based study of how elite women construct family and career timelines.


Adam Talkington |

Adam is a graduate student in the Department of Sociology. He has ongoing projects looking at the interactional organization and uses of waiting, and on the structure and meaning of extended family. He also works as an assistant on Doug Maynard’s project analyzing the testing and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Jaclyn Wypler |

Jaclyn is a graduate student in the departments of Sociology and Community & Environmental Sociology at UW-Madison. Her research interests include agrofood systems, gender, and communities. Jaclyn’s is currently doing fieldwork with sustainable women farmers in rural Wisconsin, looking at their community interactions and social networks.