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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Alexis M. Dennis

Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison


My name is Alexis M. Dennis and I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before joining the Sociology Department at Madison, I began my academic journey in the City Colleges of Chicago where I took my first Sociology course and earned an associate’s degree in social sciences. I later earned my undergraduate degree at Northeastern Illinois University in sociology with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies.

My journey to and through academia has not been a traditional one. Along my journey, I have had the great fortune to be taught and mentored by activist-scholars who spend their lives on the margins of their profession but who, nevertheless, love what they do. I have also had the opportunity to be trained by some of the most well-known and respected sociologists in the field.

My journey informs much of the research that I do and the ways in which I engage teaching and research. My research focuses largely on the areas of social mobility, race and ethnicity, and  higher education. My most recent projects explore the various ways in which people from poor and working class communities get to graduate and professional school, how they learn the terrain, the barriers they face, and the strategies they use to overcome those barriers.

Please take a look at my curriculum vitae for more information.