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Job Placements & Dissertations

Check out graduate student
achievements and awards.

The University of Minnesota's Department of Sociology is proud of the 94% placement record of our recent PhD graduates (since 2002) and the positions our former students have attained at many notable institutions across the country and around the globe. As a program that is both intellectually rigorous and supportive, we yield well-rounded graduates who go on to fill prestigious professoriate positions around the country and across the world. Often, our doctoral candidates successfully defend their dissertations with a postdoctoral position already in hand.


Arta Ankrava
Management Analyst, Minnesota Department of Revenue
"Nationalism, Transnationalism, Anti-Communism: Shaping Latvian American Diaspora"
Advisor: Lisa Sun-Hee Park
Defense: June 2016

Anne Kaduk
Quantitative Researcher, Growth Population and Survey Science, Facebook
"Women Returning to Work Across the Life Course: Who Does It, Why, and What do They Return To?"
Advisor: Phyllis Moen
Defense: Fall 2016

Stephen Cho Suh
Assistant Professor, Sociology and Women's & Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
"Nostalgic for the Unfamiliar: An examination of the competing motivations behind the ethnic return migration of US-raised Koreans"
Advisor: Lisa Sun-Hee Park
Defense: June 2016

Lei Frank Zhang
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology,  University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.
"Business Performance of Chinese Enterprises in a Relational Perspective"
Advisor: Yanjie Bian
Defense: May 2016

Sarah Whetstone
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology & Social Work, Bradley University, Peoria, IL
"Unequal Treatment: Race, Class and Addiction Recovery in American Life"
Advisors: Teresa Gowan and Doug Hartmann
Defense: May 2016


Vania Brightman Cox
Visiting Assistant Professor, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN
"An Ethnograhic Discourse Analysis of Anti-Trafficking Activism"
Advisors: Teresa Gowan and Elizabeth Boyle

Wen Fan
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology at Boston College
"Children of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: Disrupted Education, Send-Down Experiences, and Midlife Health"
Advisor: Phyllis Moen

Kyle Green
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Utica College
"The Allure of Mixed Martial Arts: Meaning Making, Masculinity, and Embodiment in Suburbia"
Advisors: Teresa Gowan and Doug Hartmann

Kia Heise
Lecturer, California State University, Los Angeles
"Interactive Framing Dynamics and Ideological Boundaries in the American Abortion Debate"
Advisors: Teresa Swartz and Lisa Park

Sarah Lageson
Assistant Professor, Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice
"Digital Punishment in an Era of Online Crime Reporting"
Advisor: Christopher Uggen

Jack Lam
Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Institute for Social Science Research, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
"Job Insecurity, Adaptive Strategies and Health in Early Adulthood"
Advisor: Phyllis Moen

Wenjie Liao
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology at North Carolina State University
"Remembering the Faces of Law: Collective Memories and Legal Consciousness in Traditional China"
Advisors: Elizabeth Boyle and Joachim Savelsberg

Liying Luo
Assistant Professor, Sociology and Criminal Justice Department at University of Delaware-Newark
"Age-Period-Cohort Analysis: Critiques and Innovations"
Advisor: Rob Warren


Caren Arbeit
Research Analyst, Postsecondary Education, RTI International at Berkeley, California
"The Context of Parental Job Loss on Children's Educational Attainment"
Advisor: Rob Warren

Kyungmin Baek
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Higher School of Economics at Moscow, Russian Federation
"The Adoption of Outcomes of ISO 14001 Across Korean Business Firms"
Advisor: Erin Kelly

Arturo Baiocchi
Research Associate, Institute for Social Research at California State University in Sacramento, California
"In the System for Too Long: Former Foster Youth and the Structural Ambivalence towards Mental Health"
Advisor: Doug Hartmann

Hollie Nyseth Brehm
Assistant Professor, Sociology Department at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio
"Conditions and Courses of Genocides"
Advisors: Elizabeth Boyle and Joachim Savelsberg

Meg Krausch
Assistant Professor, Sociology, Department of Social Inquiry at University of Wisconsin-Superior
"Redefining Social Movement: Utopianism and Popular Education in Buenos Aires"
Advisor: Doug Hartmann

Ryan Moltz
Researcher, Minnesota Population Center at University of Minnesota
"Dealing with Totalitarian Legacies: The Politics of Lustration in Post-Communist Europe"
Advisor: Ron Aminzade

June Msechu
Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Anthropology at University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania
"Intergenerational Relationships and Eldercare in Rural Tanzania: A Life Course Perspective on the Implications of Social Change on Families"
Advisors: Ron Aminzade and Cawo Abdi

Raphi Rechitsky
Assistant Professor, Political Science and Sociology at European University in St. Petersburg, Russia
"Forced Migration Processes and Global Refugees at the Borders of Europe in Ukraine"
Advisors: Ron Aminzade and Michael Goldman

Alain Vandormael
Research Fellow, Genomics and Population Epidemiology Programme at Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies; College of Health Sciences at University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa
"The Preventive and Survival Benefits of Antiretroviral Use in a Rural South African Community"
Advisor: Ann Meier

Peter Wruck
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology at South Central College in North Mankato, Minnesota
"It takes a Village? Neighborhoods and Children's Readiness for School"
Advisor: Rob Warren


Yu-Ju Chien
Assistant Professor at National Taiwan University
"Constructing Knowledge and Policies on Avian Influenza: How Do International Organizations Craft Global Models?"
Advisor: Joachim Savelsberg

Danielle Docka-Filipek
Assistant Professor, Sociology/ Anthropology Department at Otterbein University in Westville, Ohio
"Case Studies in Compassion: Need Interpretation, Gender, and Family in an Era of Faith-Based Social Services" 
Advisors: Penny Edgell and Kathleen Hull

Shannon Golden
Visiting Research Fellow, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at University of Notre Dame
"After Atrocity: Community Reconstruction in Northern Uganda"
Advisor: Elizabeth Boyle

Andrew Halpern-Manners
Assistant Professor, Sociology Department at Indiana University
"Panel Conditioning in Longitudinal Social Science Surveys."
Advisor: Rob Warren

Kristin Haltinner
Assistant Professor at University of Idaho-Moscow
"Enhancing activist commitment through frame alignment."
Advisors: Ron Aminzade and David Pellow

Jasmine Harris-LaMothe
Visiting Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
"The Negotiators: Black Professional Women, Success, and the Management of Competing Identities."
Advisor: Phyllis Moen

Jeanette Hussemann
Research Associate, Justice Policy Center at The Urban Institute in Washington, DC
"Negotiating Justice: Defendant Perspectives of Plea Bargaining in American Criminal Courts."
Advisors: Candace Kruttschnit and Josh Page

Aysegul Kozak
Assistant Professor, Social Sciences Department at Uludag University in Bursa, Turkey
"Reconceptualization of democracy from an Islamic subaltern."
Advisor: Elizabeth Boyle

Rachael Kulick
Research Scientist, REACH Lab at University of Minnesota
"Home Birth in the US and The Netherlands: Understanding Women's Experiences of Stigma, Nature, and Trauma."
Advisors: Phyllis Moen and Kathleen Hull

Darin Mather
Social Science Program Chair at Crown College in St. Bonafacius, Minnesota
"Gender Equality in Religious Education: A Comparative Study of Catholic, Evangelical, and Secular Private Schools in Guatemala."
Advisor: Penny Edgell

Heather McLaughlin
Assistant Professor Sociology Department at Oklahoma State University-Stillwater in Oklahoma
"Playing Like a Boy: Gender, High School Sport Participation, and Early Career Success."
Advisor: Christopher Uggen

Kasia Polanska
Faculty with the American Public University System
"Common and Differing Impacts of the European Framework for the Protection of National Minorities with Special Consideration of Sweden and Poland."
Advisors: Ann Hironaka and Joachim Savelsberg

Dawna Reandeau
Independent Education Management Professional in the Greater Minneapolis-St. Paul Area
"In God Do We Trust? An Analysis of Trust Reformation in a Catholic Parish."
Advisor: David Knoke

Sarah Shannon
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology at University of Georgia-Athens
"Does the Right Hand Know What the Left Hand is Doing?"
Advisor: Chris Uggen

Mayumi Uno
Visiting Professor, Department of Society, Culture, & Media at International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan
"National Institutional Context and Educational Inequality."
Advisors: Evan Schofer and Teresa Swartz

Shawn Wick
Assistant Professor of Sociology at Central College in Pella, Iowa
"Missionaries of Modernization and Managers of Myth: Organizational Legitimacy in the Field of International Development."
Advisors: Ron Aminzade and Evan Schofer

Daniel Winchester
Assistant Professor of Sociology at University of Connecticut
"Practices of Religious Self-Formation among Converts to Eastern Orthodoxy."
Advisor: Penny Edgell


Ryan Alaniz
Assistant Professor, tenure track at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California
"From Tragedy to Opportunity: Long-term Development in Post-Disaster Intentional Communities in Honduras."
Advisor: Ron Aminzade

Kelly Chermack
President and CEO at Brookmoore Pearce, Performance Analytics in Minnetonka, Minnesota
"Engaging the Dialectic: Managerial Resistance to Change and Innovation."
Advisor: David Knoke

Maureen Clark
Lecturer, Department of Social Science at University of Wisconsin, Stout
"The Social Construction of Urban American Indian Teen’s Identity: How to be an Indian."
Advisor: Penny Edgell

Gina Allen Erickson
Administrator in the Center for Economic Studies, Minnesota Census Research Data Center at US Census Bureau since January 2010
"Assortative Matching in the New Marriage Regime."
Advisors: Ann Meier and Ross Macmillian

Laura Fischer
Adjunct Instructor, Department of Sociology at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and University of Minnesota
"Turning Points in the Transition to Adulthood."
Advisor: Jeylan Mortimer

Rachelle Hill
Postdoc with Research Education and Career Development in Cancer Health Disparities program jointly housed in the School of Public Health and the Medical School at the University of Minnesota
"Time in the 'Great Recession': The Impact of the Great Recession on Time Spent in Healthy Behaviors with Family Members."
Advisor: Phyllis Moen

Reiping Huang
Survey Statistician, NORC at University of Chicago
"Mapping Trends: Patterns of Employment Trajectories in the US, 1967-2005."
Advisors: Phyllis Moen and Rob Warren

Andrew Johnson
Visiting Scholar at the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University
"If I Give My Soul: Pentecostalism inside of Prison in Rio de Janeiro."
Advisor: Penny Edgell

Minzee Kim
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology at Ewha Womens University in Seoul South Korea
"The Quality of Women's Employment around the Globe."
Advisor: Elizabeth Boyle

Jesse Wozniak
Assistant Professor in the Sociology-Anthropology Department at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia
"Iraq and the Centrality of Policing to State Formation."
Advisor: Christopher Uggen

Eunhye Yoo
Assistant Professor of Sociology at Soongsil University in Seoul South Korea
"Globalization, Power, and Knowledge Production in South Korea: The University of Minnesota-Seoul National University Educational Cooperation Project from 1954 to 1962."
Advisors: Jeffrey Broadbent and Michael Goldman

By individual graduate preference, we may have not listed the dissertation and placement information of all of our recent students. Check out additional graduate student achievements.