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Job Placements, Dissertations & Awards

The University of Minnesota's Department of Sociology is proud of the 94% placement record of our recent PhD graduates (since 2015) 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.


Carolyn Fraker
Assistant Professor, St. Thomas Aquinas College (NY), Social Science Division, starting Fall 2020
"Doulas for the State: Intimate Labor on the Margins of Welfare"
Advisor: Teresa Gowan
Defense: May 2020

Yagmur Karakaya
Visiting Assistant Professor, Hamilton College (Clinton, NY) Department of Sociology, starting Fall 2020
Disentangling Contemporary Ottoman Nostalgia in Turkey: Popular and Political Forms of Collective Memory"
Advisor:Teresa Gowan
Defense: April 2020

Emily Springer
Postdoctoral Scholar at Arizona State University's interdisciplinary program in Social Justice and Human Rights, starting January 2020
"Producing Gender Injustice: Quantified Evaluation as an Institutional Logic in International Development"
Advisor: Rachel Schurman and Elizabeth Heger Boyle
Defense: December 5, 2019

Rob Stewart
Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, starting Fall 2020
 "Criminal Records and College Admissions"
Advisor: Christopher Uggen
Defense: Summer 2020


Erin Hoekstra
Assistant Professor, Marquette University, Department of Social and Cultural Sciences, starting Fall 2019
"Bordered Resistance: The Immigrant Health Justice Movement and the Racialized Criminalization of Health Care"
Advisors: Lisa Sun-Hee Park (UCSB) and
Teresa Gowan
Defense: June 25, 2019

Veronica Horowitz
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York (SUNY), starting Fall 2019
"Towards a Sociology of Mercy: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Commutation Release in the United States"
Advisors: Christopher Uggen and Michelle Phelps
Defense: August 7, 2019

Anthony Jimenez
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY starting Fall 2019
"Imperial Medicine: An Ethnography of Immigrant Experiences after the Affordable Care Act"
Advisors: Lisa Sun-Hee Park (UCSB) and Awa Abdi
Defense: June 26, 2019

Rahsaan Mahadeo
21st Century Postdoctoral Fellow, Sociology, Georgetown University, Washington, DC
"Funk the Clock: Transgressing Time while Young, Prescient and Black"
Advisors: David Pellow and Joyce Bell
Defense: July 9, 2019

Alex Manning
Assistant Professor, Jacksonville University, Department of Sociology, starting Fall 2019
"Beyond Orange Slices: The Contested Cultural Terrain of Youth Soccer in the United States"
Advisor: Doug Hartmann
Defense: June 21, 2019

Suzy McElrath
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology & Anthropology, Montana State University, starting Fall 2019
"The Global Criminalization of Genocide, 1948-2015"
Advisors: Christopher Uggen and Joachim Savelsberg
Defense: Summer 2019

Evan Stewart
Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Sociology Department, starting Fall 2019
"No Church in the Wild: The Politics of American Religion and Secularism"
Advisor: Penny Edgell
Defense: June 17, 2019


Jack Delehanty
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Clark University, Worcester, MA
"Religious Activism and the Culture of Progressive Politics"
Advisor: Penny Edgell
Defense: June 14, 2018

Jasmine Trang Ha
Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Demography, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
"State Immigration Policies and International Students in the United States"
Advisors: Elizabeth Heger Boyle and Jack DeWaard
Defense: August 9, 2018

Erik Kojola
Visiting Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies Department,  Davidson College, Davidson, N.C.
"Extracting Identities and Value from Nature: Power, Culture, and Knowledge in the Contested Politics of Mining"
Advisors: David Pellow (UCSB) and Rachel Schurman
Defense: July 11, 2018

Joe Svec
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University
"Modernity, Gender and "Missing" Women: A Holistic Examination of Development and Son Preference Connections"
Elizabeth Heger Boyle
Defense: July 13, 2018

Nicholas James Siguru Wahutu
Assistant Professor, New York University, Department of Media Culture, and Communication (starting July 2019)
Harvard Fellow, Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University (currently)
"Social, Field, and Regional Conditions of Knowledge: News on Darfur in Africa and the Global North"
Advisors: Joachim Savelsberg and David Pellow (UCSB)
Defense: June 1, 2018

Madison Van Oort
"Retail Capital: Laboring in an Era of Fast Fashion"
Advisors: Teresa Gowan and David Pellow (UCSB)
Defense: May 10, 2018


Naomi Duke, M.D., MPH
Duke University, Department of Pediatrics (primary appointment), Departments of Sociology, Medicine and Community and Family Medicine (secondary appointments)
"Youth Survival Expectations: Disadvantaged Contexts and Forecasts for Future Health"
Advisors: Jeylan Mortimer and Ross Macmillian
Defense: November 17, 2017

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: May 12, 2017


Arta Ankrava
Management Analyst, Minnesota Department of Revenue
"Nationalism, Transnationalism, Anti-Communism: Shaping Latvian American Diaspora"
Advisor: Lisa Sun-Hee Park
Defense: June 22, 2016

Sinan Erensu
Keyman Postdoctoral Fellow, Weinberg College of Arts & Sciences, Department of Sociology, Northwestern University
“Fragile Energy: Power, Nature, and the Politics of Infrastructure in the "New Turkey"
Advisor: Michael Goldman
Defense: August 26, 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 23, 2016

Andria Strano
Strategic Plan Coordinator, Humanitarian Division, US Citizenship and Immigration Services
"Forging Their Own Way: Queer Visibility, Identity Politics, and Cultural Change on Minnesota's Iron Range"
Advisors: Kathleen Hull and Rachel Schurman
Defense: December 16, 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

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.