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.


Sarah Garcia
Research Scientist on MN Compass at Wilder Research, St. Paul, MN 
"Trends in Disability among Working-Age Americans: The Role of Labor Market Changes"
Advisor: Rob Warren
Defense: December 15, 2021

Devika Narayan
Postdoctoral Researcher University of Oxford, UK. June 2021 start. 
Assistant Professor, University of Notre Dame, The Keough School of Global Affairs, concurrent faculty appointment with Sociology, Fall 2022 start.
"Between a Cloud and a Hard Place: A study of Industrial Transformation in the Platform Age"
Advisors: Michael Goldman and Rachel Schurman
Defense: May 6, 2021

Neeraj Rajasekar
Assistant Professor, Univerisity of Minnesota, Duluth, Department of Anthropology, Sociology, and Criminology, Fall 2021 start
"Diversity as a Racialized Keyword: A Mixed-Methods Analysis of Diversity Discourse, Racial Projects, and Rearticulation in the USA"
Advisor: Doug Hartmann
Defense: July 30, 2021

Ryan Steel
Visiting Lecturer, University of Richmond, Richmond, VA. Fall 2021 start.
"Making Marijuana Medical: A Study of Governance and Embodiment of Minnesota's Medical Cannabis Program"
Advisors: Josh Page and Teresa Gowan
Defense: August 2021

Aisha Upton
Assistant Professor, Susquehanna University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Fall 2021 start
"Roses and Revolution: Black Sororities' Responses to the Black Feminist Movement 1968-1980"
Advisor: Joyce Bell
Defense: April 20, 2021


Tanja Andic
Postdoctoral Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies in Southeast Europe, University of Rijeka, Rijeka, Croatia
"Anticipating the 'Blocked Future': Transitions to Adulthood and Migration Aspirations in Serbia"
Advisor: Teresa Gowan
Defense: May 18, 2020

Amy August
Assistant Professor of Sociology and Assistant Director for the Institute for the Study of Sport, Society, and Social Change, San Jose State University, starting Fall 2020.
"Sorting in Sports and Schools: How Early Childhood Teacher and Coaches Categorize Children"
Advisor: Doug Hartmann
Defense: June 9, 2020

Jacqui Frost
Postdoctoral Fellow, Sociology of Science and Religion Project, Religion and Public Life Program (associated with the Sociology department), Rice University, Houston, TX, starting Fall 2020.
"Modern but Not Meaningless: Nonreligious Cultures and Communities in the United States"
Advisor: Penny Edgell
Defense: June 15, 2020

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 & Postdoctoral Fellow, 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: May 2020

Jessica Molina Cuthbert
"Disciplining Latino/a Youth in Greater Metro Atlanta: A Mixed Methods Approach"
Advisor: Christopher Uggen
Defense: June 2020

Anuradha Sajjanhar
Postdoctoral Fellow, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University.
"The New Experts: Elite Agents of Policy, Apolitics, and Anti-Politics"
Advisors: Michael Goldman and Teresa Gowan
Defense: October 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: July 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 Cawo 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 2020

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"
Advisor: 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 Ethnographic 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.