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.


Kriti Budhiraja
Assistant Professor, Sociology, Department, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington, Illinois 
"Segregated Sociality: How University Life Shapes Inequality"
Advisors: Michael Goldman and Teresa Gowan
Defense: May 15, 2024

Caity Curry
Assistant Professor, Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science, Hamline University, St. Paul, MN
"Screaming into the Void: Southern Public Defenders and the Struggle for Justice"
Advisors: Christopher Uggen and Michelle Phelps
Defense: July 24, 2024

Stephen Wulff
Assistant Professor, Sociology Department, University of Tennessee-Knoxville
"Police Misconduct, Monetary Sanctions, and Insurance Models in The Modern Police Accountability Era"
Advisor: Christopher Uggen
Defense: May 28, 2024


Lisa Gulya
American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Leading Edge Fellow, Gender and Justice
"Post-Soviet Americans: Familial and National Belonging for Russian Adoptees in the U.S."
Advisor: Cawo Abdi
Defense: August 10, 2023

Brit Henderson 
Research Associate, MDRC’s Center for Data Insights and MDRC's Center for Criminal Justice Research
"Arrested (during) Development: County Young Adult Arrest Rate Pattering across Space and Time"
Advisor: Ann Meier
Defense: December 4, 2023

Aimzhan Iztayeva
Program Associate, Graduate School, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 
"Single Fathers and Employment Discrimination: Penalized of Protected?"
Advisor: Ann Meier
Defense: May 2, 2023

Christopher Levesque
Assistant Professor, Kenyon College, Gambier, OH
 "Contexts of reception in U.S. immigration court"
Advisors: Elizabeth Heger Boyle & Jack DeWaard
Defense: May 5, 2023

Miray Philips
Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Sociology Department
"Transnational Politics of Christian Persecution: Contested Advocacy on Behalf of Christians in the Middle East"
Advisor:  Joachim Savelsberg
Defense: August 14, 2023

Victoria Piehowski
Assistant Professor, University of Buffalo, SUNY, Department of Sociology
"The Political Uses of Trauma: Establishing and Expanding Veterans Treatment Courts in Minnesota"
Advisor: Josh Page
Defense: July 27, 2023


Sarah Catherine Billups Moore
UX Researcher at Rocket Mortgage/Rocket Central
"Mortgages without Marriages: Single Homebuying in the Contemporary U.S."
Advisors: Teresa Swartz & Ann Meier
Defense: April 27, 2022

Edgar Jesus Campos
Assistant Professor, Texas Christian University, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Fall 2022 start
"Lindo y Querido: Nationalism, Latin American Modernity, and the Contested Terrain of the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games"
Advisor: Doug Hartmann
Defense: May 24, 2022

Amber Hamilton
Qualitative User Experience Researcher at Pinterest 
“Doing Race Online: Essays on Race-Making on Social Media Platforms”
Advisor(s): Joyce Bell and Michael L. Walker
Defense: May 17, 2022

Ryan Larson
Assistant Professor, Hamline University, Department of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science, Fall 2022 start
"The Iatrogenic Effects of Punishment"
Advisor: Christopher Uggen
Defense: August 25, 2022

Mark Lee
Research Specialist, Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota
"The Social Patterning and Causes of Dementia Decline in the United States"
Advisors: Jeylan Mortimer & Rob Warren
Defense: July 8, 2022

Francis Lyimo
Lecturer, University of Dar es Salaam, Department of Sociology and Anthropology
"Contract Farming in Tanzania: Implications for Smallholder Farmers' Gender Relations, Livelihoods, and Subjectivities"
Advisors: Rachel Schurman & Ron Aminzade
Defense: May 6, 2022

Amber Joy Powell
Assistant Professor, University of Iowa, Department of Sociology & Criminology, Fall 2022 Start
"Hidden in Carceral Sight: A Qualitative Examination of Sexual Violence in Youth Detention." 
Defense Date:  June 23, 2022
Nir Rotem
Postdoctoral Researcher, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. October 2022 start
"Humanitarianism, Development, and Human Rights: The Boundaries of Social Fields in Today’s World Society"
Defense Date: August 23, 2022

Michael Soto
Data Scientist at Hennepin County
"The Role of Social Networks in Memory Formation and the Social Reintegration of Ex-combatants"
Advisor: Joachim Savelsberg
Defense: December 19, 2023

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 Teresa Gowan
Defense: June 22, 2022
Caty Taborda
Program Director at Boston University Center for Antiracist Research
"The Gift that Pays? Money, Morals, and Bodies in Paid Plasma Donation"
Defense Date: May 23, 2022


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, 
"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, University 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

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


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.