Alumni Highlights

Many of our graduates hold prominent positions at cultural and educational institutions in the U.S. and abroad. Learn about some of our alumni below.

Recent Graduates on the Job Market

Headshot: Kyla Bender-Baird

Email: kbenderbaird@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology, Principia College; M.S. Women's Studies, Towson University

Dissertation Title: Standing Trans Before the Law

Research Interests: gender, sexuality, medical sociology, law and society, feminist theory, queer theory

Chris-Carlson headshot student job market

Email: ccarlson@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Liberal Arts, Colorado State University; M.A. Latin American Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison


Dissertation Title: The Logic of the Land: The Agrarian Roots of Uneven Development in Brazil


Research Interests: Development, comparative historical sociology, globalization, political economy, inequality

Carmela-Dormani headshot student job market

Email: cdormani@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. in America Studies, Fordham University; B.A. in Latin American & Latino Studies, Fordham University; M.A. in Sociology, Brooklyn College


Dissertation Title: The Life and Death of Mambo: Culture and Consumption in New York’s Salsa Dance Scene


Research Interests: cities, everyday/popular culture and media, Latinx studies, migration, globalization


Carmela Muzio Dormani is a Ph.D. candidate in the Sociology department at CUNY Graduate Center.  She is interested in the politics of everyday culture, cities, migration and globalization. Her dissertation “The Life and Death of Mambo: Culture and Consumption in New York’s Salsa Scene” explores the tensions between cultural affirmation and commoditization in the salsa dance community. Her project interrogates the changing ways in which people practice, produce and consume culture in cities. Carmela is a two-time World Salsa Champion with Huracán Dance Company. She is from Brooklyn and currently resides in the Northwest Bronx

Isabel Gil Everaert student photo

Email: igileveraert@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: BA in Political Science, ITAM; MAs in Humanities and Social Thought, NYU
 

Research Interests: migration, gender, inequality, social movements, qualitative methods


Isabel is a current doctoral student in sociology at the GC, CUNY from Mexico. Her main research interests are migration, inequality, qualitative methods, social movements and organizations. Her current dissertation project explores the experience of Central American migrants in Mexico and the strategies developed when encountered with diverse techniques of spatial and temporal border control. Most of her work is ethnographic, but she also relies on interviews, spatial analysis and theory.

Christopher-Maggio(1) headshot student job market

Email: cmaggio@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Economics, New York University; M.A. Applied Quantitative Research, New York University


Dissertation Title: The Impact of Local Demographic Change in the Contemporary United States


Research Interests: race/ethnicity, immigration, quantitative methods, political sociology, education, and gender and sexuality


My dissertation examines how recent demographic changes in the U.S. related to race and immigration impact Americans’ social and political attitudes. Specifically, I study the impact of recent demographic changes on voting patterns in the 2016 election, immigration policy attitudes, and perceptions of racism among racial/ethnic minorities. Generally speaking, I find evidence of “backlash” to Latinx growth as well as non-Latinx Black growth. I find that high Latinx growth at the county level predicted increased Trump voting among Whites in 2016, and interestingly, among Asians as well. An article based on this research will appear in Social Science Research later this year. I also demonstrate a “backlash” against Latinx growth for U.S.-born Whites in terms of immigration policy attitudes, though only for those with lower levels of education, those who identify as political Independents, and those whose household incomes have decreased in the past year. Lastly, I find evidence that racial minorities may experience the effects of White backlash to demographic change, specifically among Latinx and non-Latinx Black respondents, in terms of perceptions of racism. An article based on this research is currently being revised for resubmission at the Du Bois Review. I also contribute methodologically in this dissertation by using quasi-causal methods previously unutilized in this area of the literature.

I have also published co-authored research on diverse topics such as racial/immigration attitudes and political polarization (forthcoming in Daedalus), unwanted sex for heterosexual men (Sociological Forum), and the labor market performance of part-time community college students (Community College Journal of Research and Practice). The last of these emerged from a research project funded by the Gates Foundation and the Ascendium Education Group, led by Paul Attewell, on which I was a researcher from 2017-2020. Numerous education studies have been generated from this project, including analyses examining early indicators of college student graduation, factors influencing post-college earnings, and trends in Black and Latinx educational attainment. I am also currently revising and resubmitting solo-authored work on Southern immigration attitudes at Social Currents, and have worked on various projects under review or in progress in areas such as state and local immigration policy and the Latinx-White earnings gap.

Cody-R-Melcher headshot student

Email: cmelcher@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Political Science, University of Michigan; M.A. Political Science, Wayne State University; MPhil Sociology, The Graduate Center, CUNY


Research Interests: The intersection of race and class, economic insecurity, the political economy of racism, experimental designs, public opinion


Cody R. Melcher is a PhD candidate in sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. His research broadly examines the intersection of class and race, specifically the effect of economic insecurity on redistributive, class, and racial attitudes. His work has been published in Political BehaviorEthnic and Racial StudiesCritical SociologyLabor: Studies in Working-Class History, the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History, and elsewhere. His current project explores the potential causal relationship between economic insecurity and public opinion through an original experimental survey design. He teaches in the department of sociology at the City College of New York. 

Selected Publications:
Melcher, Cody R. 2021. “Economic Self-Interest and Americans’ Redistributive, Class, and Racial Attitudes: The Case of Economic Insecurity.” Political Behavior.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11109-021-09694-x
 
Melcher, Cody R. 2021. “Who’s Afraid of 1619?: Pedagogy, Race, and Class in the United States.” Dialectical Anthropology.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10624-021-09620-x

Melcher, Cody R. 2020. “The Political Economy of ‘White Identity Politics’: Economic Self-Interest and Perceptions of Immigration.” Ethnic and Racial Studies 44(2): 293-313.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/01419870.2020.1730925

Melcher, Cody R. 2020. “First as Tragedy, Then as Farce: W.E.B. Du Bois, Left-Wing Radicalism, and the Problem of Interracial Labor Unionism.” Critical Sociology 46(7-8): 1041-1055.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920519887495 

Melcher, Cody R. & Michael Goldfield. 2019. “The Failure of Labor Unionism in the US South.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.013.777

Goldfield, Michael & Cody R. Melcher. 2019. “The Myth of Section 7(a): Worker Militancy, Progressive Labor Legislation, and the Coal Miners.” Labor: Studies in Working-Class History 16(4): 49-65.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1215/15476715-7790187

Mark-Pawson headshot student job market

Email: mpawson@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Website


Degrees/Diplomas: M.A. Sociology, SUNY New Paltz; B.A. Sociology, SUNY New Paltz


Dissertation Title: Prescription Drug Misuse: A Constructionist Analysis of Health, Illness, Deviance, and Drug Use


Research Interests: drug culture, drug markets, and drug policy from a critical sociology of health, illness, and deviance perspective

Michael-Raphael photo student job market

Email: mraphael@gradcenter.cuny.edu

 

Dissertation: The Politics of Expertise in Professional Education: Cognitive Style and Metaphor in the Problem-Based Learning of Decision-Making


Degrees/Diplomas: B.S. Sociology, Northeastern University; M.S.C.J. Criminal Justice, Northeastern University


Dissertation Title: The Politics of Expertise in Professional Education: Cognitive Style and Metaphor in the Problem-Based Learning of Decision-Making


Research Interests: medical sociology, sociology of law, social control (policing and deviance), culture and cognition/cognitive sociology, social, political and legal theory


Michael W. Raphael is in the sociology department at CUNY Graduate Center, specializing in cognitive sociology. He is interested in the politics of bounded rationality and its relationship to tacit knowledge in the development of competence and expertise. Michael explores these socio-cognitive aspects in a wide range of empirical contexts, ranging from everyday life to specific manifestations in professional work – in areas such as chess, policing, law, and medicine. Holding a master’s degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University, his thesis began this research program by analyzing factors constraining the development of interpersonal expertise for the implementation of community policing. His dissertation, “The Politics of Expertise in Professional Education: Cognitive Style and Metaphor in the Problem-Based Learning of Decision-Making” investigates the politics of culture & cognition in the relationship between the development of legal expertise and the demands of the legal profession.

This multi-method research program has earned grants and publications. His 231-volume Kindle series, “ReViewing Chess” (2010-2011), was an experiment in the development of expertise. “Phenomenological Theories of Crime” (Oxford Bibliographies, 2012), co-authored with Peter K. Manning, demonstrated how cognitive sociology challenges traditional criminological explanations. Raphael’s “Cognitive Sociology” (Oxford Bibliographies, 2017) demonstrated five ideal types of how social theory understands cognition. He teaches courses in sociology and criminology.

 

Mara Getz Sheftel student job market

Email: msheftel@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: BA Northwestern University; MA in Public Policy Hebrew University, Jerusalem


Dissertation Title: American Dream or Reality? The Well-being of Older Immigrants in the US


Research Interests: Mara's research stands at the nexus of two major demographic processes changing America: immigration and an aging population. Analyzing big data using traditional quantitative, demographic, data mining and spatial methods she looks to understand the health and economic outcomes of older immigrants in the US; one of the fastest growing populations over 65. Her research has been published in Demographic Research and Population Review and presented at the Population Association of America Annual Meetings. In addition, with a deep appreciation for the power of methodology, Mara loves teaching undergraduate and graduate Research Methods and Statistics.

Nga-Than headshot student

Email: nthan@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Website


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Mathematics-Economics, Agnes Scott College


Research Interests: International Migration, Digital Economy, Race/Ethnicity, Social Media, Computational Social Science 


Nga Than is a doctoral student in the Sociology program at CUNY – The Graduate Center. Her research interests are in international migration, digital economies, race/ethnicity, social media, and computational social science. Her current research employs machine learning methods such as structural topic modeling, and sentiment analysis to analyze social media discourses. Furthermore, she is exploring different ways, in which new methodological developments in computer science such as random forests, deep neural network, and vision recognition can assist social scientists in studying social phenomena. She has taught at City College of New York.

Siqi-Tu headshot student

Email: stu@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology, Fudan University; M.A. Sociology, Columbia University


Dissertation Title: Destination Diploma: How Chinese Upper-Middle Class Families 'Outsource' Secondary Education to the United States


Research Interests: international migration, urban sociology, education, social class and stratification, elites, contemporary chinese society


Siqi Tu is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, researching the recent influx of Chinese students into U.S. private high schools, along with its transnational relevance to educational attainment, international migration, and elite reproduction. She earned a BA degree in sociology from Fudan University (China) and a MA degree in sociology from Columbia University. Her work focuses on the areas of urban sociology, immigration, education and inequality. Siqi was born and raised in Shanghai, China and moved to New York City in 2012. She developed her interest in immigration and urban neighborhoods as a keen observer of diverse communities in different metropolitan areas. She also likes to cook, travel, jog, wander in the museums and enjoy a cup of good coffee

Guillermo-Yrizar-Barbosa headshot

Email: gyrizar@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Political Science, Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey; M.A. Regional Development, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte


Dissertation Title: Papers, Places, and Familias: Tracing the Social Mobility of Mexicans in New York


Research Interests: Mexicans in the United States, migration policies, state-diaspora relations, immigrant illegality, ethnography, demography, urban sociology and regional studies


Guillermo is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY).  He received a B.A. in political science from Tec de Monterrey and a master’s degree in regional development from El Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana. Between 2008 and 2011, he worked for the Seminar on International Migration, the Migration Surveys in the North and South Borders of Mexico, the Mexican Migration Field Research Program, and collective projects on the human rights of migrants. He has been fellow at the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research and the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies at UC San Diego.His dissertation focuses on the social mobility and family life of parents born in Mexico and living in three different counties in New York (Queens, the Bronx, and Suffolk County). The main research question in this project is: Why and how do certain undocumented immigrants and their families do better than others in terms of occupations, educational attainment, and family-household income? The bulk of his data comes from ethnographic cases of undocumented Mexicans identified since 2014 and ongoing work in the Mexican Initiative for Deferred Action (MIDA) project.

Anna Zhelnina student

Email: azhelnina@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: M.A. Sociology, European University at Saint Petersburg/University of Helsinki; B.A. Social Anthropology, Saint Petersburg State University


Dissertation Title: “Engaging Neighbors: Resistance to Urban Renewal Projects in New York and Moscow”


Research Interests: urban sociology, political sociology, social movements

Alumni Accomplishments

Alumni Dissertations

The doctoral dissertation is the culmination of the Ph.D. degree. Alumni dissertations are made publicly available for online review following their defense as a testament to the dedication and expertise of our graduates and to the range of topics for research and exploration within Biochemistry.

Job Placements

Name Position Department Institution
Campbell, Emily B.  Visiting Assistant Professor Sociology College of the Holy Cross
Campbell, Vandeen Assistant Research Professor and Senior Quantitative Director Joseph C. Cornwall Center for Metropolitan Studies and the Department of Urban Education at RU-N Rutgers University
Etienne, Vadricka Assistant Professor  Sociology University of Nevada, Reno
Fay, Maggie P.  Research Associate II Community College Research Center at Teachers College Columbia University
Gambol, Brenda Assistant Professor  Sociology Mount Saint Mary College
Gjika, Anna Assistant Professor Sociology SUNY, New Paltz
Karam, Rebecca Dean’s Research Associate Sociology Michigan State University
Dormani Muzio, Carmela  Assistant Professor Sociology and Behavioral Sciences Mercy College
Tu, Siqi Postdoctoral Research Fellow Ethics, Law and Politics Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethics Diversity
Barbosa Yrizar, Guillermo  Researcher and Professor Ignacio Ellacuría Human Rights Institute  Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla
Zhelnina, Anna Postdoctoral Research Fellow Sociology University of Helsinki
Gil Everaert, Isabel Postdoctoral Researrch Fellow Migration, Inequality, and Public Policies El Colegio de México
Thomas, Tanesha Assistant Professor Sociology Montclair State Univesity
Name Position Department Institution
Pawson, Mark Postdoctoral
Research Fellow
Sociology Purdue University
Ragnarsdottir, Berglind H. Assistant Professor Sociology University of Akureyri,
Ireland
Kannaki, Bharali Research Associate   CUNY ASAP
Ketcham, Eric Demographer Population Division NYC Department of
City Planning,
Population
Kolysh, Simone Assistant Professor Sociology Hood College
Oppenheim, Jay (Koby) Data Analyst   Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation
Tosh, Sarah Rose Assistant Professor Sociology,
Anthropology
Rutgers University-
Camden
Wu, Tommy Assistant Professor Labor Studies McMaster University
Name Position Department Institution
Beck, Brenden Assistant Professor Sociology and Criminology & Law University of Colorado, Denver
Frank, David Postdoctoral Research Fellow Behavioral and Science Training in Substance Use Research New York University
Jacoby, Annette Demographer   NYC Department of City Planning
Kolker, Abigail Immigration Policy Analyst   Library of Congress
Lorek, Melanie Consortial Faculty Sociology and Human Relations CUNY School of Professional Studies
Martucci, Sara Assistant Professor Social and Behavioral Sciences Mercy College
McKinney, Andrew Open Educational Resources Coordinator Office of Library Services CUNY
Michaels, Erin Assistant Professor Sociology University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Ravenelle, Alexandrea Assistant Professor Sociology University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Salman, Sara Lecturer Criminology Victoria University of Wellington
Scannell, Joshua Assistant Professor Digital Media Theory New School
Witteveen, Dirk Postdoctoral Research Fellow   Nuffield College, University of Oxford
Zheng, Wenjuan Postdoctoral Research Fellow Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society Stanford University
Name Position Department Institution
Brady, Marnie F. Assistant Professor Politics and Human Rights Marymount Manhattan College
Dobchuk-Land, Bronwyn Assistant Professor  Criminal Justice University of Winnipeg
Douglas, Daniel Visiting Assistant Professor Educational Studies and Social Science Research Methods Trinity College
Haber, Benjamin Parrish Visiting Assistant Professor Sociology Wesleyan University
Jang, Sou Hyun Assistant Professor Sociology Sungkyunkwan University
Liss, Jesse Adam Professor Sociology and Anthropology Rutgers University
Moran, Kevin Assistant Professor Criminology and Sociology Bloomfield College
Nadler, Christina Postdoctoral Fellow Teaching, Learning and Technology Macaulay Honors College
Saghera, Samantha Pina Research Analyst   Thomas Nelson Community College
Skinner, James W. Postdoctoral Research Associate   THIS Institute
Takeall, Alan R. Lecturer Urban Studies Queens College
GC Building Entrance Canopy Flags 08/27/2021 1620px.jpg

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