Current Students

Students in the Ph.D. program in Sociology pursue research in many areas of sociology, including urban sociology, race and ethnicity, labor movements, gender, education, and immigration. Our students teach in the various universities across the CUNY system, work at the Graduate Center’s many research institutes, and are involved in ongoing research efforts at organizations across New York City.

Profiles

Headshot: Andrew Anastasi

Email: aanastasi@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Film & Media Studies, Macalester College

Research Interests: Political sociology; labor & social movements; social & political theory

headshot: Josephine Barnett

Email: jbarnett@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology and Media Studies, Queens College; M.S. Applied Social Research, Hunter College

Research Interests: visual sociology, media/film studies, medical sociology, generational trauma, critical disability studies, mental health, and feminist criminology

Josephine Barnett is a Ph.D. student earning a doctorate in Sociology and a Graduate Certificate in Film Studies at The Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY). She currently holds a position as an Adjunct Lecturer, teaching Research Methods and Analysis in the Sociology Department at Queens College (CUNY). As a trained photographer and sociologist, she employed visual research methods in her work entitled Painting a Voice, which explored how individuals living with stigmatizing illnesses (e.g., HIV/AIDS, breast cancer) used graffiti to raise social awareness about the illness, while also reclaiming their body and public space through ‘street art. Such work was awarded The Rachel Tanur Memorial Prize for Visual Sociology, sponsored by the Social Science Research Council and continues to be showcased by the International Visual Sociology Association. Josephine is currently developing her dissertation proposal, which aims to bridge sociological theory and visual research methodologies, exploring generational and cultural trauma. Employing mixed methods that include the use of ‘the family photo album’ and ‘home videos’ as data, she seeks to identify the visual aspects that contribute to the concealment (and exposure) of a traumatic past rooted in systemic acts of violence across generations.

Headshot: Duygu Basarin Sahin

Email: dbasaransahin@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Degrees/Diplomas: M.A., Health, Population and Social Policy, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales

Dissertation Title: Inequality in later life: patterns, predictors and consequences of post-retirement employment in the United States (tentative), Advisor: Richard D. Alba

Research Interests: Aging, Race and Ethnicity, Inequality, Demography

Duygu Basaran Sahin is a PhD candidate in Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and an alumni of the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR). As part of her fellowship at CIDR, she has worked with Frank Heiland on Black-White mortality differentials in the U.S. and then with Richard Alba on the rise of mixed-race groups in the U.S. She got her B.A. in Sociology in Istanbul, Turkey at Galatasaray University and holds an M.A. in Health, Population and Social Policy from Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris, France. Before starting her doctoral studies, Duygu worked for non-profit organizations in Istanbul and New York. She is fluent in Turkish, English and French.

Headshot: Justin Beauchamp

Email: jbeauchamp@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Degrees/Diplomas: M.A., College Student Personnel, Bowling Green State University ; B.A., Social Identity Development, University of Connecticut

Research Interests: Higher Education, Inequality, Political Sociology, Race, Gender, Critical Theory

Headshot: Andrea Becker

Email: abecker@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Wake Forest University; M.A. Sociology, Vanderbilt University

Dissertation Title: I Just Wanted It Gone: Examining Wanted Hysterectomies through Two Gendered Case Studies

Research Interests: gender and sexuality, sexual violence, abortion, stigma, medical sociology, qualitative and quantitative methods

Andréa Becker is a PhD candidate and National Science Foundation GRFP Fellow. Her research questions regard gender & sexuality, medical sociology, reproduction, and stigma. She is primarily interested in “contested medical practices,” and the way culture and gender shape the way we understand health, medicine, and our bodies. Her dissertation examines hysterectomy narratives among two gendered case studies: individuals with chronic reproductive illness (e.g. endometriosis or fibroids) and trans & non-binary folks seeking gender affirming medical care. Andréa has an M.A. in Sociology from Vanderbilt University and her MA Thesis focused on perceptions of cyberstalking in the context of heteronormativity, sexual scripts, and gender. She received her B.A. from Wake Forest University where she studied Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies, and received a concentration in Social Determinants of Health.

headshot: Viktor Bensus

Email: vbensus@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Peru; M.A. in City Planning, University of California Berkeley.

Research Interests: Social theory, social production of space, socio-spatial segregation, urban politics, housing policies, social movements, citizen participation, ethnography, and GIS.

Viktor is broadly interested in the relationship between social production of space and urban politics. His more recent research has analyzed how local governments in Lima, Peru, implemented participatory mechanisms that atomized civic participation and limited the public discussion of common urban issues. Previously, he has studied how real estate dynamics intensify patterns of socio-spatial segregation. His first book (co-authored) analyzes the relationship between criminal markets and national borders in Peru. He has also studied and published academic papers on topics related to public spaces, metropolitan governance, citizen participation, intermediate cities, and national borders.

Before moving to the U.S., he worked as instructor and researcher at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru.

Seon-Britton headshot student photo

Email: sbritton@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: M.A. Africana Studies, The Graduate Center, CUNY; B.A. English Language & Literature, University of Michigan

Research Interests: race and ethnicity, inequality, culture, social change, historical sociology, urban sociology

Seon Britton is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. His work focuses primarily on marginalized communities seeking political, economic, and social justice and equity. More specifically, he studies organizations (grass-roots, non-profits, and socially-conscious corporations) and the hand that they can have in shaping social change/movements by being accessible to the communities they serve.

Headshot: Anthony Capote

Email: acapote@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. in Sociology and Communication at Manhattan College, concentration in journalism

Research Interests: Mass communication, media studies, political economy, intersectional inequality, digital and new media, news media and media control

Alex-Caring-Lobel headshot student

Email: acaringlob@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Comparative Literature, Emory University

Research Interests: work and labor, emotions, inequality, cultural sociology, critical theory


When Alex C-L woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a sociologist.

Marco-Castillo headshot student photo

Email: mcastillo1@gc.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology, Universidad Católica Nuestra Senora de la Asuncion; M.A. Sociology, Brooklyn College

Research Interests: citizenship studies, political sociology, social movements


Marco Castillo is an international doctoral student in sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center. With roots in Paraguay, Brazil, and Sweden, he is interested in the study of citizenship, and how its changing boundaries allow exploring class, gender, race, and ideological dynamics.

Juliana de Castro Galvao student photo

Email: jdecastrogalvao@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology and Social Sciences, University of Brasilia; M.A. Sociology, University of Brasilia

Research Interests: social stratification, gender wage gap, top incomes

 


Juliana de Castro Galvao is a PhD student in Sociology at the Graduate Center, Cuny. Conducts research in the field of social stratification. She is interested in understanding the extent, trends and determinants of socioeconomic inequalities both within and between countries. She has a master’s degree from the University of Brasilia (UnB) where she performed research using Brazilian 2010 Census data and tax income data – in order to correct for underestimation at the top of the earnings distribution –  to analyze the extent and determinants of the gender wage gap in Brazil among top, median and low income holders. Before coming to New York, she also worked as a consultant for the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) and the Brazilian Ministry of Human Rights carrying out data management studies for the construction of the Brazilian national inclusion register of people with disabilities.

She is currently working on a research project led by professor Paul Attewell and funded by Ascendium and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that examines to what extent some colleges in the U.S. are more effective in getting their degree-seeking students a diploma even after controlling for student body and institutional characteristics. She is also working on a project that analyzes intra and inter-cohort lifetime earnings inequality in the US from 1967 to 2016 using data from the PSID. 

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Joanna-Dressel headshot student photo

Email: jdressel@gradcenter.cuny.edu
 

Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology, American University


Research Interests: Urban Sociology, Economic Sociology, Cultural Sociology 


Joanna Dressel is a Ph.D. student in Sociology. She received her B.A. in Sociology from American University, where she developed an interest in narratives of place, specifically in the context of urban development and what is good for the city. Recently she has been working on a project that considers venture capital and the startup economy as a strategy for economic development in 'secondary cities.' 

Juan-Cruz-Ferre headshot student photo

Email: jferre@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Website

Degrees/Diplomas: M.D. Universidad Nacional de La Plata; M.P.P. Public Policy, Johns Hopkins University


Research Interests: political economy, Latin America, labor movements

Amelia-Fortunato headshot student photo

Email: afortunato@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Comparative American Studies, Oberlin College


Research Interests: labor and labor movements, race and ethnicity, collective behavior and social movements, working class politics


Inspired by my years as a union organizer in Chicago, my research focuses on race in the American Labor Movement. Specifically, I have written about historical cases of anti-black discrimination and violence in labor struggles, as well as solidarity and discord between organized labor and racial justice movements. More broadly, I am interested in theories of working class identity formation, political ideology and behavior, social movement spillover and interaction, and racial solidarity and conflict. In addition to my academic research, I teach Sociology courses at John Jay College as a Graduate Teaching Fellow. I am also the student representative for the Labor and Labor Movements Section of the American Sociological Association (ASA); a student fellow with ARC, CUNY’s Advanced Research Collaborative; and a member of the Student Advisory Board for Social Problems.

Leah-Glass headshot student photo

Email: lglass@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Website

Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Global Studies, Providence College; M.A. Applied Quantitative Research, New York University


Research Interests: race/racism, sociology of education, digital sociology, organizations


Leah Glass is a current doctoral student in sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Her research examines how racism is manifested in various institutions and platforms: non-profits, the education system, YouTube, and even in soccer. Her current work explores how "diversity" discourse and initiatives are experienced by staff at non-profits. Leah is a mixed methods researcher—she has experience quantitatively studying post-secondary outcomes for first generation college students, as well as conducting in-depth interviews and ethnographies in organizations. In addition to her doctoral studies, Leah also works full-time as a non-profit data analyst. When not working or studying, you can find her cuddling with her cat Benny or on a pitch playing soccer.

Email:hgoeury@gradcenter.cuny.edu

the graduate center sign

 

Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Political Science, Université Libre de Bruxelles; M.A. Population and Development Studies, Université Libre de Bruxelles; MSc. Latin American Politics, University College London


Research Interests: Latin America, social control, discourse analysis, poverty and inequality, hegemony and ideology, public policies, neoliberalism


Hugo Goeury received his MA in Population and Development Studies from the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Based on a four-month field research in La Havana, his dissertation studied the impact of urban agriculture on food security. He then completed an MSc in Latin American Politics at the University College London (UCL), focusing on the evolution of the official memory promoted by successive Argentine governments towards the military dictatorship of 1976-1983. Following graduation, he worked for about a year in the research department of the Centro de Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS) in Buenos Aires. Hugo is currently enrolled in the PhD Sociology program at The Graduate Center, CUNY. His research interests include issues of social control, State transformation, ideology and neoliberalism and inequalities in the Latin American context.

Edwin-Grimsley headshot student

Email: egrimsley@gradcenter.cuny.edu

Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Biology, Wesleyan University


Research Interests: neighborhoods, race, crime, and stratification/inequality

Jane-Guskin headshot student

Email: jguskin@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Race, Migration, and Social Change, The Graduate Center, CUNY (CUNY BA)


Research Interests: social movements, migration, labor, race, incarceration, historical sociology.


Jane Guskin is a doctoral student in sociology at The Graduate Center, the City University of New York. Her research explores race, migration, labor, criminalization, and social change through a historical-sociological lens. Her current work investigates how thousands of immigrant workers across the United States navigated power relations to set the terms of their participation in “Day without an Immigrant” general strikes during the spring of 2006. She has also studied the dynamics of power in grassroots campaigns against immigration detention in New York City in the post-9/11 period. In 2017 Jane worked for Dr. Ruth Milkman conducting focus groups in Spanish and English with home care workers for a research project with New York City’s Office of Labor Protections and Standards. She has also worked for Dr. Els de Grauuw at Baruch College, researching local initiatives on immigrant integration in New York State. Jane has a background in labor and immigrant rights organizing, nonprofit administration, and grants management. She is co-author of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers, published by Monthly Review Press.

Braelyn-Hendricks headshot student

Email: bhendricks@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.S. Chemistry, University at Albany, SUNY


Research Interests: science and technology, gender, sexuality, race, youth and education, social movements

Beiyi-Hu headshot student

Email: bhu@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: L.L.B., Sociology, Minzu University of China; M.A. Social Sciences, University of Chicago


Research Interests: Ethnoracial Categorization, International Immigration, Geospatial Analysis, National Identity


Beiyi Hu received her MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago studying how people and institutions perceived and deployed categories that created geographically inscribed “Otherness” in Sweden. After completing her Master’s, Beiyi worked on Harvard Faculty Policy and Benefits Survey Project as a research assistant at the University of Chicago Survey Lab. Beiyi is currently an Advanced Research Collaborative (ARC) student fellow. Her current research focuses on the myth of Swedish national identity and its relations with refugees. 

Isaac-Jabola-Carolus-photo student

Email: ijabolacarolus@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Development Studies, Brown University


Research Interests: labor and labor movements, social movements, social welfare policy

Elisabeth-Lackner headshot student

Email: elackner@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Race, Migration, and Social Change, The Graduate Center, CUNY (CUNY BA)


Research Interests: social movements, migration, labor, race, incarceration, historical sociology.


Jane Guskin is a doctoral student in sociology at The Graduate Center, the City University of New York. Her research explores race, migration, labor, criminalization, and social change through a historical-sociological lens. Her current work investigates how thousands of immigrant workers across the United States navigated power relations to set the terms of their participation in “Day without an Immigrant” general strikes during the spring of 2006. She has also studied the dynamics of power in grassroots campaigns against immigration detention in New York City in the post-9/11 period. In 2017 Jane worked for Dr. Ruth Milkman conducting focus groups in Spanish and English with home care workers for a research project with New York City’s Office of Labor Protections and Standards. She has also worked for Dr. Els de Grauuw at Baruch College, researching local initiatives on immigrant integration in New York State. Jane has a background in labor and immigrant rights organizing, nonprofit administration, and grants management. She is co-author of The Politics of Immigration: Questions and Answers, published by Monthly Review Press.

Angela LaScala-Gruenewald student

Email: alascalag@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Political Science and International Studies, University of Chicago


Research Interests: Law and society, social stratification/inequality, critical criminology, the welfare state, qualitative and quantitative methods


Angela is a PhD student in sociology at The Graduate Center (CUNY). Their research explores social control and punishment in social systems with an emphasis on how bureaucratic processes create inequality through racialized organizational structures and the criminalization of poverty. Angela’s current study uses ethnographic methods to examine how monetary sanctions are applied in court systems. 

Xuemeng-Li headshot student

Email: xli5@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology, Nanjing University; M.A. Sociology, Nanjing University; Graduate Certificate in International Relations, Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University


Research Interests: quantitative methods, factories and labor studies

Shannon-Lund headshot student

Email: slund@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Journalism, Brooklyn College; M.S. Business Economics, Brooklyn College


Research Interests: HIV and AIDS, gender and sexuality, LGBTQ youth,

Marianne-Madore headshot student

Email: mmadore@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Political Sciences, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Rennes; M.A. Urban Studies, Sciences Po. Paris

Brian-Mercado-Headshot student

Email: bmercado1@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A., Sociology, California State University, Northridge


Research Interests: Education, Race and Ethnicity, Immigration, Criminalization of Cultural Performance, Qualitative Methodologies


Brian is a PhD student at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He completed a B.A. in General Sociology from California State University, Northridge. His research interests include the criminalization and exclusion of youth entangled in the school/prison/deportation regime nexus and the impacts that interconnected systems of power in and around school settings have on “Othered” students’ decisions to reject dominant cultural values and practices by engaging in criminalized cultural performances.

Omar-Montana headshot student

Email: omontana@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology, Queens College, CUNY; M.A. Sociology, City College of New York


Dissertation Title:  It Ain't Easy Being Young: Post-Millennials and Millennials Navigate School, Housing, and Work Uncertainties in New York City


Research Interests: urban sociology, education, housing, labor, crime, social theory, New York

Parisa Montazaran Osmanovic student

Email: posmanovic@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: MA in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from NYU


Research Interests: Economic sociology, immigration, religion, culture and race/ethnicity


Parisa Montazaran Osmanovic is a third-year doctoral student in the department of Sociology at the Graduate Center. Her interests include the intersections of economic sociology, immigration, religion, culture and race/ethnicity. She received her MA in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies from NYU (‘16) and her doctoral research at the GC continues to explore the financial inclusion of Muslim Americans. 

Parisa serves on the Sociological Students Association (SSA) Anti-Racism Committee and Funding Equity campaign and was elected for a second term to the Curriculum and Examination (C&E) Committee (2020-22), which was awarded a PublicsLab Doctoral Curriculum Enhancement Grant (DCEG) for their research and mission to Decolonize Theory Curriculum. This project is especially meaningful to her teaching experience, as she lectures Intro to Sociology and Decolonizing Feminism courses to undergraduates at Hunter.

In 2021, she was also elected to the Doctoral and Graduate Student Council (DGSC) as a representative for the department of Sociology and therein elected 2021-22 University Faculty Senate (UFS) Liaison on behalf of the Doctoral students at The Graduate Center. 

Miriam-Moster headshot student

Email: mmoster@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: M.F.A. Poetry, Hunter College; B.A. Philosophy, Baruch College


Research Interests: Education, religion, collective memory

Karen Amaka Okigbo student

Email: kokigbo@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Website


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Politics, Princeton University; M.S. Sociology, North Dakota State University; M.S. Social Policy, University of Pennsylvania


Research Interests: immigration, race and ethnicity, education, intermarriage


Karen Okigbo is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology program at the Graduate Center. Her research focuses on the assimilation and acculturation experiences of Nigerian immigrants in the United States. Karen serves as a Senior Quantitative Research Associate at CUNY’s Center for Latin American, Caribbean & Latino Studies (CLACLS) and a Research Fellow at the Office of Research, Evaluation & Program Support (REPS). In 2009, she earned a Bachelor's in Politics from Princeton University. She also holds Masters degrees in Sociology from North Dakota State University and Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Siobhan-Marie-Pokorney headshot student

Email: spokorney@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Social Work, Marist College; M.A. Social Work, Columbia University


Research Interests: urban studies and the built environment, community integration, social capital, social inequality, and housing

Morgan Richards-Melamdir student

Email: mrichards@gradcenter.cuny.edu
Website


Degrees/Diplomas: M.A. Sociology, University of Oklahoma; B.A., Sociology, University of Central Oklahoma


Research Interests: Gender, Social and Economic Inequality, Social Policy, Comparative Methods


Morgan Richards-Melamdir is a Sociology PhD student at the Graduate Center. She’s interested in how political and economic organizations, policies, and decision-makers shape life chances, especially for those most socially and economically marginalized. Richards-Melamdir applies a global lens and cross-national and comparative methodologies to pursue this interest. Her current research focuses on gender bias in tax policy and the instrumentalization of women’s empowerment in the World Bank Group policy and project implementation.

Richards-Melamdir is also an evaluation, and research specialist who has spent the last decade facilitating data-driven decision-making in partnership with NGOs and government agencies, as well as research institutes and academia. Her work has informed projects funded or implemented by UN Women, UNDP,  ILO, World Bank, USAID, World Vision, Plan USA, WUR and others. Richards-Melamdir’s research and evaluation work includes projects in Kenya, Uganda, India, Nepal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Sudan, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Haiti, Armenia, Georgia, and the United States.

The results of Richards-Melamdir’s applied work and academic research have been featured in several conferences, a UN Think Piece, policy briefs, a technical journal, and the International Journal of Sociology.

Kristine-Riley headshot student

Email: kriley@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Psychology, Community Studies, UC Santa Cruz; M.S. Conflict and Dispute Resolution, University of Oregon School of Law


Research Interests: critical criminology (criminalization of sex work), popular culture and social movements, feminist theory, critical race theory, queer theory

Nicholas-Rodrigo headshot student

Email: nrodrigo@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. History, SOAS University of London; M.A. Theory & Practice of Human Rights, University of Essex


Research Interests: postcolonial theory, forced migration, deportations, political violence, Middle East politics, human rights discourse, globalization

Janina-Selzer headshot student photo

Email: jselzer@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Politics, Psychology and Sociology (PPS), University of Cambridge; M.A. Social Sciences (MAPSS), University of Chicago


Research Interests: critical race theory, immigration, urban sociology, qualitative methods, symbolic interactionism, gender studies


Janina Selzer received her BA in Politics, Psychology and Sociology from the University of Cambridge, UK, in 2015. In 2016 she graduated with an MA in the Social Sciences from the University of Chicago with a focus on racial segregation in a demographically heterogeneous neighbourhood in Chicago. Janina studies critical race theory, gender, intersectionality of inequality, urban sociology, and qualitative methods. More specifically she focuses on the construction of racial categories in the European context, as well as intersectional experiences of everyday racism in Germany. Currently, her research looks at how far-right media outlets define a German vs. a foreign identity in order to criminalize Muslim refugees.

Andrew-Shapiro headshot student

Email: ashapiro3@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology, Vassar College


Research Interests: racialization and racial formation, gender and sexual performativity, symbolic interaction, social psychology, queer theory, critical race theory, sociology of knowledge, social constructionism, social theory


Andrew Shapiro is a Ph.D. student in sociology at the Graduate Center, CUNY researching the reproduction of racial hierarchy, heteronormativity, and other systems of domination through a symbolic interactionist lens. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Vassar College, where he researched the changing contours of racial exclusion and inclusion for New York's Ashkenazi Jewry. His scholarship focuses primarily on issues of racialization, performativity, social psychology and theory. He currently teaches sociology classes at Lehman College.

Christie-Sillo headshot student

Email: csillo@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas:  B.A. American Studies, University of Connecticut; M.A. Sociology, City College of New York


Dissertation Title: The Virtual Swirl: Images of #Interracial Couples on Instagram


Research Interests: sociology of families, race and racisms, gender and sexuality, social media, digital sociology, media and pop culture studies

August-Smith headshot student

Email:agsmith@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A., Sociology, Georgia State University


Research Interests: Education, Pedagogy, Critical Race Theory, Inequality


August Smith received their B.A. in Sociology from Georgia State in 2019. Their research thus far has focused on the racial education gap in Georgia high schools. Their future work will continue to look at the racial and class education gaps as well as the ways that white supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and capitalism are bolstered through classroom best practices and certain pedagogical choices. They will also look at ways that this phenomenon can be subverted in order to promote more equitable and liberated classrooms.

Tanesha-Thomas headshot student photo

Email: tthomas2@gc.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology, New York University


Dissertation Title: Mapping the Toxins: Intersectionality and Environmental Justice


Research Interests: environmental sociology; human geography (GIS/spatial statistics); law and society; social stratification and inequality; global and transnational sociology

Tucker_Frederick headshot student

Email: ftucker@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Fiction Writing, Columbia College of Chicago; M.A. Liberal Studies, The Graduate Center, CUNY


Research Interests: participatory democracy, social movements, digital media, urban studies, liberation pedagogy.


Frederick's research focuses on experiments in direct, participatory democracy, particularly global democratic processes that utilize digital media. Research also includes urban social movements that result in regime change and establish democratized governance.

Joseph-van-der-Naald headshot student

Email: jvandernaald@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Psychology, Linguistics, Portland State University Honors College; M.A. Sociology and Social Anthropology, Central European University


Dissertation Title: Public Sector Unions and the State in Michigan and Ohio, 1950-1985


Research Interests: political economy, public sector labor unions, inter-state comparisons, the long 1970s, labor and work, the welfare state, political sociology, state theory, critical theory


Joseph van der Naald is a Ph.D. candidate in the program in sociology at the Graduate Center. His research is generally concerned with the public sector labor movement in the United States. More specifically, he is interested in public sector unions and inter-state differences in labor law and social policy regimes. Joseph also serves as a research assistant at the Stone Center for Socio-Economic Inequality, a research analyst at the CUNY School of Labor and Urban Studies, as a Writing Across the Curriculum fellow at Kingsborough Community College, and as doctoral researcher at the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions.

His research at the National Center focuses largely on student worker unionization trends and labor law. His recent publications on this subject include:

Herbert, Wiliam A., and Joseph van der Naald. (2020). "A Different Set of Rules? NLRB Proposed Rule Making and Student Worker Unionization Rights." Journal of Collective Bargaining in the Academy 11(1).

Sebastian-Villamizar-Santamaria headshot student

Email: svillamizarsantamaria@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology, Universidad del Rosario; M.A. Geography, Universidad de los Andes


Dissertation Title: Making the Urban Rural: Urbanization, Rural Gentrification, and Mixed 'Naturehoods' in Colombia


Research Interests: urban sociology, environment and society, (class) inequality, Latin America

the graduate center sign

Email: eward1@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Barnard College


Research Interests: gender, race, political economy, organizations, social movements

Talya-Wolf headshot student

Email: twolf@gradcenter.cuny.edu


Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Chemistry, Skidmore College; M.A. Liberal Studies,  Graduate Center, CUNY


Research Interests: ethnography, racial and socioeconomic inequality, emotional labor, gender, presentation of self


Talya's past research involves ethnographic work with the Alcoholics Anonymous community, in which she explores how connections are forged across racial and socioeconomic strata. She is interested as well in emotional labor, with a specific focus on the work of nannies and the racial and socioeconomic inequalities experienced in the field. She takes great joy in in-depth ethnography work, but is also trained in other qualitative and quantitative methods.

Hakan-Yilmaz headshot student

Email: hyilmaz@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.S., Mathematics and Economics, University of Illinois at Chicago


Research Interests: Political Economy, Comparative Historical Sociology, Sociology of Labor 


Hakan Yilmaz is a first year student at the PhD program in Sociology at the Graduate Center. His research interests are in Contemporary Political Economy, Comparative Historical Sociology and Sociology of Labor. So far, his research was primarily in public education, financialization and the origins of capitalism.  He teaches an introductory course in heterodox economics at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has previously taught at New York City College of Technology.

Kasey-Zapatka headshot student

Email: ekzapatka@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Spanish Literature and Language, Point Loma Nazarene University; M.A. Sociology, Fordham University


Research Interests: urban inequality, affordable housing, neighborhoods, gentrification and suburbanization, segregation, globalization, educational inequality, quantitative methods


Kasey is a fourth-year doctoral student in Sociology at The Graduate Center (CUNY). He is broadly interested in researching urban inequality at the neighborhood level. Specifically, his interests focus on housing inequality, residential segregation, affordable housing, neighborhood change, gentrification, and suburbanization. Kasey is working on developing a dissertation project that looks at how neighborhood patterns of inequality and residential segregation shape spatial patterns of neighborhood affordability for the middle class.
 
Currently, Kasey is a Stone Center Junior Scholar and Urban Studies Pre-Dissertation Fellow. He teaches Social Statistics at Hunter College and is a teaching Assistant for Statistics I in the Graduate Center’s Quantitative Methods in Social Science program. He also works as a research assistant for Paul Attewell in the sociology department, researching the income benefits for those with varying degrees of educational attainment.
 
This past Summer Kasey was a Connect NYC Fellow and interned in the Research and Evaluation Division of the New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, where he helped to construct a dataset resulting from the Department's innovative Housing and Neighborhood Study.
 
Before that, Kasey worked as a Research Associate at the Center for Urban Research where he conducted labor market research for various CUNY colleges/universities, governmental institutions, and non-profits throughout the city. As a Digital Publics Fellow at the Center for Humanities, he developed a website that centralizes the various resources around rent regulation in New York City. He holds a Bachelors in Spanish Literature and Language and a Masters in Sociology. 

Jonathan-Zisook headshot student

Email: jzisook@gradcenter.cuny.edu
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Degrees/Diplomas: B.A. Sociology, Yeshiva University; M.A. Modern Jewish History, Yeshiva University


Research Interests: sociology of religion, comparative-historical sociology, political sociology, social theory, sociology of culture race and ethnicity, contemporary Jewry