Graduate Students

Abby Letak

Alex Mikulas

I am excited to continue my studies in Madison with a broad focus on Urban Sociology, demography, stratification, health disparities, geo-spacial analysis, and race and ethnicity. Lately however I have been interested in how the local food environment and context influences or mitigates health disparities and cultural resources, as well as how income inequality and racial and ethnic barriers to upward mobility interact with the local food environment.

Alexis Econie

Research Interests: Environmental sociology, sociology of work and organizations, social stratification and inequality.

Amanda McMillan Lequieu

I am a scholar of culture, place, and economic change. Broadly, I am interested in how low-income communities adapt to globalizing economies and changing environments over time, through the lens of cultural negotiation, environmental history, and economic development and undevelopment. My dissertation asks how historically working-class communities in American, Midwestern rustbelt navigated and narrated the evaporation of a common commodity chain. My website is

Angela Serrano

I study how the transformation of landscapes by farmers and financial actors shape their access to land. My main interests are political ecology and critical urban studies, particularly in relation to Latin America. In the past, I have studied the Global Value Chain of Avocado and how export oriented policies transform livelihood possibilities for farmers, as well as the implications of the concept of the Right to the City for agrarian social movements.

Ankit Rastogi

Benjamin Rosche

I am interested in understanding social structure from a geographical, temporal, and network perspective. I am particularly concerned with the role of social networks in the genesis of social inequality. To this end, I employ methods of quantitative empirical social research (esp. multilevel and survival analysis), social network analysis, and agent-based modeling. Beyond that, I have worked on accomplishing micro-macro transformations within the regression framework.

Christine Lyons

My research interests are the sociology of education, gender, sexuality, social psychology, and family. I am particularly interested in how different aspects of identity interact in adolescents as well as interventions to support adolescents on the margins.

Dagoberto Cortez

Elisa Avila

Greg Wilson

Isaac Leslie

Research interests: Environmental Sociology; Food Systems & Agriculture; Rural Sociology; Gender & Sexuality; Economic Change & Development; Latin America.

Jacqueline Hartley

Jake Carlson

Jason Robey

Javier Rodriguez

Jill Richardson

June Jeon

Kathryn Anderson

Kathryn’s dissertation examines the organic dairy sector through environmental sociology and economic sociology (collective action) lenses. She teaches undergraduate community and environmental sociology courses as well as collaborating in inter-disciplinary environmental studies courses. Research interests: Environmental sociology; economic sociology; political sociology; culture; rural sociology; agroecology; global food systems.

Katie Zaman

Kerem Morgul

Kurt Kuehne

Kurt’s research interests include social/economic change and development, political sociology, and qualitative methods. His agenda centers around political control, social engineering, and social hierarchy–with particular emphases on national education and on migrant worker regimes in Southeast Asia.

Laura Frye-Levine

Laura Hanson Schlacter

My dissertation engages perspectives from economic, political, and environmental sociology to study the relationship between resistance and building in movements for economic democracy and climate justice. I also serve as director of the first national survey of cooperative employees and worker-owners in collaboration with the Democracy at Work Institute.

Lauren Parnell Marino

My research interests include gender, empowerment discourse, women’s labor force participation, and international development, especially in east Africa.

Lee Scrivener

I am interested in urban governance and the politics of neighborhood transformation. Within these areas, I have particular interests in housing, public health, race & ethnicity, spatial data analysis, and policy analysis. My dissertation investigates environmental justice issues related to lead poisoning in Baltimore, Maryland.

Liangfei Ye

My research explores a puzzle of Chinese local governments in building green cities: compared to other countries, why the implementation, dominated by the local authoritarian governments, started with a rational planning, but gradually depended on market-based approaches and generated moderately negative neoliberal social outcomes.

Lindsey Twin

Matthew Zinsli

I research economic development among rural indigenous households in the Ecuadorian Amazon, specifically how land-use decisions, household income, overlapping land tenure regimes, and participation in farmer cooperatives shape and are shaped by emerging global commodity chains. Two commodities in particular – cacao and Ilex guayusa – are marketed by Global Northern transnational corporations as environmentally sustainable, culturally authentic, and/or ethically produced commodities, through the attachment to geographic indicators of the Amazon and ethnic indicators of the smallholder farmers that produce them.

Miriam Barcus

Nathan Shelton

Rachel Rosenfeld

My current research focuses on differential recovery migration patterns in the Gulf of Mexico following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. My broader research interests include demography, international development, natural disasters and sea level rise, and environmental health. Prior to UW-Madison, I worked at the World Bank on maternal and child health projects in Afghanistan and capacity building for impact evaluations in east Africa.

Sarah Farr

My current research explores urban informality, labor relations in city building, and the construction of urban citizenships in 20th century Mexico City. My broader research interests include work/labor relations, migration, cities, and the state, with a focus on the U.S. and Latin America. Prior to graduate study I did research on U.S.-based guest workers and labor recruitment processes in Mexico.

Sarah Stefanos

Sara Trongone

Interests: Social Movements, Political Sociology, Class Analysis & Historical Change, Labor.

Siying Fu

My main research interests are class analysis and collective action, especially the interaction between classes in contentious situations, and how that interaction may break or perpetuate existing power relations. In addition, I would also like to learn more about labor market inequality, internal migration and sociology of organization.

Tamara Wattnem

Todd Flournoy

Walker Kahn