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Graduate Student Trajectories

Graduate Student Trajectories

Master’s and Ph.D. Graduates from the Department of Sociology and Anthropology continue on in a variety of careers and fields of research. Review initial student trajectories upon graduation, as well as Theses, Dissertations, and Practicum titles below.

Students walk across NC State's court of north carolina


Amaja Andrews, M.A.

Capstone: Hidden Figures: The Gender Gap in Healthcare Data Collection and Care for Transgender and Non-Binary Individuals

Sarah Dixon, M.A.

Capstone: The Extension of the Physical Body; Embodiment in Virtual Reality through Phantom Sense

Nick Ferese, M.A.

Thesis: A Zooarchaeological Approach to Interspecies Gender Intersectionality: Analysis of the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Cistern Faunal Collection and the Positionality of Julia Westall Wolfe.

Jordan Misha, M.A.

Capstone: Queer Geographies: Mapping Landscapes of Identity in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Wesley Parrish, M.A.

Thesis: Portable X-Ray Fluorescence and Clay: An Examination of the Effectiveness of Using pXRF for Archaeological Ceramic Clay Sourcing Studies.:

Daniela Trujillo, M.A.

Thesis: Responses of the Muisca Chiefdom to Environmental Change: Social Inequality and Dietary Patterns at the Nueva Esperanza Archaeological Site (11th–16th Century).

Duke University: Ph.D. Student

Nora Al Aati, M.A.

Thesis: Putting on a Show: A Re-Analysis of Gender and Performativity at the Royal Cemetery of Ur.

Penn Arts & Sciences: Ph.D. Student

Dillion Cartwright, M.A.

Capstone: Avian Insights into Mamluk Tell Qarqur, Syria: Reconstructing Environmental Conditions through Archaeo-ornithology.

Darius Collins, M.A.

Capstone: Environmental Justice: What it Means in the Walnut Creek Wetlands.

NC Water Resources Research Institute: Community Water Intern

Katrina Geist, M.A.

Capstone: Cultivating connection in the Covid era: student experiences in an in-person agroecology internship after experiencing pandemic learning.

Jessica McLawhorn, M.A.

Thesis: The Impact of Brachydactyly on the Neighboring Digits in the Hands and Feet.

Aidan Paul, M.A.

Thesis: An Archaeological History of Forbush Creek and the Piedmont Village Tradition-Mississippian Frontier.

New South Associates, Inc.: Field Technician –

Jenna Scott, M.A.

Thesis: Add to Cart? The Ethical Landscape of Buying Human Bone in the United States: A Case Study of the NCSU Human Skeletal Remains Collection.

Sarah Wells, M.A.

Capstone: Directional Asymmetry and Hand Dominance in Colonial Mexico City.

Niloufar Yarahmadi, M.A.

Capstone: Visions of Iranian Environmental Activism Inside and Outside of the Country.

Sherry Boyette, M.A.

Capstone: Porch Living: The Material Culture of the Ailey Young House.

North Carolina Department of State Archaeology: Archaeological Technician

Harley North, M.A.


Ciele Rosenberg, M.A.

Thesis: Fluctuating Asymmetry and the Embodiment of Maternal Stress at Newton Plantation, Barbados.

U.C. Berkeley: Ph.D. Student

Connor Seaton-Plesser, M.A.

Thesis: Fetchez la vache”: an Actor-Network Theory Approach to the Ritual and Domestic Zooarchaeology of the Irish Neolithic Transition.

Archeological Technician

Clara Chang, M.A.

Capstone: Understanding the Confederate Monument Debate in North Carolina: Anthropological Voices in the Research Triangle

Audrey Egler, M.A.


HIT Strategies: Innovation Assistant –

Kiana Fekette, M.A.

Thesis: Beads, Buckles, Buttons, and Pipes: Embodiment of Identity at Somerset Place, NC.

University of Texas at Austin: Digital Reformatting Coordinator

Ashleigh Freeman, M.A.

Thesis: Asymmetry in the Arm and Hand Bones as Potential Indicators of Handedness.

Cobb County School District: Teacher

Paige Knapp, M.A.

Capstone: Burial Practices of Eke Parish on the Island Gotland, Sweden: An Overview of Changes in Continuity.

Jennifer Molchan, M.A.

Capstone: Digitizing the Brown Family Collection at the Molly Brown House Museum.

Burns & McDonnell: Assistant Cultural Resource Specialist –

Amanda Posgai, M.A.


NC Department of State Archaeology: Archaeological Technician

Jordan Smart, M.A.

Thesis: Logit Summation as an Alternative Sex Estimation Method.

Novagene USA: Tech Support Scientist

Corrie Strayer, M.A.


Cisco: IB Data Analyst

Danielle Airola, M.A.

Capstone: Keeping It in the Grave: The Bioarchaeology of the Undead.

University of Montana: Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology

Joel King, M.A.

Thesis: Consuming or Consumed at the Fred Graves Site, 31AM448: Economic Strategies and Consumption Behaviors on a 19th Century Farmstead and Community Hub.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill: Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology

Megan Schwalenberg, M.A.

Thesis: Frailty in the Lower Illinois River Valley: An Analysis of Periosteal New Bone Formation during the Transition to Agriculture.

New South Associates: Assistant Lab Manager

Sarah Edwards, M.A.

Thesis: The Politics of Place: Branding, Identity, and Belonging in Pinehurst, NC.

University of Wisconsin-Madison: Ph.D, Candidate in Media and Cultural Studies

Felipe Acosta Munoz, M.A.

Thesis: Ko’ox T’aano’on ich Máaya: Yucatec Maya Language Revitalization Efforts among Professional Educators in the State of Yucatán, México.

University of Florida: Ph.D. Candidate in Anthropology

Rebekah Podolefsky, M.A.

Capstone: The Great Pestilence and It’s Effects on Stature and Body Mass in Urban Medieval England

University of Iowa: Operations Coordinator

Maomao Tang, M.A.

Capstone: Nature-culture: An Examination of Cultural Impacts on Representations of Nature in the Museums of Natural History and Natural Science in Beijing and Raleigh

Yorktown Systems Group: Chinese Mandarin Instructor

William Turner, M.A.

Capstone: How Trade with the English Effected Occupations and Movement of the Yamasee in Lower South Carolina, Leading to the Yamasee War of 1715

Tower Engineering Professionals: Staff Archaeologist

Vanessa Way, M.A.

Capstone: Practices of Asylum Seeking: Culture, Community and the State as Alternative Forms of Law


Katherine Johnson, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Multiracial Families and the Myth of a Post-racial U.S.: An Intersectional Examination of Racial Socialization Practices, Family Dynamics, and Interactions.

College of Charleston: Visiting Assistant Professor

Emilia Cordero Oceguera, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Transformative Harvests: Everyday Resistance and Relational Care in the Food and Agricultural Work of Mexican Migrant Farmworker Mothers in North Carolina

Darien Dixon, Ph.D.

Dissertation: No Longer Divided:  Analyzing the Racial Integration of Schools in North Carolina

Tom Leppard, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Collaborating with Competitors: Exploring Network Mechanisms that Drive the Benefits of Collaboration in Music


The following students were awarded a Master’s Degree en route to their Ph.D. at NC State

Malia Hamilton, M.S.

Thesis: Racialized Transactionalism: The Racial Politics of Giving and Receiving in the Black Panther Party’s Food Distribution Work

Juliene Porcuincula, M.S.

Thesis: Understanding the Filipino Immigrant Experience through Dietary Acculturation and Ethnic Identity.

John Hedlund, Ph.D.

Dissertation: The Development of Plastics in the United States: A Political Economic, Historical, and Socioecological Analysis.

Joshua Hummel, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Migrants, Monuments, and Masks: Presentations of Opposition as Collective and Racial Identity Construction.


Claudia Liu, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Foreign Feelings: Emotive and Intersectional Experiences of International Chinese Students.

Rights NGO: Research Assistant

Marissa Personette, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Controlling Images & Aversive Racism: How Race Influences Bystander Intervention in Campus Sexual Victimization.

Duke Social Science Research Institute: Evaluation and Applied Research Associate

Chaniqua Simpson, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Through a Black Queer Feminist Lens: Ideology and Praxis in a Black Youth Activist Organization

East Carolina University: Assistant Professor


The following students were awarded a Master’s Degree en route to their Ph.D. at NCSU

Patricia Sanchez Ramirez, M.S.

Thesis: Examining the Influence of Nested Contexts of Reception on Undocumented Graduate Students.

Bec Stargel, M.S.

Thesis: Pathways of Survival and Resistance: How Trans People Navigate Healthcare Barriers.

Daulton Selke, M.S.

Thesis: All I Did Was Stand in the Middle”: A Case Study of Pitch Contours and Boundary Maintenance in the Prosody of Tupac Shakur.

Xiaoqin Yan, M.S.

Thesis: American Sociology as a Cultural System: Examining meaning structure in knowledge production through semantic network analysis.

Chao Liu, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Network Embeddedness and Team Collaboration in the GitHub Community.

Minnesota State University, Mankato: Assistant Professor of Sociology

Shelly Maras, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Healthcare as an Institution of Social Control: Intimate Partner Violence Survivors’ Experiences of Medicalization, Safety, and Punitive Care.

UNC Chapel Hill: Research Scientist


The following students were awarded a Master’s Degree en route to their Ph.D. at NCSU

Christian Alberg, M.S.

Thesis: Gentrification and Legacies of Slavery: Are Place-based Tax Incentives Exacerbating Racial Economic Inequality?

Megan Martinez, M.S.

Thesis: Alleviating Procedural Frustration: How the 2006 Immigration Reform Protests Increased U.S. Latinos’ Trust in the Government.

Allison Rungeling, M.S.

Thesis: Employment during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

Avery Walter, M.S.

Thesis: Liberty and Justice for All?: The Limitations of a State-Centered Approach in Immigrant Advocacy.

Southern Coalition for Social Justice: Qualitative Researcher

Meghan Watts, M.S.

Thesis: Reacting to Rebellion: Sentiment Analysis of Tweets about Extinction Rebellion.

Alyssa Alexander, Ph.D.

Dissertation: The Price of Parenthood: Identity Mobilization and the Parenthood Wage Gap Among Paid Care Workers.

University of British Colombia: Lecturer

Laura Bray, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Dividing the San Juan: Settler Colonialism, Water Inequality, and Rural Injustice in the US Southwest.

University of Oklahoma: Research Scientist

Timothy Clark, Ph.D.

Dissertation: The Sea is Empty. Fisheries and the Global Seafood Sector in the Age of Capital. A Socio-Historical Analysis.

Institute for Oceans and Fisheries, University of British Colombia: Postdoc

Peter Knepper. Ph.D.

Dissertation: Does Racial/Ethnic Diversity, Racist Ideology, and Economic Hardship Shape Social Trust and Civic Engagement?: A Critique and Extension of Putnam’s “Hunkering Down” Thesis.

Abt Associates: Senior Data Analyst

Victoria Kurdyla, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Help-Seeking for Transgender and Nonbinary Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence.

UNC Pembroke: Assistant Professor

Blake Martin, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Perceptions of Body Image and Bodily Stigma Among Pre-Adolescent Children: A Photovoice Study.

Evoke MicroMass: Behaviorist

Josephine McKelvy, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Time of My Life: Managing Experiences of Time When Lives Get Stuck.

SHIFT NC: Evaluation Specialist

Adriana Mariana Szabo, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Environmental Threats and Economic Promises: The Treadmill of Production and Gold Mining in Roșia Montană, Romania.

Arizona State University: Teaching Faculty Associate

Andrew Smolski, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Growing (Un)Sustainable Structures. A Comparative-Historical Analysis of Cuba’s Agrarian Social Metabolic Order, 1898-2016.

North Carolina State University: Research Scholar in the Department of Agricultural and Human Sciences

Annika Wilcox, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Agentic Action Under Social Constraints: Diversity Meaning-Making in a High-Tech Organization.


The following students were awarded a Master’s Degree en route to their Ph.D. at NCSU

Darien Dixon, M.S.

Thesis: Experiencing School in Black & White: Analyzing Race Consciousness during the Racial Integration of Schools.

Landen Gambill, M.S.

Thesis: Social Control and Environmental Grievances in a Risk Society: Coal Ash Contamination in North Carolina.

Danielle Lemite, M.S.

Thesis: Controlling Images in amerika’s Favorite Pornography.

Thomas Leppard, M.S.

Thesis: #GOALS: How Class Origins Affect the Creation and Realization of Career Goals.

Aston Patrick, M.S.

Thesis: Sounding Like You Belong: How Shared Dialect Creates Community in Academia.

Sierra Satterfield, M.S.

Thesis: ‘I Aint Tryna Die:’ Intersections of Race and Gender, Legal Estrangement and Student Support for Campus Carry.

NC State University: Survey Research Analyst

Martha Gathings, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Justice, Equity, and Raising the Age of Juvenile Jurisdiction: A North Carolina Case Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Youthful Defendants in Criminal Courts.

Janelle Perez, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Climate Change, Risk, and Resiliency in Benguet Province, Philippines.

Tessa Permut, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Urban Planning, Revitalization, and the Reproduction of Inequality.

Triangle Men’s Therapy: Licensed Psychotherapist

Virginia Riel, Ph.D.

Dissertation: When Charters are the Choosers: A Supply-Side Analysis of Charter School Choice.

North Carolina State University: Assistant Teaching Professor

Karen Wirth, Ph.D.

Dissertation: The Career Cost of Children: A Life Course Perspective of the Gender Gap in Occupational Status.

Elon University: Lecturer in Sociology


The following students were awarded a Master’s Degree en route to their Ph.D. at NCSU

Alexandra Bailey, M.S.

Thesis: Fatherhood Under Fire: How Men of the Father’s Rights Movement Establish Themselves as Creditable Men and Victims.

Taurean Brown, M.S.

Thesis: Adopting The Black Radical Perspective: An Analysis of Autobiographical Accounts.

Alivia Canter, M.S.

Thesis: Shame and Obedience: Religion and the Management of Unruly Emotions.

Osborn Gambale Beckley & Budd: Injury Paralegal

Brooke Graham, M.S.

Thesis: Queer-ly Unequal: LGBT+ Students’ Experiences with Social Support and Resiliency in Education.

Grace Wichham, M.S.

Thesis: Emerging Contaminants, Environmental Health and Activism: The Case of PFAS Contamination in NC

3C Institute: Project Coordinator

Tyler Flockhart, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Emotion Work in an Age of Incomplete Acceptance: How Parents and LGBs Manage and Maintain Familial Relationships

Viterbo University: Assistant Professor, Criminal and Community Justice, Sociology School of Human Behavior

Riku Kawaguchi, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Spatial-Temporal Dynamics of Neighborhood Contexts: Considering Time of Day and Types of Neighborhoods in Linking Social Disorganization, Criminogenic Places, and Crime.

Mercer University: Assistant Professor of Sociology

Jennifer Lutz, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Condemning the Criminal Corporation: Corporate Sentencing, Focal Concerns, and the Effects of Dodd-Frank on Sentencing Outcomes.

DHS Science and Technology Directorate: Science and Technology Lab Utilization Manager

Lisa McManus, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Exploring Writing Reviews and Dining Out as Acts of Prosumption: A Qualitative Study of Online Restaurant Reviews.

Wake Tech Community College: Lecturer in Sociology

Mari Kate Mycek, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Reaching Across the Table: An Investigation of Social Ties, Commensality, and Community in Two Food Justice Organizations.

New Growth Innovation Network: Advisor, Inclusive Economic Development

Caroline Myrick, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Language and Gender Ideologies in Higher Education: An Examination of Faculty Discourses.

Wikimedia Foundation: Senior Analyst

Lynn Plummer, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Women in the United States Military Negotiating Work and Family Conflicts in the Republic of Korea.

Nicholas Richardson, Ph.D.

Dissertation: To Arrest (or not): An Examination of Race and Sexual Orientation on the Likelihood of Arrest in Domestic Violence Encounters.

Michele Scott, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Consumed by Health: How Extreme Health Practices Shape Identities.

Sarah Williamson, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Toward an Integrated Theory of Human Trafficking: Unraveling the Role of Global Economic Policies in Shaping Macro-Level Conditions Cross-Nationally.

University of West Georgia: Associate Professor of Criminology

Marie Gualtieri, Ph.D.

Dissertation: The Golden Years or an Age of Insecurity?: The Experiences of Food Insecurity among Grandfamilies.

U.S. House of Representatives: Senior Policy Advisor

Danny Hamrick, Ph.D.

Dissertation: How Markets Shape Geographic Indicators: A Global Value Chain Analysis of Pisco.

Duke University: Senior Program Coordinator

Chris McDaniel, Ph.D.

Dissertation: Parental Incarceration, Depression and Crime: An Examination of Incarceration Timing, Parental Closeness and Parent-Child Gender.

Oregon State University: Instructor of Sociology


The following students were awarded a Master’s Degree en route to their Ph.D. at NC State

Heather Johnson, M.S.

Thesis: Building a Better Back of the House: North Carolina Women Chef-Restaurant Owners Crafting Identities and Organizations via Carework.

Yuanyuan Liu, M.S.

Thesis: Blue Lives Matter?: An Analysis of Blue Lives Matter News Comments.

Leslie Pierce, M.S.

Thesis: The Gendered Framing of Weight Loss Surgery.

Kelsey Mischke, M.S.

Thesis: Body Dissatisfaction, Body Projects, and Efficacy-Based Self-Esteem: Paths into Bodybuilding.

Marissa Personette, M.S.

Thesis: What Makes a Guardian Capable?: A Routine Activities Approach to Sexual Victimization.

Copies of Theses and Dissertations are kept with the NCSU Digital Repository

Copies of practicum projects may contain sensitive information and must be requested directly from the researcher.

If you are an alumni who would like to update your information, please email