Current Graduate Students | Sociology | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Liberal Arts

masters students

Current Graduate Students

Clay Awsumb

PhD Student

Clay Awsumb is a doctoral candidate in sociology, a life-long Illinois resident from Belleville, and SIU alumnus with a B.A. and M.A. in sociology from SIU Edwardsville. Working in the areas of urban and community sociology, politics and culture, social justice, and state crime research, Clay researches and theorizes power, resistance, culture, governmentality, and structural violence. His dissertation, “Community Organizing and Organizing Styles,” aims to further understand the formative roles of community organizers’ attitudes, beliefs, and values in community mobilization, organization, action, and politics. While at SIUC Clay has taught Intro to Sociology and Race and Ethnic Relations. Clay is the recipient of the Illinois Sociological Association Graduate Student Paper Competition Award (2019), GPSC’s Outstanding Service Award (2020), and J. Mark Wehrle Dissertation Scholarship in Sociology (2020).

Daniel Baltz

PhD Student

Daniel Baltz is an M.A. student in Sociology. He graduated from Bethel University in 2012 with a B.L.A. in Sociocultural Studies with a focus in Anthropology and Third World Studies with an emphasis on Latin America. Daniel's research interest includes gender, race, and privilege.

Rebecca Bolinski

PhD Student

Rebecca Bolinski is a Ph.D. student in sociology. She earned her M.A. in sociology at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale in 2018. Rebecca’s thesis work explored how the print news media differentially framed the crack-cocaine, non-medical use of prescription opioid, and heroin crises by conducting a content analysis of newspaper articles from three time periods. She examined how framing and narratives used by the media may impact the publics perceptions and judgements, which likely impact drug policy and treatment along the lines of race, gender, and social class. Rebecca’s research interests include the sociology of deviance and crime, substance use, the sociology of race and ethnicity, gender, and social inequalities. Rebecca has been a teaching assistant for Introduction to Sociology. She is currently employed with the SIU School of Medicine as a research assistant working on ending transmission of HIV, HCV, and STDs and overdose in rural communities of people who inject drugs (ETHIC) study, funded by CDC, SAMSHA, and NIDA. Rebecca intends to focus her dissertation on rural substance use.

Courtney Boyce

MA Student

Courtney Boyce is a current Sociology graduate student from Chicago, Illinois. She has recently graduated from Depauw University with a major in Sociology and a double minor in Studio Art and Peace & Conflict studies. Her research interests are related to Sociology of Race, Criminology, Urban Sociology, and Public Sociology. Her past research has looked at Racism, Criminal Justice, Mass Incarceration, Neighborhood Disadvantage and Criminalization in the Media.

Rick Braatz

PhD Student

Rick Braatz is a student in the sociology doctoral program at SIU. He received his B.A. in Sociology from California State University, San Bernardino and M.A. in Sociology from San Diego State University. His research interests are in sexuality, social movements, and urban spaces. Before coming to SIU, he worked in social work and as a journalist in queer media. He is currently a managing editor for the journal, Men and Masculinities.

Hannah Crane

PhD Student

Hannah is a doctoral student in the sociology program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She received her B.A. in psychology with a minor in sociology at Eastern Illinois University in 2014. She received her M.A. in counseling with a specialization in school counseling from Eastern Illinois University in 2018. She was dual-certified as a school counselor and mental health counselor specializing in gender equality in STEM.

In 2018, she continued with her education to pursue a Ph.D. Hannah's research interests are in gender and family, reproductive justice, and child-free women and families. Hannah has also taught several courses, including Introduction to Gender in Society, Contemporary Social Problems, Racial Inequality, and Introduction to Sociology. Currently, Hannah is the 2021-2022 Celia M. Howard Fellow at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute

Trisha Crawshaw

PhD Student

Trisha Crawshaw is a doctoral candidate in Sociology at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She studies gender, inequality, and resistance in social movements and youth culture. Her work has been published in Contexts, Fat Studies, and Research in Social Movements, Conflict, and Change. She is also a contributing author in the latest volume of Advanced Gender Research: Gender and the Media.

Anthony Cusumano

PhD Student

Anthony Cusumano is a Doctoral candidate from Sycamore, IL. He earned his BA in Sociology with a Criminal Justice minor from Concordia University Chicago; and his MA in Sociology with a Criminology emphasis from Northern Illinois University. His research interests include bar culture, violence, gender, masculinity, criminology, qualitative methods, sociology of trouble, and behavior management. Anthony has worked as a teaching assistant for multiple courses, and has taught Introduction to Gender and Society here at SIUC. He was attracted to SIU by the nature in the area, the tightness of the Carbondale community, and the Sociology faculty. In his free time, he enjoys painting miniatures, playing tabletop wargames / rpgs, taking hikes and watching movies with his partner, and hanging out with his two cats, Xeno and Snowflake.

Awards Received:

  1. Pillars Scholarship – Concordia University Chicago – August 2013
    Awarded the Pillars scholarship for academic merit at Concordia University Chicago
  2. Francis Rowe Katz Award – Northern Illinois University – April 2019
    Received the Frances Rowe Katz Award from Northern Illinois University to provide monetary assistance in the research and writing of a Master’s thesis.
  3. Best Graduate Student Paper Award – Illinois Sociological Association – November 2022
    Received the Best Graduate Student Paper Award and monetary compensation from the Illinois Sociological Association for the paper “Barroom Blood: An Exploration of the Relationship Between Bars and Violence.”

Danijela Cvetkovic

PhD Student

Jeremiah Egbetayo

PhD Student

Jeremeiah Olayemi Egbetao is an international Ph.D. student from Nigeria. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the Obafemi Awolowo University (Nigeria), and his Master's degree in Sociology from Western Illinois University.

His research interests include: gender inequality, poverty among women, family structure/dynamics, child poverty, social control and culture.

Neeraja Kolloju

PhD Student

Neeraja Kolloju is a PhD student in sociology. She completed her M.A in sociology from Texas Tech University and a B tech in Electronics and communication engineering from Hyderabad, India. As a graduate instructor, she has taught SOC 223-'Women and men in contemporary society' and is currently teaching SOC 215- 'Race and ethnic relations in the U.S'. Her primary research interests are in the areas of gender, social change, social movements, sexuality and feminism, especially in the Indian context. She is currently working on research that explores feminist organizing and its reception on social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube of India.

Tori Neal

PhD Student

Tori Neal (they/them/their) is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology program at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. They graduated with their B.S. in Sociology and Minor in Women Studies at East Tennessee State University. Tori earned their M.A. at East Tennessee State University. Their thesis focused on the sexual education debate. Tori has been the instructor of record for Social Problems, and a teaching assistant for Minorities, Social Problems, and Introduction to Sociology both online and in-person. Currently, Tori is a TA for Introduction to Sociology (108)

Jelena Nikolic

MA Student

Joy Ifeoma Ofuokwu

PhD Student

Joy Ifeoma Ofuokwu is an international doctoral student in the Sociology program at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She received her B.A.Ed. in English from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. She received her M.A. in Sociology from Western Illinois University. Her research interests are in gender and sexuality, social inequalities, reproductive health, and medical sociology.

Kendra Pospisil

PhD Student

Kendra Pospisil is a Doctoral Candidate in the Sociology program at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She graduated with her B.A. in Sociology and Minor in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Northern Iowa. Kendra received her M.A. at Minnesota State University, Mankato where she completed her master’s thesis on gender expectations in children’s picture books. At SIU she has been a Teaching Assistant for 108: Intro to Sociology and Instructor of Record for 302: Contemporary Social Problems, SOC 215: Race and Ethnic Relations, and SOC 306I: Popular Culture in Society. Kendra’s research focuses on social inequalities (race, ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, gender, sizeism, etc.), fat studies, popular culture/media, gender and work, and emotional and aesthetic labor. Kendra has published work in Fat Studies.