Current Graduate Students | Sociology | SIU

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Current Graduate Students

Jeremy Allen

PhD Student

Jeremy Allen earned his Master’s in Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Southern Illinois University. His research interests include social control, politically underrepresented populations and comparing UK and US societal influences on public policy. Outside of academic interests, he enjoys car culture, sports, classic (not classical…) music and reading.


Clay Awsumb

PhD Student


Daniel Baltz

MA 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.


Austin Boe

MA Student

Austin Boe is a first-year M.A. student in the sociology department. He graduated with a B.S. in Marketing and French from North Dakota State University. Austin’s research interests include gender and sport.


Rebecca Bolinski

PhD Student

Rebecca Bolinski is a Ph.D. student in the sociology department. 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.


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, urban spaces and systemic violence.


Hannah Crane

PhD Student

Hannah Crane is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She graduated with her B.A. in Psychology and Minor in Sociology at Eastern Illinois University. Hannah earned her M.S. in Counseling at Eastern Illinois University. Currently, Hannah is a Teaching Assistant for 108: Intro to Sociology. Her research interests include: Gender and Violence, Socialization, and Social Movements.


Trisha Crawshaw

PhD Student

Trisha L. Crawshaw is a doctoral candidate at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Her work has been featured in Contexts, Feminist Reflections, and the American Sociological Association’s Sex and Gender Newsletter. She is a contributing author in the latest volume of Advanced Gender Research: Gender and the Media. Her chapter, “Truth, Justice, Boobs: Gender in Comic Book Culture,” is based on her M.A. research that examines gendered attitudes and perceptions among comic book readers. Her areas of expertise include gender, bodies and embodiment, youth and youth culture, social movements, feminisms, resistance narratives, and popular culture. Her dissertation research examines gender, race, and class at Girls Rock Carbondale, a music education and social activism program that promotes self-esteem and expression for young girls and gender non-conforming kids throughout the Southern Illinois community.


Danijela Cvetkovic

PhD Student


Debaleena Ghosh

PhD Student

Debaleena Ghosh is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology. Her areas of teaching and research interests broadly entail gender; race/ethnicity; immigration; culture; work, occupations, and organizations; and feminist/qualitative methods. Currently, she is teaching SOC 223/WGSS 223: Women and Men in Contemporary Society. In the past, she has taught SOC 215: Race and Ethnic Relations in the U.S. and SOC 108: Introduction to Sociology. For her Ph.D. dissertation, she is exploring how social identities, cultural backgrounds, and immigration status intersect to determine the social and professional standing of foreign-born faculty in the U.S. academy. She graduated from the University of Calcutta, India, with her B.A. and M.A. degrees in Sociology. Subsequently, she earned her second M.A. degree in Sociology from SIU Carbondale, followed by a Graduate Certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Before moving to the U.S., she taught for 3 years at the undergraduate level in India, including Research Methods, Marxist thought, Social Problems in India, Introduction to Sociology, and Social Institutions and Organizations. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, listening to music, and watching movies.


Noha Tarek Hassan

PhD Student

Hi, I’m Noha Tarek from Egypt, a PhD student in the Sociology graduate program, along with the Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies certificate program. I got my B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Political Science from Cairo University. I have done my Master’s thesis on political cultural change and revolution. My research interests are inter-disciplinary, related with the topics of evolution and Big History, value systems and formation, patriarchy, and knowledge paradigms.


Annie Johnson

PhD Student

Annie Johnson is a doctoral candidate in the Sociology Department at Southern Illinois University.  She graduated with her M.S. in Sociology from Illinois State University. Annie’s research interests include gender, sport, the body, and qualitative methods. Using a triangulation of research methods, her dissertation research, which examines the structural influence of CrossFit on gender performance, contributes to the ongoing theoretical debate of (re)doing gender.  Annie earned the Dissertation Research Award for her work and will defend in the Spring of 2019. At SIU, she has been the instructor of Women and Men in Contemporary Society and Popular Culture in Society. Annie has also taught American Diversity and Marriage and the Family at John A. Logan College. Her service to the university includes being the president of the Sociology Graduate Student Association and the Liaison with Undergraduate Sociology Club. Additionally, she serves as the graduate representative on the Sociology Department Recruitment Committee, the Sociology Department Grievance Committee, the Women’s Intersport Network Executive Board, as well as the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Executive Board.


Yurino Kawashima

PhD Student

From SUNY Geneseo.


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 is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. She graduated with her B.S. in Sociology and Minor in Women Studies at East Tennessee State University. Tori earned her M.A. at East Tennessee State University. Her 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).


Korey Phelan

PhD Student

Korey Phelan is a doctoral candidate in the Sociology department, with an emphasis in crime, deviance, and criminal justice.  Her current research examines the effects of personal and social resources and cultural identity on delinquent and substance use outcomes among youth, for which she earned a Dissertation Research Assistantship Award for the 2018 - 2019 academic year.  At SIU, she has taught a variety of in-person and online courses in Sociology and Criminology including Elements of Sociological Research, Sociology of Deviance, Criminology, and Juvenile Delinquency.  She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky (B.A. Sociology / B.A. Psychology) and Eastern Kentucky University (M.A. Counseling and Educational Psychology). Prior to coming to SIU, she worked as a clinical research assistant on The Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease by Vitamin E and Selenium (PREADViSE) study at the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging at the University of Kentucky.  She is a licensed clinical professional counselor.  She worked as a school and community-based mental health counselor for children and families in Montana.


Kendra Pospisil

PhD Student

Kendra Pospisil is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department 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 Kendra has been a Teaching Assistant for 108: Intro to Sociology and is currently teaching 302: Contemporary Social Problems. Her research interests include Social Inequalities (Race, Class, Sexual Orientation, and Gender), Popular Culture/Media, Fat Studies, Symbolic Interaction, Identity, and the Formation of Self.


Becki Tuxhorn

PhD Student

Becki Tuxhorn is a PhD student in Sociology. She graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield in 2009 with a B.A. in Criminal Justice, and from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2012 with her M.A. in Sociology.  She has been active teaching a variety of online and face-to-face courses in Sociology and Social Justice at several institutions, including Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, MO, Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, IL, and Midstate College in Peoria, IL. Her background includes employment with the U.S. Marshals Service and Christian County (IL) Probation. Becki’s master’s thesis was a study of women in prison nursery units. Her current research interests include women farmers, women in criminal justice, and social justice issues.  When not studying or teaching, Becki is a part-time farmer and loves to watch Cardinals baseball.