Eli Ornelas

Curriculum Vitae

Degree & Year in the Program

First year Ph.D


 Dr. Lory (Tomni) Dance

Areas of Specialization

Race and Racisms, Racial Identity

About Me

I am a second-year PhD student in the Department of Sociology here at UNL. I’m originally from Houston, Texas and I completed my undergraduate coursework at Baylor University in May 2018 with a B.A. in Sociology and a minor in Spanish. Though Texas is quite different from Nebraska, I’ve been happy to call Nebraska my home for the past four years!

My research interests are broad and always expanding the more I learn, though I am currently interested in race, racisms, and racial identity. My master’s thesis investigated which racial and ethnic groups are most susceptible to being racialized differently from how they personally identify.

I am also interested in teaching and have taught for several years now. I am currently an instructor of record for the Institute for Ethnic Studies where I teach Introduction to Ethnic Studies (ETHN 100). I have also taught Introduction to Sociology (SOCI 101) recitations and worked with Dr. Kelsy Burke in summer 2019 to update the SOCI 101 curriculum to include a stronger emphasis on writing fundamentals.

Now having recently passed my comprehensive exam, I plan to pursue a PhD level specialization in Ethnic Studies to further broaden my knowledge of race and racial identity. In the future, I hope to work at a small liberal arts college or other teaching college where I can mentor young students as a professor of Sociology.

Deciding to move over 900 miles away from my home to attend graduate school was not easy, though I am so glad that I did! Some of my favorite things about Lincoln are the weather (I love the cold!), the extensive bike trail system, and the outrageous number of high-quality coffee shops. I am also very fortunate to be a part of a department where the graduate students are supportive of one another and genuinely invested in one another’s success. This had made graduate school easier to navigate!

Courses Taught

ETHN 100

SOCI 101 Recitation