Elizabeth Straley

Curriculum Vita 

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Degree & Year in the Program

PhD year 6 MA 2 years


Julia McQuillan & Jacob Cheadle (UT-Austin)

Areas of Specialization

Minority Health Disparities, Gender & Sexualities, Biosociology

Comprehensive exam area       

Crime, Gender & Sexuality

About Me 

I study health disparities, biosociological methods, and inequalities, especially among the LGBTQ+ population. All of my research projects center around the importance of the consequences of in- and out- group stigma and stress for marginalized populations. I am currently completing my dissertation addressing LGB health and resilience in university students. My dissertation data collection was supported by an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, “Population Neuroscience Approaches to Minority Discrimination and Health” and utilized survey and experimental methods, along with biosignals (i.e., electrodermal activity and electroencephalography).  Using this new data source, my research illustrates the differences and similarities amongst LGB and heterosexual college students as they experience and respond to stress.

I have also used multilevel modeling to investigate state-level restrictive policies regarding abortion and their association with women’s health and well-being in my Master’s Thesis and to examine police deployment tactics within and between neighborhoods in New York City. My Master’s Thesis won the Folsom Distinguished Master's Thesis Award from the University.

 My favorite part of Nebraska’s program is the support offered to us students when we want to learn and utilize new methods to understand the social world. Working collaboratively within and across departments and faculty is encouraged so that we, as emerging scholars, can explore social issues in creative and new ways with experts from many fields. Additionally, the Sociology department stresses excellence in teaching, offering courses and work groups that move us to improve our pedagogy and utilize creative methods in the classroom to improve student engagement and learning.

Finally, I greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with the Life in Frequencies Health Disparities Research Lab (LifeHD). I was the lab manager or consultant for three years, during which we collected data for my dissertation and then for college students with racial/ethnic minority statuses. I enjoyed learning more about the lives of the participants and the technology to measure stress responses, but more so working with dedicated and curious undergraduate research assistants. My job included tasks such as applying for grants, creating and managing budgets and schedules, experimental design and survey construction, but my favorite part by far was mentoring budding scholars and facilitating successful collaborations.    

Post-graduation I hope to investigate health disparities and health care access/utilization for marginalized communities using both survey and possibly biomedical measurement in the field. I hope to do so outside of a traditional academic/professorial role. I have worked as an AmeriCorps VISTA at a social service agency for older adults living in poverty and as an intern for Nebraska Appleseed where we worked to create legislation that would close the Medicaid gap in Nebraska and uncover the needs of those who were within it. These experiences contributed to my desire to do policy-relevant research and become a better science communicator to affect positive social change.

Courses Taught

Gender in Contemporary Society

Independent study courses on Minority Health Disparities, Data Collection and Research Methods

Sociology of Crime (online course creation and in-person)

Drugs and Society

Introduction to Social Research II (Statistics)

Recitations for Introduction to Sociology

Select Publications

Goosby, Bridget J., Elizabeth Straley and Jacob E. Cheadle. 2017. "Discrimination, Sleep, and Stress Reactivity: Pathways to African American-White Cardiometabolic Risk Inequities."Population Research and Policy Review 46:688-716.

Kiat, John, Elizabeth Straley, Jacob E. Cheadle. 2017. “Why Won’t They Sit With Me? An Exploratory Investigation of Stereotyped Cues, Social Exclusion, and the P3b.” Social Neuroscience 12:612-625.

Straley, Elizabeth, Jacob E. Cheadle, Josh Zosky and John Kiat. 2016. “Stressors and Health among LGBQ+ Individuals in a Midwestern College Community.” Pp. 15-38 in Reducing Health Disparities: Research Updates from the Field (Volume 2), edited by Kirk Dombrowski and Kimberly Gocchi Carrasco. Lincoln, NE: Syron Design Academic Publishing.

Kiat, John, Elizabeth Straley, Jacob E. Cheadle. 2015. “Escalating Risk and the Moderating Effect of Resistance to Peer Influence on the P200 and Feedback Related Negativity.” Social Cognitive and  Affective Neuroscience 11:377-386.