Graduate Students on the Market

Rosalind Kichler

Curriculum Vita


Specialization/Area of Interest

Sexualities; LGBTQ Identities and Communities; Intersectionality; Gender; Inequalities; Qualitative Methods


I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) with a graduate specialization in Women and Gender Studies. My research focuses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer-identified (LGBTQ) people’s identities and communities. I draw upon the theoretical frameworks of social constructionism, queer theory, and intersectionality to explore how competing understandings of gay/queer identity and transgender identity are experienced by LGBTQ people at a diversity of intersections in a variety of contexts.

For my dissertation project, “Old, Gray, and Gay: LGBTQ Aging and Identity,” I use life history
interviews with nineteen lesbians ages 65 and older to explore how lesbian elders construct and reconstruct their sexual identities over the life course in response to aging and sociocultural changes. In my first chapter, I analyze participants’ coming out experiences, which occurred between the early 1970s and late 1980s, to explore how participants transformed same-gender desire into a lesbian identity despite compulsory heterosexuality and rampant homophobia. The next chapter examines how participants’ connection to and participation in lesbian and/or queer communities changed, allowing me to investigate how aging, life course transition, and changing
LGBTQ acceptance structure lesbian lives. The final chapter focuses on how lesbian identity shapes participants’ understanding of old age and aging. My data collection was supported by the competitive J.J. & Eleanor S. Ogle Fellowship, which provides full support for an outstanding doctoral candidate for one semester.

Another strand of my scholarship explores transgender (trans) identities and communities independent of the larger LGBTQ umbrella. In my publication in the Journal of Homosexuality, “‘What Has Kept Me Alive:’ Transgender Communities and Support,” I use in-depth interviews with transgender people living in “Townsville” to examine the support LGBTQ communities provide to trans members. By concentrating on the contexts in which support occurs, my study adds to trans studies and sexualities scholarship concerned with how LGBTQ people experience LGBTQ communities. I earned the Dan Hoyt Graduate Student Publication Award for the best high impact peer-reviewed journal publication as sole or first-author from the UNL Sociology Department for this article. A related project with Emily Kazyak, Kelsy Burke and Lora McGraw uses mixed methods to explore the underlying logics Nebraskans use to justify their opinion on transgender bathroom use. Our paper, ““Pee in Peace” or “Make Everyone Uncomfortable”: Public Perceptions of Transgender Rights,” is published in Socius. The final strand of my scholarship examines LGBTQ families. In research with Emily Kazyak, Jess Morrow, and Eliza Thor, I explore intergenerational ambivalence among lesbian, bisexual, and queer (LBQ) women who become parents and their heterosexual parents (grandparents). Our paper, “Two Mothers, One Grandmother: Intergenerational Ambivalence in Heterosexual Mother-LBQ Daughter
Relationship," is published in Sexuality & Culture.

At UNL, I have the pleasure of teaching courses in both Sociology and Women and Gender Studies. In Sociology, have taught Senior Capstone (SOCI 489), Sociological Theory (SOCI 355), Gender in Contemporary Society (SOCI 200), and Drugs and Society (SOCI 309). I have
also taught Introduction to Sociology (SOCI 101) as a recitation instructor. In Women and Gender Studies, I have taught Introduction to Women and Gender Studies (WMNS 101) and Introduction to LGBTQ/Sexualities Studies (WMNS 201). My excellence in teaching has been recognized by numerous department awards including the Department of Sociology Teaching Award, the Cheryl Applegate Teaching Award, and the Sociology TA Professional Development Award.

For three years, I served as the chair of #unrulysociologists, a graduate student-run group dedicated to public sociology and scholar activism. In this role I developed events designed to bridge academic and community expertise and coordinated trainings on topics such how to testify at legislative sessions, how to write an op-ed, and how to provide allyship to undocumented students. Additionally, I served as co-chair of the Ad-hoc Department Climate Survey Committee Co-Chair. In this role, I worked with three other sociology graduate students to develop, administer, analyze, and report the Sociological Graduate Student Experience Survey, a climate survey for our department. Identifying graduate student concerns, especially those from marginalized students, enabled us to request changes to better support all students. In
2021, I earned an Honorable Mention Student Luminary Award from UNL, which recognizes outstanding leadership and a continued commitment to improving campus community.

I am also an active member of Sociologists for Women in Society (SWS), a professional feminist organization dedicated to feminist social science and activism in both academic and applied settings, and Sociologists 4 Trans Justice (S4TJ). For three years, I have served on SWS’ Social Action Initiative Awards committee. Our primary responsibility is awarding funds for memberled social justice projects. I am also an active member of Sociologists 4 Trans Justice (S4TJ). Recently, I worked with two S4TJ members to develop an open-access Trans Justice Syllabus centered on the intersection between transness and race and indigeneity; most scholars cited are
Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).

I earned my Master of Arts from the UNL in 2016. Prior to starting at UNL, I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Sociology/Women and Gender Studies from New College of Florida in 2014. I still miss the beach, but I am learning to love seasons. In my spare time I enjoy vegan cooking, supporting local mutual aid, crafting, seeing live music, and taking road trips. I have one cat named Klaus. We like watching Star Trek together.

  • Cheryl Applegate Teaching Award ($500) Sociology Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Recognition of Exceptional Quality in Teaching and Mentoring Undergraduate Students; May 2022
  • Department of Sociology Teaching Award ($500) Sociology Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Recognition of Superior Teaching; May 2022
  • Sociology TA Professional Development Award, $1000, Sociology Department, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (May 2021); Recognition of Outstanding Teaching to
    Enhance Students’ Understanding of Inequalities
  • Dan Hoyt Graduate Student Publication Award ($500) Sociology Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for Best High Impact Peer-Reviewed Journal Publication as Sole or First-Author; May 2022
  • Kazyak, Emily, Rosalind Kichler, Jess Morrow, and Eliza Thor. 2022. "Two Mothers, One Grandmother: Intergenerational Ambivalence in Heterosexual Mother-LBQ
    Daughter Relationships" Sexuality & Culture 26: 1639–1658.
  • Kazyak, Emily, Kelsy Burke, Rosalind Kichler, and Lora McGraw. 2021. ““Pee in Peace” or “Make Everyone Uncomfortable”: Public Perceptions of Transgender Rights.” Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World.
  • J.J. & Eleanor S. Ogle Fellowship ($8250) Sociology Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for Full Support for an Outstanding Doctoral Candidates for One Semester; May 2021

Jameson Morrow

Degree & Year in the Program 

5th year PhD


Dr. Emily Kazyak

Areas of Specialization

Families, Gender, and Sexualities

About Me

I am excited to be working on my PhD in Sociology at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, where I am currently in my fourth year of this program. I graduated with my MA in Sociology from UNL in August 2018. Prior to beginning in the department, I earned a BS in Psychology and a BA in Sociology from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. After learning about the Sociology program at UNL, I knew it would be a supportive department that would help students on the road to success through opportunities not only for research and collaboration, but for the application of research to helping solve the real-life problems individuals face every day.

My research focuses on the life transitions of LGBTQ+ individuals and the social support they seek out during these transitions. My thesis involved collecting and analyzing my own data through interviews with LGBQ+ college students about their friendships during their first year of college, and the sources of support that they utilized to navigate that transition as a sexual minority. I am currently working on my dissertation, which examines the disclosure experiences and subsequent relationship dynamics of transgender and gender-diverse individuals who disclose their gender identity to a partner in the context of an established relationship. Outside of Sociology, I plan to pursue a Women’s and Gender Studies specialization during my PhD program.

Along with research, I have taught SOCI 226 – Families and Society as well as SOCI 325 – Contemporary Family Issues. In addition to my experience as instructor, I have been a Teaching Assistant for Families and Society and a Recitation Instructor for Introduction to Sociology. My goal in teaching is to help expose students to sociological concepts and to help students apply those concepts to the world around them. I hope to continue working with these classes in the future, to help spark future sociologists’ interest in the subject and to encourage students to think critically about both their environment and the broader society as a whole.

After graduation, I hope to find a position at a teaching-focused institution. My ultimate goals in Sociology reflect my goals in the classroom – to help open students’ eyes to what sociology is, the ways it is present in the world all around us, and how it influences the day-to-day lives of so many individuals, and to encourage students to think critically and question the social processes that are so influential in our society.

Courses Taught

SOCI 226 – Families and Society:

SOCI 325: Contemporary Family Issues

SOCI 101: Introduction to Sociology (Instructor of Record & Recitation Instructor)

Elizabeth Straley

elizabeth straley

Curriculum Vita

Elizabeth Straley studies health disparities, biosociological methods, and inequalities, especially among the LGBTQ population. She is currently completing her mixed-methods primary data collection dissertation addressing LGB health and resilience in university students. Her dissertation was supported by an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, “Population Neuroscience Approaches to Minority Discrimination and Health” and utilized cutting-edge survey and experimental methods, along with novel biosignals (i.e.,  electrodermal activity and electroencephalography).  Using this new data source, Elizabeth’s research illustrates the differences and similarities amongst LGB and heterosexual college students as they experience and respond to stress.

She has also used multilevel modeling to investigate state-level restrictive policies regarding abortion and their association with women’s health and well-being in her Master’s Thesis and to examine police deployment tactics within and between neighborhoods. All of Elizabeth’s research projects pivot around the importance of the consequences of in- and out- group stigma and stress for marginalized populations. Her teaching experience includes both online and in person courses ranging from 10 to 90 students on the topics of Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences, Sociology of Crime, Drugs and Society, and independent studies with undergraduates on data collection methods using biomedical equipment (electrodermal wristbands and electroencephalography nets) to investigate differential biological responses to simulated social stimuli.

Her work using biosignals has appeared in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience and Social Neuroscience and she has work under review at mainstream sociology journals. In the future, Elizabeth hopes to investigate health disparities and health care access/utilization for marginalized communities using both survey and possibly biomedical measurement in the field.