Degree & Year in the Program 

4th 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 (Recitation Instructor)