Marissa Cardwell

Curriculum Vita

Degree & Year in the Program

5th year in the program, 3rd year PhD student


Dr. Emily Kazyak

Areas of Specialization

Family, Mental Health, Racial Identity & Attitudes, Racial Socialization, African American Families

About Me

I am a third-year PhD candidate in the department of sociology at UNL. I received my B.A. in Psychology from Ithaca College in New York and my M.A. in Sociology at UNL in 2017. At Ithaca, I worked as an undergraduate research assistant in both the sociology and psychology departments, doing both survey research and copyediting work as the Editorial Assistant for the ASA journal Teaching Sociology. I traveled to UNL as an undergraduate researcher in 2016 when I participated in Dr. Kirk Dombrowski’s MHDI NSF-funded REU program focused on network analysis. I later returned as a graduate mentor in the summer of 2017 with the MHDI summer REU.

As a first-year Master’s student at UNL, I worked as a Teaching Assistant in the fall 2017 semester, and a Research Assistant in the spring 2018 semester. As an RA, I worked as a lab manager for Drs. Bridget Goosby and Jacob Cheadle’s LifeHD lab. Here, I helped to manage and facilitate the collection of survey and physiological data under a large project. This work investigated the experiences of minority students at predominantly White institutions. In my second year I worked with Dr. Deadric Williams, whose research primarily focuses on families, minority health, and critical race theory. More recently, I have worked with Drs. Emily Kazyak and Kelsy Burke on their NSF-funded project investigating the role of religion and LGBTQ identity in U.S. court decisions.

In my time at UNL, I have had several work and service opportunities. As mentioned, I have worked as a graduate mentor for the 2017 MHDI REU students, and I have spoken on panels for the Office of Graduate Studies Summer Research Program students. In the same summer, I worked with UNL’s SBSRC as a graduate research assistant for the consortium’s summer 2017 Grant Writing Workshop. In the summer of 2018 I worked for UNL’s MHDI as a graduate research assistant where I helped to write the final report for their Health Voice Vision project. This project investigated the lives and health of people living in rural Nebraska. I have also served as a graduate student representative on the UNL Sociology Department’s Undergraduate Committee as well as the University’s NCFDD task force. I have continued to engage in service and work that is valuable to my career as a sociologist, including activism work and serving as Network Coordinator for the Work and Family Researchers Network (WFRN).

My work investigates how beliefs, feelings, and attitudes about one’s racial group are learned, perpetuated, and transformed and how these attitudes affect the wellbeing of minority families. I am currently writing my dissertation work, which assesses the contextual socialization factors contributing to African American teens’ attitudes toward racism and law enforcement. This mixed methods work attempts to center the voices of African American families, describing their racial socialization and education efforts. Similarly in this project, I am attempting to deeply contextualize the realities of growing youth in a time of great racial justice action across the world.

Courses Taught

SOCI252 Health, Medicine, & Society, Instructor of Record

SOCI 311 Juvenile Delinquency, Instructor of Record

Selected Publications:

Williams, Deadric, Laura Simon, and Marissa Cardwell. 2019. "Black Intimacies Matter:    The Role of Family Status, Gender, and Cumulative Risk on Relationship Quality   among Black  Parents."  Journal of African American Studies 23(1): 1-17.

Cardwell, Marissa et al. 2018. Health Voice Vision Report. Lincoln, Nebraska: MHDI.

Doychak, Kendra, Maris Krauss, Marissa Cardwell, and Bernard Beins. 2017. "Students as Junior   Colleagues: How Research Transforms the Student Experience" in How We Teach Now:    The GSTA Guide to Student-Centered Teaching, edited by  R. Obeid, A. Schwartz, C. Shane Simpson, and P. J. Brooks. Retrieved from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology website:

Cardwell, Marissa. 2017. "Teaching Sociology Resources as Classified by Topical Areas:  January 2010 to October 2016." Teaching Sociology 45(1): 80-104.    doi:10.1177/0092055x16681056

Sweet, Stephen and Marissa Cardwell. 2016. "Editor's Comment: Considering Assessment." Teaching Sociology44(3):149-150. doi:10.1177/0092055x16650659

Sweet, Stephen and Marissa Cardwell. 2016. "Editor's Comment: Topic Areas Emphasized  in Teaching Sociology Articles and Notes 2009 to 2015." Teaching     Sociology44(2):69-71. doi:10.1177/0092055x16632739