Ph.D. Students
Angela Adler (Ph.D 2023)

Traumatic Brain Injury and Romantic Relationships: Stigma Experiences and Improving Romantic Relationship Quality

Committee: Christina Falci (Chair), Lisa Kort-Butler, Lory Dance, Sarah Zuckerman


Grace Kelly (Ph.D 2023)
A Case for Friendship: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Close Friendships in Adulthood

Committee: Robin Gauthier (Chair), Julia McQuillan (Co-Chair), Emily Kazyak, Kelsy Burke


Angelica Phillips (Ph.D 2023)

Coverage Error Properties of Smartphone and Smartphone Operating System Ownership on Web Surveys: A Total Survey Error Perspective

Committee: Kristen Olson (Chair), Jolene Smyth, Julia McQuillan, Andre Maciel


Maia Behrendt (Ph.D 2023)

Creating Community and Dismantling Settler Colonialism: Indigenous Women’s Art

Committee: Kelsy Burke (Chair), Julia McQuillan, Lory Dance, Patrick Jones (Outside Member)

First Position: Assistant Professor (St. Norbert College)


Rosalind Kichler (Ph.D 2023)

Old, Gray, and Gay: Lesbian Aging and Identity

Committee: Emily Kazyak (Chair), Kelsy Burke, Lory Dance, Loukia Sarroub (Outside Member)

First Position: Assistant Teaching Professor (University of Washington)


Josey VanOrsdale (Ph.D 2023)

Adaptive Respondent Driven Sampling of Social Networks: A Simulation-Based Study Using Machine Learning

Committee: Bilal Khan (Co-Chair), Jolene Smyth (Co-Chair), Julia McQuillan, Kimberly Tyler, Shruti Bolman (Outside Member)


Marissa Oliver (Ph.D 2022)

Ethnic/Racial Socialization about Race, Racism, and Policing among Black and African American Families in the United States

Committee: Emily Kazyak (Chair), Robin Gauthier, Lisa-Kort Butler, and Jordan Soliz

First Position: Quantitative Research Associate II (Fors Marsh Group)


Andrea Johnson (Ph.D 2022)

Are Counselors Enough? Supporting Students' Mental Health in Nebraska Public Schools

Committee: Kristen Olson and Regina Werum (Co-Chairs), Kelsy Burke, and Wayne Babchuk

First Position: Honors Program Director/Sociology Professor (Doane University)


Jaala Robinson (Ph.D. 2021)

Housework: Socialization Influences on Individual Performance, Couple Division of Labor and Mental Health

Committee: Christina Falci and Jeffrey Smith (Co-Chairs), Lisa Kort-Butler and Ann Mari May

Current Position: Management Analyst for Sacred Heart Community Service


Alice MillerMacPhee (Ph.D. 2021)

Immigration Advocacy in the Midwest: Organizations in Coalition and Contention

Committee: Kelsy Burke (Chair), Lory Dance, Kirk Dombrowski, and Patrick Jones

Current Position: UX Researcher for Adobe


Sela Harcey (Ph.D. 2021)

Measuring Social Integration: Linking Personal and Associational Ties in Ego Networks

Committee: Jeffrey Smith (Chair), Kristen Olson, Robin Gauthier, and Daizaburo Shizuka

Current Position: Senior Researcher at Fors Marsh

First Position: Quantitative Researcher, Fors Marsh Group


Trenton M. Haltom (Ph.D. 2021)

Cover Guys: Masculinity, Sexuality, and Representations of Men's Bodies in Popular Magazines for Men

Committee: Kristen Olson and Kelsy Burke (Co-Chairs), Christina Falci, Emily Kazyak, and Casey Kelly

First Position: Qualitative Methodologist, Methodology & Statistics Core, Center for Innovation in Quality, Effectiveness and Safety (IQuEST), Michael E. Debakey VA Medical Center; Research Associate in Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine


Jerry Timbrook (Ph.D 2020)

Using Recurrent Neural Networks to Code Interviewer Question-Asking Behaviors: A Proof of Concept

Committee: Kristen Olson (Chair), Jolene Smyth, Robin Gauthier, Leen-kiat Soh, and Adam Eck

First Position: Survey Methodologist, RTI International, Durham, NC


Shawn Ratcliff (Ph.D. 2020)

The Relationship between State-Level Dynamics, Firearm Policies, and County-Level Homicides

Committee: Phil Schwadel and Regina Werum (Co-Chairs), Kristen Olson, Tara Warner, and Amanda Gailey

First Position: Survey Scientist, U.S. Census Bureau, Kansas City, MO


Joseph Jochman (Ph.D. 2020)

Do Unto Others’: Religiosity and Bullying in Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood

Committee: Jacob Cheadle and Philip Schwadel (Co-Chairs), Tara Warner and Sue Swearer

Current Position: Assistant Professor at University of North Dakota

First Position: Post-Doc at University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Sociology


Jennifer Andersen (Ph.D. 2020)

How does the social world shape the experience of a rare disease? Social position and the development, progression, and medical care for people with ALS

Committee: Julia McQuillan, Lisa Kort-Butler, Kristen Olson, David Warner, and Angela Palmer-Wackerly

First Position: Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Northwest in Fayetteville, AR


Ian Duncan (Ph.D. 2019)

An Examination of Capital in a Network of People Who Inject Drugs

Committee: Kirk Dombrowski (Chair), Bilal Khan, Jeff Smith, and Nichols Guenzel

Current Position: Applied Underwriters


Colleen Ray (Ph.D. 2019)

Correlates of the Reporting of and Arrests for Sexually-Based Offenses and Domestic Violence Incidents

Committee: Kristen Olson and Kimberly Tyler (Co-chairs), Amy Anderson, and Lisa Kort-Butler

Current Position: Behavorial Scientist at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

First Position: Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow at CDC in the Divion of Violence Prevention

Research Interest: In my position I will be working on projects related to the prevention of sexual and domestic violence. Primarily I will work on two projects, one about child sexual abuse in youth serving organizations, and one about disrupting the cycle of domestic violence.


Brandi Woodell (Ph.D. 2018)

Health in Rural Communities: Variation in Resource Utilization by Sexual Orientation and Gender

Current position: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Old Dominion University.

First position: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Old Dominion University

Research interests: Dr. Woodell’s research explores how social factors interact to create and reinforce social inequality. Specifically, her research examines the disparities between sexual minorities and heterosexuals within social contexts like religion, family, and health.


Jerreed Ivanich (Ph.D. 2018)

Understanding Mental and Behavioral Health of American Indian Youth and Application of the Social Convoy Model.

Current position: Assistant Professor at the Colorado School of Public Health

First position: Post doc, John Hopkins University

Research interests: The focal point of Jerreed's research interest centers on racial disparities, primarily American Indian and Alaskan Native (AIAN) populations.


Lorri Merchant (Ph.D. 2018)

Stress, The Religious Coping Resources of Meaning Making, Forgiveness, and Divine Reliance and the Mental Health of Seventh-Day Adventists

Current position: Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN, faculty

First position: Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, TN, faculty


Raeda Anderson (Ph.D. 2018)

Disabled and Out? Social Interaction Barriers and Mental Health among Older Adults with Physical Disabilities

Current position: Research Scientist at the Shepherd Center

First position: Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgia State University

Research interests: Dr. Anderson’s research interests include survey implementation and biopsychosocial analysis of physical disability.


Dogan Hatun (Ph.D. 2018)

Disentangling the Roles of Modernization and Secularization on Fertility: The Case of Turkey

Current position: Usak University / Turkey

First position: The Ministry of Education of Turkey

Research interests: Family, Fertility, and Religion


Stacy Tiemeyer (Ph.D. 2018)

Examining Retrospective Measurement of Ambivalence About First Births and Psychological Well-Being Using A Hybrid Cross-Survey Multiple Imputation Approach

Current position: Research Coordinator at University of Arkansas for Medical Services

First position: Research scientist Oklahoma State University

Research interests: My recent research focuses on the interrelationships between social structures, cognitive processes, and behaviors, with a particular focus on maternal and child health.


Nathan Palmer (Ph.D. 2018)

Measuring the Sociological Imagination via Undergraduate Explanations of Social Inequality

Current position: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Georgia Southern University

First position: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Georgia Southern University

Research interests: I research how people explain human behavior and social phenomena. This agenda has two broad focuses: 1. How people explain social inequality. 2. How sociologist's explanations of human behavior and social phenomena differs from the explanations of non-sociologists. This second focus leads me to do research on sociology as a discipline and how sociologists develop from novices to experts.


Patrick Habecker (Ph.D. 2017)

Who Do You Know: Improving and Exploring the Network Scale-Up Method

Current position: Research Assistant Professor and Longitudinal Networks Co-Director

First position: Post doc in the Research, Evaluation and Analysis for Community Health (REACH) Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Research interests: Dr. Habecker specializes in survey research and methodology, network analysis, simulation, and quantitative analysis. He oversees graduate student research on projects from Puerto Rico and Alaska, as well as pursuing his own network science-related research here in Nebraska.


Lesa Johnson (Ph.D. 2016)


Current position: Associate Professor, University of Illinois - Springfield

First position: Assistant Professor, University of California- Chico

Research interests: Dr. Johnson has conducted research on the social support and mental health of Black American and Black Caribbean women by socioeconomic status, on the social support and economic mobility prospects of Black American and South Sudanese women in the U.S., and on the social justice initiatives of university students from marginalized backgrounds at a predominately-white institution (PWI). Currently, she conducts participatory action research with two marginalized communities in Chico and surrounding areas.


Laura Simon (Ph.D. 2016)

Sex Across the Life Course: An Examination of Social Influences on Adolescent Sexual Attitudes and Associations between Sexual Behavior Patterns and Young Adult Health

Current position: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Mercer University

First position: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Mercer University

Research interests: My dissertation work examined the associations between life course sexual partnerships and mental and physical health outcomes. In this work, I studied the complexities of both adolescent and emerging adulthood sexual patterns and the implications for young adult health. My current research remains centered on the examination of health across the life course and associated risk trajectories. I believe it is important to take a life course approach in the study of the health in order to inform policy and community-based programming that can improve health and well-being for individuals from a variety of backgrounds.


Dane Hautala (Ph.D. 2016)

Three Studies Examining the Mechanisms Linking Stress Exposure to Delinquency and Substance Use among North American Indigenous Adolescents

Current position: Assistant Scientist, John Hopkins Center for Indigenous Health

First position: Post Doc, University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus


Lina Stover (Ph.D. 2016)

Latino/a students maneuvering through the admissions and retention systems

Current position: UNO Associate director of Admissions

First position: UNO Associate director of Admissions

Research interests: Education/stratification/race and ethnicity


Scott Adams (Ph.D. 2015)

Examining the Interplay Between Spousal and Non-Spousal Social Support and Strain on Trajectories of Functional Limitations among Married Older Adults

Current position: Northwestern Mutual

First position: Data Scientist at Nielsen, Chicago, IL


Rachel M. Schmitz (Ph.D. 2015)

On The Street and On Campus: A Comparison of Life Course Trajectories Among Homeless and College Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Young Adults

Current position: Associate Professor of Sociology, Oklahoma State University

First position: Assistant Professor, University of Texas Rio Grand Valley

Research interests: Dr. Schmitz’s work examines nuanced aspects of intersecting social inequalities within the realms of gender, sexuality, social class, and family using primarily qualitative methods, with complementary work using quantitative techniques. Currently, she is conducting a qualitative interview study that examines LGBTQ Latinx young people’s subjective interpretations of health within dominant societal frameworks that emphasize the risks they face.


Megumi Watanabe (Ph.D. 2015)

Faculty Parental Status: An Investigation of Network Homophily, Marginalization, and Supportive Work-Family Academic Culture,

Current position: Associate Professor in the Office of University Strategy at Hiroshima University; Hiroshima, Japan

First position: Position in Hiroshima, Japan University Education


Deadric Williams (Ph.D. 2015)


Current position: Assistant Professor, University of Tennessee Knoxville; Knoxville, TN

First position: Post Doctorate University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Research interests: My research focuses on the intersections of families, health, and inequality. More specifically, I am a quantitative sociologist with research interests in the consequences of stress for health and health risk behaviors within families and among peer groups. My work emphasizes three general themes: reciprocity between stress and relationship health in couple dyads; stress exposure and mental (and physical) health outcomes; and, health risk behaviors.


Alian Kasabian (Ph.D. 2015)

Capturing the Gendiverse: A Test of the Gender Self-Perception Scale, with Implications for Survey Data and Labor Market Measures

Current position: Director of MERC and ORED's Research Data and Security Liaison

First position: Evaluation Project Manager, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Research interests: My research focus is on gender and survey methodology – particularly data quality. My training is in gender and research methods, with a minor in survey methodology, and the majority of my work focuses on the measurement of sex and gender in surveys


Anna Bellatorre (Ph.D. 2014)


Current position: Assistant Director of Data Operations for the Lifecourse Epidemiology of Adiposity & Diabetes Center

First position: Postdoctoral Researcher, National Institutes of Health, Washington, D.C.

Research interests: Medical Sociology, Quantitative Methodology, Biosociology, Survey Research and Methodology


Keri Gentzler (Ph.D. 2014)

A Stress Process Model of Arrest among Homeless Women: Exploring Risk and Protective Factors

Current position: Assistant Professor; Doane College, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Crete, NE

First position: Associate Professor; Doane College, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Crete, NE


Kayla Pritchard (Ph.D. 2013)

Multiple Motherhoods: An Examination of Mother Status on Life Satisfaction and Psychological Distress

Current position: Associate Professor; South Dakota School of Mines, Department of Social Sciences; Rapid City, SD


Grant Tietjen (Ph.D. 2013)

Exploring Educational Pathways: Reintegration of the Formerly Incarcerated through the Academy

Current position: Associate Professor; University of Washington Tacoma, School of Social Work and Criminal Justice; Tacoma, WA


Master’s Students
Katie Meyer (M.A. 2022)

Thesis title: Effects of Victimization and Community Characteristics on Health Outcomes


Memory Manda (M.A. 2022)

Thesis title: Factors Associated with Racial Differences in Healthcare Access


Nestor Hernandez (M.A. 2022)

Thesis title: The Burden Of Giving: Race, SES, And Nativity Differences In Providing Informal Financial Assistance


Cadyn Williamson (M.A. 2021)

Thesis title: A Digital Ethnography Investigating How LGBTQIA+-Affirming Video Game Streamers and Viewers Interact and Build LGBTQIA+ Spaces Online


Daniel Schaefer (M.A. 2021)

Thesis title: The Relationship Between Quality of Life, Extreme Climatological Conditions and Social Unrest in India


Meagan Kunitzer (M.A. 2021)

Thesis title: Protective Factors Against Dating Violence Perpetration and Victimization


Eli Ornelas (M.A. 2020)

Thesis title: The Consequences and Correlates of Racial Identity Discordance: An Explication of the Social Construction of Race


Eliza Thor (M.A. 2020)

Thesis title: Relationship Quality in Kin and Chosen Kin Familial Networks


Angelica Phillips (M.A. 2020)

Thesis title: Examining the Association Between Interviewer and Respondent Speaking Pace in Telephone Interviews


Andrea Johnson (M.A. 2019)

Thesis title: The Perfect Match? Determinants of Job Placement Among PhD Earners

Current position: Assistant Professor at Doane University


Maia Behrendt (M.A. 2019)

Thesis title: Drinking Behaviors, Relationships, and Recovery: A Relational Sociological Examination of Addiction

Current position: Ph.D. Student in Sociology at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Grace Kelly (M.A. 2019)

Thesis title: Social Networks and Science Identity: Does Peer Commitment Matter?

Current position: Ph.D. Student in Sociology at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Marissa Oliver (M.A. 2019)

Thesis title: Interpersonal Discrimination and Mental Health among Minority Students at Predominantly White Institutions: Does Racial Identity Matter?

Current position: Quantitative Research Associate at Fors Marsh


Jameson Morrow (M.A. 2018)

Thesis title: Birds of a Feather? Friendship Utilization by Sexual Minority Students During the Transition to College

Current position: Ph.D. Student in Sociology at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Jamy Rentschler (M.A. 2018)

Thesis title: How State-Level Dynamics Shape Individual-Level Welfare Payments

Current position: Ph.D. Student in Sociology at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Research interests: social inequalities, political sociology, public policy, religion, and quantitative methods


Brian Tussey (M.A. 2018)

Thesis title: Assessing Risks and Potential Protective Factors of Dating Violence Perpetration and Victimization

Current position: AmeriCorps Teaching, Lincoln, Nebraska

Research interests: I examine dating violence perpetration and victimization, attachment, family experiences, and high-risk behavior among young adults in both the United States and Latin America. I also examine how sex education curricula deal with LGBTQ issues, as well as how LGBTQ students are represented in the curriculum.


Jennifer Andersen (M.A. 2017)

Thesis title: Not Infertile, Can’t Have Children: Non-Reproductive Health Barriers to a Wanted Child

Current position: Assistant Professor at University of Arkansas for Medical Services

Research interests: Sociology of Health, Sociology of Medicine, Life Course, Health and Aging


Shawn Ratcliff (M.A. 2017)

Thesis title: Protests in the Post-Cold War Era: World Systems Dynamics and Hardship Effects in Post-Colonial Countries

Current position: Ph.D. Student in Sociology at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Research interests: political sociology, collective behavior and social movements, and social inequality.


Rosalind Kichler (M.A. 2016)

Thesis title: Understanding Transgender Community: Locating Support and Resiliency Using the Minority Stress Model

Current position: Ph.D. Student in Sociology at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Research interests: I am interested in the ways in which LGBTQ+ persons construct their identities within a rapidly changing sociocultural context. Moreover, I examine how contemporary understandings of what it means to be “gay” influences LGBTQ+ community building.


Benjamin Forthun (M.A. 2016)

Thesis title: Fear and Loitering in Los Angeles: Contextualizing Fear in the Efficacy Framework

Current position: Ph.D student at University of California-Irvine, Irvine, CA


Jacob Absalon (M.A. 2016)

Thesis title: Changing Public Opinion Towards LGB Rights: An Analysis of Data from the American National Election Studies, 1992-2012

Current position: Sociology Instructor, United States Military Academy West Point