Ryan Kaufman

Curriculum Vitae

Degree & Year in Program 

PhD of Sociology Year 2 (Ogranizational Communication, BA 2016; MBA 2018; Doane Univeristy)


Dr. Kort-Butler

Areas of Specialization

Sociology of Health, Mental Health and Substance Use

About me

My current research roles involve leveraging my expertise in substance use. I am currently assisting Dr. Roberto Abadie, in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology, with research sponsored by the Rural Drug Addiction Research Center (RDAR). We are investigating barriers and facilitators to Opiate Assisted Treatment by heroin and opiate users’ in Nebraska. Along with RA responsibilities, I am serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, I am working with Dr. Kelsy Burke in offering a blended in-person/remote course of Sociology 101. This course provides, particularly first year students, and introduction to the sociological study of human behavior, especially social organization, culture, and the social institutions that comprise society. The course is designed to bring special attention to social change, differentiation and inequality, and other social issues. My previous degrees include Masters of Arts in Business Management, with an emphasis in Leadership. (2018) Bachelors of Arts in Organizational Communication, with an emphasis in Psychology. (2016). Over the last 5 years, I have served in various leadership positions. During the 2019-2020 academic year, I served as a student representative to the UNL Mental Health Team. I have spent time in Nebraska serving on various non-profit boards (At Ease USA, Central Nebraska Veteran Task Force, BHECN and Forlorn Hope) to combat suicide, mental wellness awareness, family dynamics, and other QoL measure in Rural and Urban Areas. I have spent time with Team Rubicon on tornado clean up, and served with the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, as Leadership Fellow, testifying on Capitol Hill on IAVAs behalf, regarding my experience in rural Nebraska engaging in post-secondary education, and other Federal, State, community-based resources and benefits. I continue to work with the Office of Secretary of Defense in facilitating conversations about barriers, benefits, and resources to assist in the QoL of service members and their families post-deployment. In 2018, I finished a 3 year term, as the Vice President of the Mental Health Advisory Board to the Governor of Nebraska. I have been awarded the Ogle Fellowship in Department of Sociology, 2020. In 2019, the Parents Association I was presented UNL Parents Recognition Award, alongside other faculty and staff who are acknowledged as making significant differences in the lives of students. My Post-Graduation goals are ever-changing. I came to UNL to perform applied sociology, in order to reform and develop policy. But, since my arrival teaching, facilitating, and providing undergraduates’ instruction has become my passion. As a first generation college student, I understand the importance of finding gatekeepers and guides within the institutional structure. My hobbies include making my two daughters (kindergarten and 1st grade) laugh and smile. We like having dance parties in the living room, along with “doing science” in the kitchen. That is, when we are not catching up on our Disney collection. None of this would be possible without their mother, my partner in life. There is not much time left for much else, but when I can sneak away, I enjoy golf, meditation, and reading.


Courses Taught

  Sociology 101 (recitation, 4 times) Sociology 101