Department of Sociology

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Graduate Students

Nicholas Baxter

(BA, Sociology and English, Northern Illinois University; MA, Sociology, Northern Illinois University)

Email: baxtern3@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2015

Research and Teaching Interests: Environmental Sociology, Urban Sociology, Qualitative Methods

Representative Scholarship: 2008. “Playing at Identity: Live Action Role Playing as Dramaturgical Leisure,” MA Thesis Northern Illinois University.

Advisor: Dr. Futrell

Suzanne Becker

(BA, Journalism & Communications, University of Wisconsin-Madison; MA, Sociology, University of Colorado, Boulder)

Email: beckers@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2014

Research and Teaching Interests: Gender, Sexuality, Social Movements and Social Change, Environmental Sociology

Representative Scholarship: “New Movements and New Spaces: Sexuality, Gender, and Resistance in Contemporary Women’s Roller Derby,” presented at the American Sociological Association annual meeting, New York City, New York, 2013

Dissertation Title: Fishnets and Femininities: Contemporary Complexities of Gender, Sexuality and Identity within Women’s Roller Derby

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Valarie C. Burke

(BA, Psychology [Minor in Sociology], University of Nevada, Las Vegas; M.Ed, Educational Leadership, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: valarie.burke@unlv.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2017

Research and Teaching Interests: Culture, Deviance, Media, Technology, Communication, Education

Representative Scholarship: 2014. "Holistic Campus Solutions: Collaborating Towards Student Retention and Success," presented at the College Board Forum, Las Vegas, NV.

2014. "Connecting with College Students: A Literature Review on Internet Communication Methods Used to Inform College Students," presented at the ASA Pre-Conference, Oakland, CA.

2014. "Academic Advisors Collaborating Across Campus for Veteran Student Initiatives," (with T. Johnson) presented at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

2014. "Choosing a Major: An Institutional Survey of Potential Cause and Effect," (with Heather Hatch) presented at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region Conference, Berkeley, CA.

2013. “Writing a Script toward Graduation: Identifying and Achieving Short- and Long-Term Goals,” (with D Sommer, & T. Johnson) presented at the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) Region Conference, Los Angeles, CA.

Advisor: Dr. Gottschalk

Denise N. Cook

(BA, Sociology, California State University, Sacramento; MA, Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: denise.cook@unlv.edu

Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2016

Research and Teaching Interests: Volunteerism, Nonprofits, Work and Occupations, Culture, Quantitative Methods, Sexuality

Representative Scholarship: 2012. “Post-Materialism and Attitudes about Prostitution” MA Thesis, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Advisors: Dr. Spivak, Dr. Dickens

Joshua Corum

(BA, Psychology and Human Sexuality, Indiana University, Bloomington; MA, Sociology, University of Louisville)

Email: corumj@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2017

Research and Teaching Interests: Sexuality and Sexual Behavior, Political Sociology, Theory

Representative Scholarship: 2012. “"What do you mean I’m a Slut?!?!” Deconstructing the Definitions of Promiscuity of the Collective Conscience using Concepts from Labeling Theory and Biopower,” MA Thesis, University of Louisville.

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Christina Dylag

(BA, English [Minor in Philosophy], University of San Diego)

Email: Dylag@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: Spring 2020

Research and Teaching Interests: Culture, Social Psychology & Theory

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Maddie Evans

(BA, Sociology and Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: evansm43@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2020

Research and Teaching Interests: Media, culture, technology, gender, body image and visual sociology.

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Lori L. Fazzino

(BA, Sociology, Pacific Lutheran University; MA, Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: fazzinol@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2015

Research and Teaching Interests: Religion, Culture, Deviance, Social Movements, Mental Health, Theory

Representative Scholarship: Forthcoming. “Leaving the Church Behind: Applying a Deconversion Perspective to Evangelical Exit Narratives.” Journal of Contemporary Religion.

Advisor: Dr. Borer

Jenna Findlay

(BA, Sociology and Psychology, Saginaw Valley State University; MA Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: zulaufj@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2015

Research and Teaching Interests: Environmental Sociology, Social Movements, Research Methods

Representative Scholarship: December 2008 – May 2011, Graduate Research Assistant, NSF EPSCoR Nevada Infrastructure for Climate Change Science, Education and Outreach Policy Project; University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Advisor: Dr. Futrell

Lauren F. E. Galloway

(BA, MA, Communication Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: gallow41@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2017

Research and Teaching Interests: Romantic relationships, Sexuality, Media Socialization

Representative Scholarship: “Does Movie-Viewing Cultivate Unrealistic Expectations About Love and Marriage?” Poster presentation at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Conference, Washington, DC, 2013.

Advisor: TBD

Michelle Gladman

(BA, MA, Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas )

Email: gladman@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2015

Research and Teaching Interests: Cultural Studies, Political Sociology, and Sex, Gender & Sexualities

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Jesus Gonzalez

(BA, Sociology and Spanish, University of California, Santa Barbara; MA, Sociology, California State University, Northridge)

Email: gonza821@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2015

Research and Teaching Interests: Culture, Urban Sociology, Theory, Qualitative Methods

Representative Scholarship: 2012. “Adorno & Hip-Hop: A Critical Encounter,” presented at the Pacific Sociological Association annual meetings, San Diego, CA.

Advisor: Dr. Borer

Jennifer Heineman

(BS, Sociology and Anthropology, University of Nebraska, Omaha; Sexuality, Culture, and Society Certificate, University of Amsterdam; MA, Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: anappleofdiscord@hotmail.com

Expected Graduation Date: Dec 2014

Research and Teaching Interests: Gender and Sexuality, Sociological Theory, Women’s Studies/ Feminist Theory

Representative Scholarship: Heineman, Jenny. Forthcoming. “Sex Worker or Graduate Student? Legitimation, Master Status, and Resistance in Academia.” Studies in Law, Politics, and Society (Special Issue on Problematizing Prostitution: Critical Research and Scholarship).

Dissertation Title: Sex Work, Place and Space, and Alternative Research Methods

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Nicole Dezrea Jenkins

(BA, Sociology, University of Nevada Las Vegas)

Email: Scottn8@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: August 2020

Research and teaching interests: The intersectionality of race, gender and class in inequalities.

Advisor: Barb Brents

Josiah R. Kidwell

(B.S., Sociology, Tennessee Technological University, Minor, Linguistics)

Email: kidwej1@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: 2020

Research and teaching interests: Symbolic Interactionism, Sociology of Technology, Identity Theory, Qualitative Methods

Representative scholarship: Seiler, Steven and Josiah Kidwell. 2014. “Defining the Mobile-Digital Situation within Interstitial Copresence: An Exploratory Study of the Impact of Mobile Phones on the Life-World.” (Under Review)

Advisor: TBD

​Daniel James Krystosek

(BA, Sociology, California State University, Sacramento; MA, Sociology, University Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: krystose@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2015

Research and Teaching Interests: Deviance & Criminology, Race & Ethnic Studies, Politics & Social Movements, Research Methods

Representative Scholarship: 2012.”Thou Shalt Not: Religiosity and Attitudes Toward Marijuana Legalization” MA Professional Paper, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Advisor: Dr. Spivak

Alessandra Lanti

(BA, Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; MA, Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: lantia@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2018

Research and Teaching Interests: Sexuality and Sexual Behavior, Sex Work and the Sex Industry, Social Psychology, Mental Health

Representative Scholarship: 2012 "Exploring Reasons Why Men and Women Refrain from Sex Despite Desire." MA Thesis, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Matthew M. Le Claire

(BA, Criminal Justice, University of Nevada, Reno; MA, Criminal Justice, University of Nevada, Reno)

Email: leclam1@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2017

Research and Teaching Interests: Crime, Deviance, Juveniles, Victimization

Representative Scholarship: “Foster Care in Reno, Nevada: Does aging-Out of Foster Care Increase the Presence of Risk Factors and Criminality?” MA Thesis, University of Nevada, Reno.

“A Qualitative Content Analysis of Aging-Out of Foster Care: What Problems and Solutions Exist?” presented at the Society for the Study of Social Problems Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL, 2015.

Advisor: Dr. Spivak

Dawn Marie Lighthiser

(BA, Criminology and Investigation [Minor in Psychology], West Virginia University; MA, Applied Sociology, West Virginia University)

Email: lighthis@unlv.neveda.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2019

Research and Teaching Interests: Culture, Urban Societies & Space, Communities & Neighborhoods, Demography, Visual Sociology

Representative Scholarship: 2011. “The Social Transformation of Coffee Houses: The Emergence of Chain Establishments and the Private Nature of Usage,” MA Thesis West Virginia University.

Woldoff, Rachael A., Dawn Lozzi, and Lisa Dilks. 2013. “The Social Transformation of Coffee Houses: The Emergance of Chain Establishments and the Private Nature of Usage.” International Journal of Social Science Studies. 1 (2): 205-218.

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Erick B López

(BA, Psychology and Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; MA, Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: lopeze5@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2018

Research and Teaching Interests: Racial and Ethnic Inequalities, Disparities/Inequalities in Health, Social Epidemiology, Quantitative Methods

Representative Scholarship: “Acculturation, Income and Vegetable Consumption Behaviors among Latino Adults in the U.S.: A Mediation Analysis with the Bootstrapping Technique”

Advisor: Dr. Yamashita

Rachel Teressa Macfarlane

(BA, Sociology, Weber State University; MA, Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: macfarla@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2016

Research and Teaching Interests: Criminology/Penology, Gender, Family/Lifecourse, Theory, Methods

Representative Scholarship: 2013. "Life Circumstances vs. Model Masculinity: Men’s Experiences of Providership and Family and Their Attitudes about a Gendered Division of Labor." MA Thesis, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Advisor: Dr. Keene

John L. Mueller

(BA, Sociology Minor in Psychology, University of Houston-Downtown; MA, Sociology, University of Houston)

Email: muellj1@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2017

Research and Teaching Interests: Sociology of Film, Media and Technology, Interaction, and Qualitative Methods

Representative Scholarship: 2014. “Changing Film Images Associated with Social and Cultural Variations: An Analysis of Future-Based American Film,” MA Thesis, University of Houston.

Advisor: Dr. Dickens

Nicholas Mac Murray

(BA, Sociology, University of Colorado, Boulder; MA, Sociology, Minnesota State University, Mankato)

Email: macmurra@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2017

Research and Teaching Interests: Sociology of Death and Dying, Social Psychology, Symbolic Interactionism, Qualitative Methods

Representative Scholarship: 2011. “Dying Today: Perspectives of the Modern Hospice Worker.” MA Thesis, Sociology, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Advisor: Dr. Futrell

Genevieve Minter

AA, Psychology, College of Southern Nevada; BA, Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; MA, Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: minterg2@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2018

Research and Teaching Interests: Environmental Sociology, Ecopsychology, Criminology

Representative Scholarship: “Awakening Ecological Consciousness: Toward and Ecopsychology for Young Children.” MA Thesis. Undergoing rewrites and resubmission to Environmental Education Research.

Advisor: Dr. Spivak

Deo Mshigeni

(BA, Political Science and Sociology, University of Dar es Salaam; MA, Political Science, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: Mshigeni@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: December 2015

Research and Teaching Interests: Social Movements, Globalization, Political Sociology, Religion, Culture and Race & Ethnicity

Representative Scholarship: “Terrorism in Context: Race, Religion, Party and Violent Conflict in Zanzibar” In the American Sociologist (co-author with Dr. B. Brents) 2005.

“Racial and Ethnic Identity Construction in Zanzibar Youth Movement: The Case of the Zanzibar Youth Forum and the Blue & White Guards,” presented at the Society for Studying Social Problems (SSSP) annual meeting, Montreal, Canada 2006.

Dissertation Title (for ABDs only): Globalization and the Rise of Radical Islamic Social Movement Organizations: The Case of UAMSHO (AWAKENING) Group in Zanzibar.

Advisor(s): Dr. Barbara G. Brents and Dr. David Dickens

Ezra Needham

(AA, Sociology, College of Southern Nevada; BA, French and Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; MA, Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: needham2@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: December 2014

Research and Teaching Interests: Gender, Political Economy, Qualitative Methods, Transgender and Queer Issues, Feminist/Womanist Theory and Methods.

Representative Scholarship: 2012. “Liminal, Everywhere: Trans*folk Negotiating Queer (and non-Queer) Spaces in Las Vegas,” presented at the Pacific Sociological Association annual meetings, San Diego, CA.

Advisor: Dr. Dickens

Vanessa Núñez

(BA, Sociology, University of California, San Diego )

Email: nunezv1@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2018

Research and Teaching Interests: Culture, Immigration, Education, Ethnography

Advisor: TBD

Brian S. O’Hara

(BA, Colorado St. University; MA, Journalism and Media Studies, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: bohara@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2015

Research and Teaching Interests: Culture, Urban Sociology, Sports & Leisure, Visual Sociology

Representative Scholarship: 2009. “Fighting for Respect: Identity Narratives of Mixed Martial Arts Fighters,” (with Michael Ian Borer), Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Advisor: Dr. Borer

Christina Parreira

(BA, Psychology, University of Connecticut; MA, Clinical Psychology, University of Hartford)

Email: parreira@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2018

Research and Teaching Interests: Gender, sex work, prostitution policy, deviance, social movements, quantitative methods

Representative Scholarship: 2013. “Sexism, Strippers, and Slut-Shaming.” Presented at Association for Women in Psychology Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Jennifer J. Reed

(BA, Psychology, Mount Union College; MA, Sociology, The University of Akron)

Email: reedj32@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2016

Research and Teaching Interests: Environment, Health & Technology; Gender & Sexuality; Politics, Social Movements & Social Change; Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods

Representative Scholarship: “From Ecofeminism to Ecosexuality: Queering the Environmental Movement.” Pp. 92-102 in Ecosexuality: When Nature Inspires the Arts of Love, edited by SerenaGaia Anderlini D’Onofrio and Lindsay Hagamen. Puerto Rico: 3WayKiss via CreateSpace. (ecosexbook.com - Winner of 2015 UNLV Sociology Outstanding Graduate Paper Award)

Dissertation Title: In Pursuit of Social Justice at the Postmodern Turn: Intersectional Activism through the Lens of the Ecosexual Movement

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Daniel Sahl

(BAH, Sociology, Queen's University; MA, Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: sahld@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: Summer 2014

Research and Teaching Interests: Gambling, Video Games and Digital Culture, Sexual Assault, Methods and Statistics

Representative Scholarship: Daniel Sahl and Jennifer Reid Keene. 2012. “The Effects of Age, Authority, and Gender on Perceptions of Statutory Rape Offenders.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence 27(18):3701–22.

Advisor: Dr. Bernhard

Marko Salvaggio

(BS, Business, California State University, Bakersfield; MA, Sociology, California State University, Bakersfield)

Email:markosalvaggio@gmail.com

Expected Graduation Date: December 2015

Research and Teaching Interests: Environmental Sociology, Urban and Community Studies, Sociology of Health, Culture, Qualitative Research Methods

Representative Scholarship:

Gottschalk, Simon and Marko Salvaggio. 2015 "Stuck Inside of Mobile: Ethnography in Non-Places." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography

Marko Salvaggio, Robert Futrell, Christie D. Batson, and Barbara G. Brents. 2013. “Water scarcity in the desert metropolis: how environmental values, knowledge and concern affect Las Vegas residents’ support for water conversation policy.” Journal of Environmental Planning and Management.

Advisor: Dr. Futrell

Jason Scott

(BA, Political Science, Cleveland State University; MA, Sociology, Cleveland State University; MSc., International Development Studies, University of Amsterdam)

Email: scottj4@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2016

Research and Teaching Interests: Criminology, Deviance, International Development, Qualitative Methods, Sexuality

Representative Scholarship: MSc. Thesis: “Medical Tourism in Chiang Mai, Thailand: An Examination of Livelihoods among Massage Workers.” MA Thesis: “Testing Convict Criminology: An Application of Manning’s Ethnographic Typology.”

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Marta Soligo

(BA, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Università di Bergamo, Italy; MA, Planning and Management of Tourism Systems, Università di Bergamo, Italy)

Email: soligo@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: 2020

Research and Teaching Interests: Sociology of Tourism, Cultural Studies, Urban Sociology, Leisure

Advisor: Dr. Brents

Sarah St. John

(BS, Sociology and Women’s Studies, Central Michigan University; MA, Sociology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: stjohns@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2016

Research and Teaching Interests: Youth Gambling, Problem Gambling, Health, Race/Ethnicity, Statistics

Representative Scholarship: Monnat, Shannon, Bo J. Bernhard, Brett L. L. Abarbanel, Sarah A. St. John, and Ashlee Kalina. 2013. “Exploring the Relationship between Treatment Satisfaction, Perceived Improvements in Functioning and Well-being and Gambling Harm Reduction among Clients of Pathological Gambling Treatment Programs.” Community Mental Health Journal

Advisor: Dr. Bernhard

Jennifer Stevens

(BA, Sociology [Minor in Psychology], University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

Email: steven64@unlv.nevada.edu

Expected Graduation Date: May 2018

Research and Teaching Interests: Social Movements, Race and Ethnicity, Social Psychology, Qualitative Methods

Representative Scholarship: 2014. “Drive By Ethnography,” presented with Nicholas Baxter and Christopher T. Conner at the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction annual meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Advisor: Dr. Gottschalk