Loyola University Chicago

Department of Sociology

Graduate Student Profiles



Name: Terrence (Ma’ruf) Allison
Program: Ph.D. Candidate
Research Interests: Race and Ethnic Minorities, and Medical Sociology with emphasis on Mental Health and Race.
Dissertation:“An Ethnographic Study of Psychiatric Assistants: The social processes involved in the subordination of workers in a psychiatric hospital.”


Name:  Ruth A. Ashton
Program: MA
Research Interests: Death & Dying, Religion, Race, Inequality
Thesis Topic:  Death & Dying Narratives

Name: Lydia S. Billatos
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Discrimination and Racial Inequality,Gender, Family, Quantitative Statistics
I have taught the following classes:
Criminology, SocialDeviance
Email: lbillat@luc.edu

Name: Jennifer E. Cossyleon
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests:
Public Policy, Public Sociology, Criminology, and Race and Crime.
jcossyleon@luc.edu, CV


Name: Cezara Crisan
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: International Migration, Globalization, Race and Ethnicity, Sociology of Family, Religion, Quantitative, and Qualitative Research Methods.
Dissertation Topic:
  A Comparative Study over Time of Eastern European Migration to the United States.


Name: Whitney Ferrin-Rodriguez
Program: M.A.
Research Interests: Science and Technology Studies. Or more specifically, the social construction of technology and the public understanding of science. I am also interested in the history of science, particularly astronomy. wrodriguez2@luc.edu


Name: Catherine Gillis
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Political Sociology, Urban Sociology (particularly affordable housing movements and gentrification), poverty & inequality,urban policy making processes, and collaborative research methodologies


Name: Komala Hayes
Program: M.A.‌


Name: Linda Chamberlain Henderson, MA
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Gender, Sexualities, Social Inequalities, Victimization

Name: Matthew Hoffmann
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Political Sociology, Environmental Sociology, Science & Technology Studies, Work & Organizations, Urban Sociology; contemporary food-related movements, regional economies, renewable energy, green jobs; qualitative, community, policy, and evaluation research methods
Dissertation Topic:  "Working with Nature: Green Jobs Training & Urban Sustainable Development in Chicago." I examine how low-wage workers and job trainees experience sustainable development through diverse urban initiatives and enterprises.
     Other research includes a study of citizen consensus conferences and the institutional limitations of public participation in science and policy formulation. As an intern with the Loka Institute, worked to connect community groups, social service providers, and academics to form a “collaboratory” which sought to improve health and quality of life for poor and working-class Houstonians by utilizing community-based participatory research. In the summer of 2010, worked with David J. Hess on a National ScienceFoundation-funded study of state and municipal level policy innovations aimed at incubating regional green energy industries. The report, "Building Clean Energy Industries and Green Jobs", can be found at: www.davidjhess.org/greenjobs.html
     I am currently working on articles that examine the role of social entrepreneurship in Chicago’s urban food system, and the relationship between place and contention in localist movements in the Midwest.
mhoffmann@luc.edu, CV

2015 Melissa Howell

Name: Melissa Gesbeck Howell
Program: Ph.D. 
MA Loyola - Thesis: "Women's Health Access Project: Defining Women's Health and Health Care Access in Holistic Terms"
Dissertation in Progress:  “Negotiating Diabetes:  Overlapping Social Worlds of Care” In this institutional ethnography, I am investigating the sociocultural meanings of diabetes and diabetes care in our society from the primary vantage point of diabetes workers, the practitioners, educators, counselors, etc. who do the day-to-day work with diabetics to help them manage their chronic condition.  I am recruiting diabetes educators, nurses, nurse practitioners, registered dieticians, pharmacists, physicians, and others who work with diabetics through spring 2013 for interviews. 
For more information, contact me at:  diabeteswork@gmail.com or 312-508-3823. See the call for participants here:  http://tiny.cc/uq74iw.
Work in Progress:  I am currently developing articles on perceived health care access and pharmaceutical advertising with respect to diabetes care.
Research Interests:  Carework; Medicine, Health, and Public Health; Mixed Research Methods; Gender and Family; Work; Policy; Urban Sociology
Teaching Interests:
  Social Problems; Policy; Issues in Health, Illness, and Healthcare; Labor and Work; Gender; Research Methods; Service Learning

Name: Cortney Rowland King
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Education, Policy, and Reproductive Health


Name: Megan R. Klein
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Education, inequality, race and ethnicity



Name: Mary Kleinman
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Institutional Change, Medical Education, Women's Health, Sociology of Knowledge






Name: Latrese Annette Monden
Program: M.A.
Research Interests: Urban Society, Social Policy and Culture




Name: Reginald Nievera
Program: M.A.
Research Interests: Sex and Gender, Marriage and Family, Race and Ethnicity, Mass Media
Thesis topic: Contemporary adult dating


Name: Travis O'Rear
Program: M.A.
Research interests:
Urban Sociology, Social Inequality, Technological Change


Name: Katie Pacyna
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Community, Culture,
Thesis/Disertation topic: Cultural Construction of Community

Name: Leslie Parraguez Sanchez
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Social Movements, Urban Sociology, Marxist Sociology
lparraguezsanchez@luc.edu, lparragu@fulbrightmail.org


Name: Gwendolyn Y. Purifoye
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests:  Urban and community sociology, the sociology of place and space, deviance and social control, homelessness, social theory
Dissertation Topic:  "How do you see me when I am here? : Spaces, Places and Social Interactions in Occupied Domains." This dissertation investigates the ‘human sounds’, i.e. social interactions, in public spaces and places. It moves beyond previous place research through an examination of these interactions on and around mobile public spaces and places. Specifically, it examines how social interactions on buses and trains are bounded by perceptions of class?
Work in progress: I am also working on papers on the interactions between homeless panhandlers and other pedestrians; place and race; and liberation boundaries.
gpurifo@luc.edu, CV

  Name: Joseph A. Renow
Research Interests:
Science and Technology; Medicine and Expertise; Space and Place
Dissertation Topic:
“From Fields to Spheres and Back Again: The Importance of Place in the Construction and Travel of Scientific Artifacts” Study examines the construction of scientific artifacts (facts) from the point of their emergence at an archeological field site to their later destinations of an archeology laboratory and a state history museum.

Name: Lorrie Riley
Program: M.A.
Research interests: medicine, science and technology, gender and sexuality
Thesis: Undecided

 Grace S

Name: Grace Scrimgeour
Program: Ph.D. candidate
Research interests: My main research interests are work and gender, with additional interests in social problems and urban and community. My teaching has mainly been in gender and social problems. I also have an interest in applied sociology, and was a graduate fellow at CURL for several years.
Thesis: My Master's thesis was a qualitative study of women over 35 without children, entitled "Women Without Children; Making Decisions about Mothering in the Life Course."
Dissertation Topic:I am currently doing fieldwork for my dissertation, which is a qualitative, interview-based, study of nursing assistants in a hospital setting, entitled, "Who Cares? The Role of Nursing Assistance in the Labor Process of Hospital Nursing."

The role of nursing aides within a complex technological, hierarchical and bureaucratic institution that is also a service industry makes them an interesting case study in the division of labor in the service sector. The separation of the supervisory and technical aspects of nursing from the personal care of patients has meant the replacement of RNs with auxiliaries in the production of bedside care, and the use of nursing assistants alongside graduate nurses, role drift, caring as a core practice of nursing, etc., are being debated in many different countries. The continuing debate over care work includes discussions dealing with the distinction between reproductive care, nurturing, and emotional labor, and I hope to investigate this as it affects nursing asssistants.



Name: Natalie Seefeldt
Program: PhD
Research Interests: Race and Ethnicity
Current projects: Thesis, exploring race and rank in the U.S. military
nseefeldt@luc.edu CV

Name: John A. Stover III
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Film and Society, Gender, Qualitative
Methodologies, Religion and New Religious Movements, Sexualities, and
Social Movements
Dissertation topic: “How Does Political Strategy and Artistic Expression Intersect Within Documentary Filmmaking?" Stated another way, what is the process by which social movement activities are being shaped by and com-municated through documentary filmmakers? How do documentary filmmakers navigate the tensions that exist among artistic expression and activist messages? What role - or wrench? – does funding play in these nego-tiations? How explicitly do filmmakers think about the “impact” of particular stories or images they use? Does artistic expression trump activists’ goals, even if those goals are compromised as a result? Or vice versa?
     I am presently exploring these questions using the tools of ethnographic research, both within the New Day Films Collective (a social movement organ-ization unto itself) and with independent filmmakers without organizational affiliations. Four areas of questioning (original catalyst/motivations, process, tensions, outcomes/results) are guiding the in-person interview process (), and interviewees are being drawn primarily, but not exclusively, from the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California. I am also partici-pating in New Day events and screenings, and am presently collaborating on an online membership survey in partnership with the collective.
Other Achievements: My Master’s level research (2005) earned Loyola University Chicago’s first award for excellence in graduate student research, and that study has been published in a special edition of the peer-reviewed journal Nova Religio (2008). I am also a successful, engaging teacher, having led many sections of courses such as Intro. to Sociology, Film and Society, Religion and Society, and Seminars in The Sociology of Sex & Gender and Documentary Films and Social Movements. I am also an adept and collab-orative administrator and have many management and leadership skills - inclusive of curriculum review and program assessment - to bring to any Sociology or Interdisciplinary Program.

jstove1@luc.edu   CV


Name: Bhoomi Thakore
Program: Ph.D. Candidate
Research interests: Sociology of race/ethnicity, media sociology, audience studies, sociology of culture and popular culture, South Asian studies, urban sociology
Dissertation topic: South Asians in the Media: Perceptions and Representations
bthakor@luc.edu, ‌


Name: Annmarie S. van Altena
Program: Ph.D.
Research Interests: Gender, Consumerism, Work
Thesis/Disertation topic: Work and Gender in a subculture-based industry


Name: Cameron Williams
Research Interests:
Ethnic conflict, race and ethnicity, Black masculinity, and education