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Department of Sociology Fall 2016 | Commencement Edition Saturday, June 11, 2016

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Commencement PhD and MA recipients Letter from the Chair New Faculty Graduate Spotlight New Cohort Recent Publications Staff Spotlight News & Achievements Thank You

Faculty, families, and friends gathered in Wilson Plaza to recognize and honor the achievements of the Class of 2016. Professor & Chair Darnell Hunt opened the ceremony, followed by the ‘Voices of the Class of 2016’ with speeches from students Sharon Villagran, Zhane Ochoa, and Michael Frew. In her commencement speech, keynote speaker Kim Gordon, UCLA Lab School alumna and musician, paid loving tribute to her father, C. Wayne Gordon who served as a faculty member with the Department of Sociology from 1958 until 1981. She described not only how his research drove him to fight against racial injustices within the LA public school system, but also how sociology affected his daily interactions. As a child, UCLA served as Kim’s playground as she explored the campus while her father worked. As a musician, Kim described the inescapable influence that sociology has on artists’ work. She exhorted students to renounce society’s artificial standards of success and instead, treasure the invaluable insight, knowledge, and analytical skills gained with the attainment of their degrees. Education transcends social fads and cannot be cancelled like a reality T.V. show. By earning a degree in sociology, this year’s graduates have attained what most people around the world can only dream of. Congratulations Class of 2016!

UCLA Sociology Graduate, Dr. Michael Stambolis –Ruhstorfer & his advisor, Professor Abigail Saguy

Commencement 2016

Voices of the Class of 2016 (left to right): Michael Frew, Zhane Ochoa, and Sharon Villagran.

Commencement 2016

Ph.D. Recipients Gustav Brown w as h ooded by Professor Rogers Brubabaker. His dissertation title was "Islamization and Religious Pluralism in Democratizing Indonesia.” Gustav accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at the National University of Singapore's Asia Research Institute.

Matthew Curry w as hooded by Professor Jennie Brand. His dissertation title was "The Great Recession and the Effects of Higher Education.” Matthew accepted a researcher position at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

Liz Kofman w as h ooded by Professor Jennie Brand.Her dissertation title was "The Hidden Social Costs of Precarious Employment: Parental Co-Residence, Marriage Timing, and Political Participation during Young Adulthood in the United States." Liz is a Sociologist at Unitive, a software start-up that helps companies limit unconscious bias in hiring.

Laura Loeb w as h ooded by Professor Steven Clayman. Her dissertation title was “Talk Show Talk: The Practices of Interviewing on Daytime and Late-Night.” Laura will be moving to Washington, DC next year.

Chase Wesley Raymond w as hooded by Professor Steven Clayman. His dissertation title was "Intersubjectivity, Progressivity, and Accountability in Interaction: Studies in Turn Design.” Chase moved to Colorado to take a position as Assistant Professor in the Departments of Linguistics and Spanish & Portuguese at the University of Colorado, Boulder, where he is also a core faculty member in the interdisciplinary Program in Culture, Language, and Social Practice (CLASP). Pat Reilly w as h ooded by Pr ofessor Gabriel Rossman. His dissertation title was “Navigating Careers in Cultural Production Industries: The Case of Stand-Up Comedy.” Pat is currently teaching undergrad courses 168 (Organizations and Society) & 188A (Careers in Sociology) here at UCLA.

Michael Stambolis-Ruhstorfer was hooded by Professor Abigail Saguy. His dissertation title was “The Culture of Knowledge: Constructing ‘Expertise’ in Legal Debates on Marriage and Kinship for Same-Sex Couples in France and the United States.” In Fall 2016, he began his new tenure-track post as an Assistant Professor in American Studies at the Université Bordeaux Montaigne, a French public research university in Bordeaux.

Commencement 2016

MA Degree Recipients

Ryan Cho

Paul Martinez

Jose Cuchilla

Molly Fee

Amanda McArthur Lucrecia Mena Melendez

Chiara Galli

Amelia Hill

Hanna Jun

Sue Park

Eleni Skaperdas

Carmella Stoddard

Back row: Jose Cuchilla, Hanna Jun, Paul Martinez, Ryan Cho, Sue Park Front row: Liz Kofman, Chase Wesley Raymond, Pat Reilly, Kim Gordon (Commencement speaker), Michael Stambolis-Ruhstorfer, Laura Lob, Gustav Brown, Matthew Curry Not pictured:

Letter from the Chair Dear Friends, Welcome to what promises to be another exciting year in the Department of Sociology. Our department continues to build on its firm footing as one of the nation’s top sociology departments by welcoming three new faculty colleagues: Karida Brown, Jeffrey Guhin, and Aliza Luft. Brown is a cultural sociologist interested in race and ethnicity, oral histories, and African American Studies. Guhin studies culturally informed practices within social institutions, particularly education and religion. And Luft’s work focuses on political sociology, war and violence, and sociological theory. I’m pleased to inform you that this year we are also recruiting another junior colleague, subfield open, as well as a senior colleague for the Dorothy Meier Endowed Chair in Social Equities. This year, we are also thrilled to welcome another outstanding and diverse cohort of sociology graduate students. This year’s cohort is composed of 18 students: two are international students, five are from California, and the rest are from universities representing 11 other states. Meanwhile, our undergraduate program continues to flourish. We had 1259 majors as of spring 2016, making ours one of the most popular majors in UCLA’s Division of Social Sciences. These students report a high degree of satisfaction with our major— 92 percent felt satisfied with their overall academic experience, 91 percent felt satisfied with the curriculum, and 91 percent felt intellectually challenged by our faculty. Finally, our twelve working groups will be extremely active again this year with talks and workshops that span the diverse domain of sociological subfields. The department is also sponsoring or co-sponsoring several public events in the department and across the campus. Please consult our calendar ( and join us at one or more of these events. I look forward to hearing from you! Darnell M. Hunt, PhD

Professor and Chair

Now Introducing: Assistant Professor Karida Brown Karida Brown is a cultural sociologist of race whose current research centers on the relationship between social transformations and the racial self. Karida studies this phenomena across three Sewellian “eventful transformations”—the twentieth century African American Migration, the desegregation of the public school, and in the formation of institutional archives. Her current research forges a new direction in the study of race and migration by examining the conditions under which the twentieth century African American Great Migration emerged, and the ways in which this historic process has impacted African American identity, culture, and subjectivity. Her manuscript in-progress, entitled “Gone Home: Race and Roots through Appalachia,” explores the ways in which African American identity was negotiated and transformed during this era of massive demographic, political, economic and cultural change. In this work, Karida reframes the African American Great Migration as a cultural and demographic process, arguing that it must be understood alongside its historical contingencies with racial slavery. Karida also builds archives! In 2013, she founded the Eastern Kentucky African American Migration Project (EKAAMP), a public humanities project aimed at documenting and preserving the history and culture of African Americans who share roots in the coal mining communities in the Appalachian region of eastern Kentucky. To date, this archival collection holds over 10,000 photographs, documents, and objects relating to the history and culture of African Americans from the eastern Kentucky region of Appalachia. Karida was born and raised in Long Island, NY, and is a proud descendent of the black coal miners and homemakers of the formerly company-owned coal town of Lynch, KY, located in “Bloody Harlan County.” She earned a B.B.A. in Risk Management & Insurance from Temple University, an MPA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD from Brown University. Prior to entering academia, Karida enjoyed a career as a Senior Underwriter at some of the world’s largest insurance firms, including American International Group (AIG), ACE USA, and Zurich North America. One fun-fact about Karida is that she has a never-ending fascination with pugs. So much so that when she is not thinking about sociology, the probability that she is day-dreaming about what all pugs around the world are doing and thinking is high. Karida and her father. Photo credit: Sarah Hoskins

Now Introducing: Assistant Professor Jeffrey Guhin Jeffrey Guhin is thrilled to start this year as an assistant professor in the UCLA Sociology Department. After graduating from Loyola University New Orleans in 2003 with a double major in English and Sociology (along with a minor in Spanish), Jeff worked in New York City for four years, first as a case-worker with at-risk families and then, for three years, as a high school English teacher at a Catholic school in downtown Brooklyn. He earned his Ph.D. in Sociology at Yale University, where he primarily studied with comparative-historical sociologists like Philip Gorski and sociological theorists like Jeffrey Alexander. Despite that background, Jeff wound up an ethnographer, making him especially excited to be at a place like UCLA where so many excellent ethnographers are in constant conversation with each other and with sociologists from other methodological traditions. While at Yale, he also earned a Middle East Studies Certificate and spent two summers learning formal and Levantine Arabic in Damascus. In 2013, Jeff completed a dissertation that compared two Sunni Muslim and two Evangelical Christian high schools in the New York City area, paying special attention to the moral salience of scripture, prayer, gender, and science. That dissertation, with significant changes, will be the basis of Jeff’s first book, forthcoming from Oxford University Press. After Yale, Jeff worked for three years as the Abd El-Kader Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. While there, he did fieldwork at six urban public high schools, two each in Charlotte, North Carolina, New York, New York, and San Diego, California. That research was part of a larger project at the IASC on “The Moral Foundations of Education.” Jeff’s argument is that these schools are driven by a process he calls “the moral invisible hand,” in which aggregated individual achievement is rendered indistinguishable from the common good. Jeff maintains ongoing interests in religion, especially Islam, Evangelicalism, and the definition of religion, and he is excited to be a part of UCLA’s Islamic Studies program and the Center for the Study of Religion. He is also eager to involve himself in all of the exciting work on the study of schools here at UCLA. He also maintains ongoing interests in ethnographic and qualitative methods, science studies (especially the philosophy of social science), and anything else that seems intriguing. More than anything else, Jeff’s a theory nerd, and he’s thrilled by all the opportunities to talk about big ideas here at UCLA. He’s eager to meet undergraduate, graduate students, and anyone else! For good or bad, ethnographers like Jeff think just about anything is interesting.

Now Introducing: Assistant Professor Aliza Luft Aliza Luft grew up in Montréal in a small Jewish enclave where she and most everyone she knew had grandparents who survived the Holocaust. As a result, she started wondering about how some civilians could suddenly turn on their neighbors and kill them from a very young age. This question haunted her all the way to Bates College, where she combined sociology, history, and religion to form an interdisciplinary major that examined violence from diverse perspectives. As part of her research, Aliza traveled to six countries in East and Central Europe to analyze Holocaust education in post-Communist countries; an experience that whet her appetite for international fieldwork. Simultaneously, she became aware of the unfolding genocide in Darfur, Sudan, and was ashamed at how little she knew about mass violence outside the European context. After she graduated from Bates, Aliza began a Ph.D. in Education at UC Berkeley. Her goal was to explore the relationship between education and practices of racialization pre and post-conflict in Colonial and post-Colonial contexts. With thanks to mentors in Berkeley Sociology where she began to work as a teaching assistant, she rapidly learned that the Education Department was the wrong fit for her and thus put the wheels in motion to transfer disciplines. She’ll never forget meeting with one mentor, who said: “You know, you should really go to UCLA. Their sociology program is perfect for someone with your interests!” Yet much to her dismay at the time, she had already missed the application deadline. She did, however, apply and get accepted to the University of WisconsinMadison. While in Wisconsin, Aliza organized her research around questions of decision-making in violent settings and the relationship between social categories, boundaries, and political behaviors. She is especially interested in how racial, ethnic, and religious cleavages inform and are transformed by extreme violence such as genocide. Aliza plans to publish a book in the near future about how people shift stances from support for state violence to resistance and saving behaviors within the same war. In forthcoming projects, she also plans to focus on how gender is implicated in movements’ decisions to adopt (or not adopt) violent tactics. Outside of her research, Aliza is interested in politics, feminism, learning how to be a good ally to the Black Lives Matter and LGBTQI movements, what can be done about the current refugee crisis, music, puppies— she and her husband plan to get one in December—and food in LA. Transparent is her favorite TV Show, though before that, Mad Men was. She’s also always looking for good new novels, and loves to hike, bike, and swim. A lot of those activities seem to fit well into the California lifestyle, which is why, among other reasons, she’s thrilled to be in California and at UCLA .

Graduate Spotlight Elizabeth Gonzalez Elizabeth Gonzalez was born in Phoenix, Arizona to first-generation Mexican immigrants. She graduated in 2012 as a double major with Bachelor of Art degrees in Psychology and Sociology from Arizona State University. While initially interested in working in the field of adolescent psychopathology, it was her sociology classes that intrigued her intellect the most. Her sociological interests into the fields of international migration and race/ethnicity flourished under the tutelage of the migration scholar Cecilia Menjivar. This, along with extensive personal experiences in the realm of international migration, led Elizabeth to reconsider her professional aspirations from the field of psychology to that of sociology. Since arriving at UCLA, Elizabeth has continued to explore her research interests into international migration and race/ethnicity. For her Master’s Thesis she explored the experiences and ethnoracial self-identification of Mexican American young adults growing up in an anti-immigrant context in the American Southwest. For her dissertation, Elizabeth is interested in investigating contemporary (return) migration to Mexico from the United States. In particular, she is interested in how the Mexican government is responding to the individuals and families returning or migrating to Mexico and the challenges they face upon arrival. As Elizabeth nears the completion of her dissertation, she hopes to continue working in the world of academia as a migration scholar. While she is interested in working at a research university, she is also looking forward to continuing to work with undergraduate students in the classroom, something she didn’t expect. Even though Elizabeth is not new to the realm of teaching, having worked with both middle and high school students in the past, teaching was only a small part of her professional interests. However, during her time as a teaching associate at UCLA, she has a newfound appreciation for teaching and hopes to delve further into it in her professional career.

When Elizabeth isn’t caught up in the world of academia, she can be found reading for leisure (Michael Crichton’s techno-thrillers are a favorite), playing video games, and spending time with her partner, Scott, and their two cats, Luna and Oliver. In addition, she enjoys exploring the different things Southern California has to offer. Elizabeth can usually be found encompassed in the extraordinary music scene Los Angeles has to offer. Her favorite live venues include the Hollywood Bowl (she suggests you catch the LA Philharmonic at least once), the Wiltern (in Koreatown), and Whiskey-A-Go-Go (in Hollywood). When she’s not attending a live show or catching up with friends, Elizabeth enjoys exploring the natural beauty of SoCal. Her favorite places include Crystal Cove State Park near Laguna Beach, the La Jolla tide pools near San Diego, Manhattan Beach in Orange County, and hiking the Santa Monica Mountains.

2016-17 Graduate Cohort

Back: Keith Cox, Oscar Mayorga, Zeke Chen, Cory Mengual, Debanjan Roychoudhury, Mallory Rees, Bernard Koch Middle: Luis Manuel Olguin, Carrie Goetsch, Nihal Kayali, Allison Ramirez, Tianjian Lai, Christina Chica Front: Wisam Alshaibi, Alexis Coopersmith, Hilary Flowers, Caitlin Ahearn, Isaac Jilbert Caitlin Ahearn completed her bachelor's of science in Social Policy at Northwestern University in 2013. To date, her research has focused on the sociology of education and educational policy, especially career programs in high schools and community colleges. She plans on studying stratification and inequality/mobility in higher education at UCLA. When she's not dog sitting in Mar Vista, she likes to hike, lay by the pool, and eat ramen and homemade cookies on the weekends.

Zeke Chen was born in China and grew up in Argentina. He graduated from UWMadison with B.A. in Economics, Mathematics, and International Studies. He received his M.P.P. (Master of Public Policy) from UCLA. He also has rich work experience from Public Sectors (International Organization, NGO, and Government Agency) as well as Research Centers at UCLA. He loves research and his main research areas are International Migration and Social Stratification.

Wisam Alshaibi earned his BA in Humanities at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After a year of PhD coursework in Sociology and Science Studies at UCSD in 2015, Wisam joined UCLA Sociology. His research interests include comparative-historical sociology, theory, and political sociology. He is currently developing a project utilizing the Iraqi Ba’th Party’s internal records to study the relationship between ethnic and sectarian categories and political conflict and violence. In his spare time, Wisam plays drums in a hardcore band with fellow sociology doctoral student Michael Siciliano.

Christina Chica is a born and raised Angeleno who left for Princeton University to pursue an undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies. While there, she picked up a love for travel and global learning, which has influenced her research to date. Broadly speaking, her research falls within the intersection of Political Sociology, Gender & Sexuality, and International Comparative Analysis. In her "free time," she loves listening to podcasts, attending concerts, dancing, and hanging out at the beach.

2016-17 Graduate Cohort Alexis Coopersmith is from Sacramento, California and received her bachelor's degree in international studies- political science from UC San Diego. She studied female political power in sub-Saharan Africa as an undergrad and was the Africanist staff writer for the undergraduate journal. Outside of class, she enjoys cooking, hiking, photography, and reading fiction. Her favorite books include Lolita and As I Lay Dying.

Isaac Jilbert is from Liverpool Township, Ohio, which is located outside of Cleveland. In 2012, he completed his undergraduate degree from Johns Hopkins University in International Studies and Sociology. He is interested in economic and comparative-historical sociology, with a particular focus on financialization. His interests include oenology, foosball, and arboriculture. He is a big Ohio State and Cleveland sports fan as well.

Keith Cox’s main research interests are medical sociology and conversation analysis. He uses conversation analysis to investigate the social organization of doctor-patient encounters in a variety of clinical settings. Keith is particularly interested in doctors' use of computers during medical consultations and how the technology is incorporated in various phases of the interaction. Ultimately, Keith is interested in how medical software can be built to improve medical encounters.

Nihal Kayali is from San Diego and earned her BA in political science from Yale University, after which she taught high school world history in Massachusetts. She worked as a researcher and journalist in Istanbul last year before coming to UCLA. Her academic interests include education and migration in Turkey and the Middle East. She likes running, playing soccer, satirical news and Trader Joe's three-layer hummus.

Hilary Flowers is interested in gender, demography, and family. After completing her MA in sociology at McGill, she analyzed marketing data in New York before joining the department. She has contributed to both interview -based and mixed methods projects studying family structure, gender identity, and healthcare decisionmaking. Carrie Goetsch received a BA in Sociology with a Concentration in Analysis and Research from the University of Wisconsin. Since graduating, she worked in a variety of research settings from NORC at the University of Chicago to the Australian outback. Her academic interests include social networks and the sociology of health and illness. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, and all things related to dachshunds.

Bernard Koch is from Washington, D.C. Before landing at UCLA, he spent time at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Human Genome Research Institute, and Swarthmore College, where he received a B.A. in Biology in 2013. He is interested in science, education, and media. Bernard really enjoys riding his bike, making music, and cooking.

Tianjian Lai moved to LA from Chicago, and has also lived in Louisville and Beijing. She has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Chicago, where she worked at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). Her interests are in international migration, race, stratification, and youth development. When she’s not working, she enjoys eating any and all types of food, following the Spanish soccer league, and spending time outdoors .

2016-17 Graduate Cohort Oscar J. Mayorga was born in Nicaragua and raised in Miami Florida. He has worked in various capacities in higher education institutions for the last 15 years in the Northeast, where he was the Director of a Cross-Cultural Center and Chief Diversity Officer. When Oscar is not working, he enjoys family bike rides across Southern California with his partner and two young children. Cory Mengual is a graduate of George Washington University, where he double majored in Latin American & Hemispheric Studies and International Affairs with a Concentration in Development Studies. He spent several years after graduating working in the field of community development, both in rural Ecuador and Washington, DC. Broadly interested in real-time reconciliations between autonomy and interdependence, you may see Cory biking around campus or if you're lucky, you may get a chance to try one of his homemade beers.

Luis-Manuel Olguin was born in Lima, Peru. Before coming to UCLA, he was an adjunct lecturer in sociocultural linguistics and discourse analysis at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, where he also received a B.A. and M.A. in Hispanic Linguistics. Luis-Manuel is broadly interested in language as a kind of social practice with a particular focus in talk-in -interaction across institutional contexts. His intended areas of research are conversation analysis, cultural and political sociology, and the morality of social institutions. After a few weeks in the US, he's begun to hyphenate his name as to somehow overcome a general tendency to call him 'Luis.’

Allison Ramirez is a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation, from the Wa:k community of Southern Arizona. She earned her B.A in Sociology from the University of Arizona, in 2015. Broadly, she is interested in the globalization and privatization of Indigenous economic development. In her personal time, she enjoys volunteering, poetry, hiking, and being with family.

Mallory Rees grew up in Jonesboro, Arkansas. She attended Northwestern University and then UCLA Law School before practicing as an attorney in Los Angeles. Her academic interests include gender, work and organizations, and law. In her personal time, she likes to train for marathons, read fiction, and spend time with her husband and dog.

Debanjan Roychoudhury is originally from Queens, New York and graduated from Middlebury College with a B.A. in Sociology in May 2016. His research projects have included an evaluation of policing and neighborhood change in West Harlem, quantitative analysis of New York City Stop, Question and Frisk data. His senior thesis was entitled "Ethnic at Home, Policed in the Streets: Experiences of Policing and Racial Identity Among First- and Second-Generation U.S. Immigrant Men of Color." Debanjan is also an avid basketball fan and enjoys competing in his free time.

Recent Publications The Online World of Surrogacy By Zsuzsa


Zsuzsa Berend presents a methodologically innovative ethnography of, the largest surrogacy support website in the United States. Surrogates’ views emerge from the stories, debates, and discussions that unfold online. The Online World of Surrogacy documents these collective meaning-making practices and explores their practical, emotional, and moral implications. In doing so, the book works through themes of interest across the social sciences, including definitions of parenthood, the symbolic role of money, reproductive loss, altruism, and the moral valuation of relationships.

Trans: Gender and Race in an Age of Unsettled Identities By Rogers


Taking the controversial pairing of “transgender” and “transracial” as his starting point, Professor Brubaker shows how gender and race, long understood as stable, inborn, and unambiguous, have in the past few decades opened up—in different ways and to different degrees—to the forces of change and choice. Transgender identities have moved from the margins to the mainstream with dizzying speed, and ethnoracial boundaries have blurred. Paradoxically, while sex has a much deeper biological basis than race, choosing or changing one’s sex or gender is more widely accepted than choosing or changing one’s race. By rethinking race and ethnicity through the multifaceted lens of the transgender experience—encompassing not just a movement from one category to another but positions between and beyond existing categories—Brubaker underscores the malleability, contingency, and arbitrariness of racial categories.

Passing the Butter and Picking up the Penny By Jerry


Jerome Rabow has contributed significant research to the fields of social psychology and education. This memoir, however, is very different from his academic work, and is aimed at people who wish to enhance their lives and for people who feel stuck. It is not a conventional "how to" book, but rather a "how you can" book: how you can learn from your failures, improve your family relationships, your relationships with your intimates, and deepen your relationship to your self. It is for the elderly who may not realize there can be a good life ahead. It is for professors who want to change how they teach or how they respond to their students. It is for those who dwell on their failures and cannot look afresh and unearth new possibilities.

A Century of Transnationalism: Immigrants and their Homeland Connections By Roger


Encompassing societies of origin and destination from around the world, A Century of Transnationalism shows that while population movements across states recurrently produce homeland ties, those connections have varied across contexts and from one historical period to another, changing in unpredictable ways. Any number of factors shape the linkages between home and destination, including conditions in the society of immigration, policies of the state of emigration, and geopolitics worldwide. Internationally oriented and advancing arguments likely to stir scholarly controversy, A Century of Transnationalism offers scholars and students alike leading-edge works that illustrate--and complicate--the important questions driving today's study of migration.

Staff Spotlight Irina Tauber Graduate Advisor Irina Tauber joined the Sociology Department last year in December and has been a part of the UCLA community since 2000. She completed her undergraduate education at UCLA and graduated with a B.A. in Psychology and a Minor in Russian Studies. She later received her M.A. in Counseling Psychology. Irina started her career as a work-study student in the Psychology Department’s busy undergraduate office that serves 3,000 students. She later moved to the Department of Geography to oversee both undergraduate and graduate programs. Irina also worked at the School of Nursing as the Director of Academic Affairs, but always wanted to move back to the beautiful North Campus to work with graduate students again.

Julie Huning

Irina was born in Moscow and lived in Ukraine until she was 10 years old, after which she moved to Los Angeles with her family. Irina loves to travel; some of her favorite spots are San Sebastian, Spain, Prague, and Costa Rica. She also loves hiking, skiing, the beach, trying new restaurants, yoga, and running. Irina loves spending time with her husband, who is a teacher and a musician, and their energetic dog Charlie Bear, a Terrier rescue who loves to play fetch and hates motorcycles.

Senior Academic Personnel Analyst Julie Huning joined the Department of Sociology in December 2015. She received her B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Human Resources Management as well as her B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Law, Politics, and Policy from California State University, Long Beach in 2013. During her time at Cal State Long Beach, she served as a teaching assistant for an American Government course and held internships with the following organizations: Debra Bowen for Congress, the Los Angeles Superior Court, and WilmerHale (law firm). Julie started working at UCLA in 2014 as the Academic Personnel Coordinator in the Dean’s Office for the College of Letters and Science. There, she examined and reviewed academic personnel content for the Social Sciences, Humanities, Life Sciences, and Physical Sciences. Additionally, Julie helped manage the heavy academic personnel caseloads in the Departments of African American Studies, Psychology, Art History, Classics, English, and the Program in IndoEuropean Studies. In her spare time, she likes to play sports, travel throughout the United States, spend time with family and friends, read, and watch movies. Last year, she took a cross-country road trip to Wisconsin and back, camping along the way.

News & Achievements Faculty

Professor Jennie Brand was quoted in a Wall Street Journal story on the lingering effects of massive unemployment during the Great Recession. Professor Brand also won the Leo Goodman Award from the ASA's Methodology Section. The award is given each year for contributions to sociological methodology and innovative uses of methodology by a scholar who received his/her PhD within the previous 15 years. Professor Brand is the first woman to receive the award.

Professor Rogers Brubaker’s new book, Trans, is featured in the current issue of The Atlantic. The author of the article engages Professor Brubaker in a provocative exchange about the differences between race, sex, and gender as forms of identity (and the attendant politics).

Assistant Professor Lauren Duquette-Rury and Distinguished Professor Roger Waldinger's paper, “Emigrant Politics, Immigrant Engagement: Homeland Ties and Immigrant Political Identity in the United States,” published in RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, was referenced in an article about non-citizen Latino immigrants and their political engagement.

Jacob Foster’s recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (with Andrey Rzhetsky, Ian Foster, and James Evans) was featured in a Nautilus magazine article about conservatism in biomedical research . Assistant Professor Jeffrey Guhin’s research that was published recently in Sociological Theory was cited in a Slate article about fundamentalist Christian and Muslim reactions to evolution.

Professor Marcus Hunter published an important op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Sentinel about the well-being of Black women with children in California and the upcoming primary. Professor Hunter was also elected Vice President of the Association of Black Sociologists. Professor Emeritus Michael Mann received an honorary D.Litt. from University College, Dublin (the National University of Ireland). This is his third honorary doctorate.

Professor Abigail Saguy’s interview about “Why America Hates Fat Women” was featured in an issue of Shape magazine. Professor Saguy was also was quoted in a Los Angeles Times story about how Olympians Sarah Robles and Michelle Carter are challenging conventional notions of the ideal body type.

News & Achievements Graduate Students

Peter Catron has the lead article in the current issue of AJS: Made in America? Immigrant Occupational Mobility in the First Half of the Twentieth Century.

Karina Chavarria was chosen as a 2016 National Academy of Education/ Spencer Dissertation Fellow.

Leydy Diossa-Jiminez received the 2016-17 Fulbright-Hays– Award.

Andrew Le was awarded the Taiwan Studies Lectureship Graduate Research Fellowship for his proposed project, “Taiwan’s Role in Global Migration and the Creation of an ‘Accidental’ Community” and the Professor Harry H. L. Kitano Graduate Prize from the Asian American Studies Center for his paper titled "An Accidental Community? The Vietnamese Immigrants in Trinidad and Tobago.”

Tahseen Shams received the IAC Graduate/Predoctoral Fellowship from the Asian American Studies Center for Summer 2017.

Jay Johnson received the 2016-17 Fulbright-Hays– Award.

Michael Siciliano received the NSF Dissertation Research Improvement Award to conduct additional research on the experiences of digital media content producers in the Midwest and Northeast.

Rahim Kurwa received the Bunche Center for African American Studies Graduate/ Predoctoral Fellowship for 20162017.

Lina Stepick was one of a select few UCLA Sustainable LA Grand Challenge Fellows who presented her work to the LA Mayor’s Office of Sustainability at City Hall.

Thank You! The UCLA Department of Sociology is training the next generation of sociology teachers and researchers. Our graduate students win professional awards, are published in the leading journals, and obtain jobs in other top sociology departments. The competition for promising graduate students is strong and requires financial resources. You can help! We are pleased to announce the Next Generation of Sociology Leaders Fund to support our talented graduate students. Funds received by the department will go to the direct support of graduate student research through a formal application process based on need and merit. Funds will be used for direct research costs and conference travel support. You CAN make a difference in a student’s life at a critical point in time. In addition, we have established the Sociology for the 21st Century Fund to support undergraduate students in Sociology. Every dollar received by the department will be used to support undergraduates in their pursuit of a meaningful education in Sociology. One way we are using these funds is to ramp up the undergraduate Honors Program. Individualized attention to undergraduates through the Honors Program allows students to learn research methodology in more depth and to push students beyond the traditional boundaries of learning. These highly motivated students are the ones who will move into leadership positions after their education and you will know you helped provide the stepping stones of their success! There are few funds available to undergraduates for research or conference support so you can make a significant difference in an individual’s education and life trajectory. You may also contribute to the Sociology’s Chair’s Discretionary Fund. These funds strengthen our ability to attract and retain top faculty and to train the best graduate and undergraduate students. They support a variety of academic endeavors such as our active colloquia series, our faculty student working groups and departmental conferences. We provide research seed funds for promising, high-risk research projects. Annual gifts above $1,000 to the Chair’s Discretionary Fund, in addition to providing vital funds to our department, also qualify the donor for membership into the Chancellor’s Circle, while a gift above $2,500 gives you membership to the Chancellor’s Associates. For additional information and to donate, please visit:, or contact Peter Evans at

2016 Fall Newsletter  
2016 Fall Newsletter