Graduate Students on the Market

Caitlin Ahearn

Areas of Specialization: Education, Demography, Quantitative Methods, Social Stratification and Mobility

Dissertation Title: Assessing the Early Adult Economic and Social Returns to Broad-Access Four-Year College Enrollment

Advisors: Jennie E. Brand (Chair), Michael S. Gaddis, Meredith Phillips, Patrick Heuveline

Pablo Geraldo Bastias


Areas of Specialization: Causal Inference, Social Statistics, Stratification and Inequality, Sociology of Education, Computational Social Science, Demography

Dissertation Title: Essays in Causality and Educational Inequality

Advisors: Jennie E. Brand (co-chair), Jacob G. Foster (co-chai), Chad Hazlett, Natasha Quadlin

Abraham Calderon

Areas of Specialization: Race and Ethnicity, Leftist Movements, Social Inequality, Social Change, International Migration

Dissertation Title: Cultural Struggle Along the Radical Flank: interrogating contemporary socialist organizing in the United States

Advisors: Vilma Ortiz (UCLA), Dylan Rodriguez (UCR), Marcus Hunter (UCLA), Aliza Luft (UCLA)

Molly Fee


Areas of Specialization: International Migration, Political Sociology, Forced Migration, Refugee Resettlement

Dissertation Title: Resettling Refugees: Social Rights and Incorporation in San Diego, CA and Boise, ID

Advisors: Waldinger (chair), Kligman, Walker, and David FitzGerald (external member)

Ian Gray


Areas of Specialization: Economic sociology, science and technology studies, environmental politics, organizations, culture, ethnography

Dissertation Title: Making Climate Knowledge Actionable: Risk, Uncertainty, and the Politics of Protection in a Warming World

Advisors: Stefan Timmermans (co-chair), Ed Walker (co-chair), Hannah Landecker, Ted Porter (History)

Zach Griffen


Areas of Specialization: Economic Sociology; Sociology of Knowledge, Science, and Expertise; Cultural Sociology; Comparative Historical Sociology; Social Policy; Sociology of Education; Sociology of Health; Society and Genetics

Dissertation Title: Economizing the Social, or Socializing Economics? Economic Expertise and Social Policy in Education and Healthcare

Advisors: Aaron Panofsky (co-chair), Hannah Landecker (co-chair), Stefan Timmermans, Theodore M. Porter (History), Elizabeth Popp Berman (Organizational Studies, University of Michigan)

Andrew Christopher Herman

Areas of Specialization: Economic Sociology, Political Sociology, STS, Science of Science, Comparative/Historical Sociology, Computational Social Sciences

Dissertation Title: Sunny with a chance of traffic: Weather forecasting, smart highways, and how governments affect innovation

Advisors: Rebecca Jean Emigh (chair), Jacob G. Foster, Ka-Yuet Liu, Stefan Bargheer (Aarhus Institute for Advanced Studies), Emmanuel Didier (Centre Maurice Halbwachs)

Joel Herrera

Areas of Specialization: Political Sociology, Development, Comparative-historical Sociology

Dissertation Title: State Building and Drug Trafficking in Post-revolutionary Mexico

Advisor: Cesar Ayala

MJ Hill


Areas of Specialization: Gender; social categories; qualitative methods; sociology of knowledge; social interaction; ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (EMCA)

Dissertation Title: “Knowing Gender, Making Gender: Gendered meaning-making and the production of social order”

Advisors: Steven Clayman (chair), John Heritage, Jeff Guhin, Kevin A. Whitehead (UC Santa Barbara), S Crawley (U of South Florida)

Zep Kalb

Areas of specialization: Political Sociology, Social Movements, Labor, International Development, Comparative-Historical Sociology

Dissertation title:  The Backbone of the Islamic Republic: Workers and the Politics of Labor in Iran.

Advisors: Edward Walker, Kevan Harris, Ching Kwan Lee, Chris Tilly

Harleen Kaur


Areas of Specialization: Racism, Nationalism, Empire, Religion, Postcolonial Studies, Identity, Memory, Qualitative Methods

Dissertation Title: Crossroads of Belonging, Safety, and Sovereignty: Sikh Punjabi Negotiations of Statecraft and Racecraft from Colonial Punjab to Imperial United States

Advisors: Karida Brown (Chair), Marcus Anthony Hunter, Cecilia Menjívar, Thu-Huong Nguyen-Vo, & Rupa Marya

Amanda McArthur

Areas of Specialization: Medical Sociology, Talk & Interaction in Medicine, Sociology of Diagnosis, Conversation Analysis, Mixed Methods

Dissertation Title: Resisting the Diagnosis: Medical Authority and the Problem of Legitimacy in US Primary Care

Advisors: Heritage (Chair), Stivers, Timmermans, Bird (RAND Health)

Josefina Flores Morales


Areas of Specialization: Latinx sociology; health; social demography; inequality; aging; mortality; life course.

Dissertation Title: Excluded for a Lifetime?: Three Essays on Immigration Status and Health in Childhood, Adulthood, and Older Age

Advisors: Dr. Vilma Ortiz; Dr. Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez; Dr. Ka-Yuet Liu; Dr. Andrés Villarreal

Kyle Nelson


Areas of Specialization: Urban Sociology, Law and Society, Eviction and Housing Policy, and Ethnographic Methods.

Dissertation Title: Litigating the Housing Crisis: Legal Assistance and the Institutional Life of Eviction in Los Angeles

Advisors: Rebecca Jean Emigh (co-chair), Stefan Timmermans (co-chair), Marcus Anthony Hunter, and Michael C. Lens (Urban Planning)

Tala Oszkay

Areas of Specialization: Social Movements, Organizations, Local Politics and Policymaking, Economic Development, Mixed Methods Personal Website

Dissertation Title: Contentions with Sharing: The Local Structures and Politics of a Developing Short-Term Rental Market

Advisors: Edward T. Walker (Chair), Rebecca J. Emigh, Jacob Foster, Paavo Monkkonen (Urban Planning and Public Policy)

Pei Palmgren


Areas of specialization: Political sociology, international migration, development, global and transnational sociology, Southeast Asia, comparative ethnography and qualitative methods

Dissertation Title: Remaking regimes of labor migration: development, governance, and social reproduction in Thailand

Advisors: Ching Kwan Lee (Chair), Roger Waldinger, Ruben Hernandez-Leon, Eric Sheppard (UCLA Geography)

Anthony James Williams

Areas of Specialization: Race, racism, and ethnicity; prisons and punishment; urban sociology; qualitative methods

Dissertation Title: Us & Them: How California State Prisons Justify Solitary Confinement

Advisors: Marcus Anthony Hunter (chair), Cecilia Menjivar, Kelly Lytle Hernandez, and Karida Brown

Nathan I. Hoffmann


Areas of Specialization: International migration, education, sexuality, and quantitative methods

Dissertation Title: Essays on Young Migrants’ Academic Achievement

Advisors: Roger Waldinger (chair), Jennie Brand, Chad Hazlett, Andrés Villarreal

Oscar Contreras

Areas of Specialization: Machine Learning, Social Network Analysis, Social Statistics, Computational Social Science, Organized Crime, Migration, US-Mexico Region.

Dissertation Title: Essays on Computational Methods and Organized Crime.

Advisors: Ruben Hernandez-Leon (co-chair), Gabriel Rossman (co-chair), Andres Villareal, David Shirk.

Gabriel L. Suchodolski

Areas of Specialization: Political Sociology, Development & Social Change, Comparative Historical Sociology, Ethnography, Environment & Land, Policy Analysis, Global South

Dissertation Title: Grounds for Development: Land Policy and Politics in Amazonia

Advisors: Rebecca Emigh (Co-chair), Kevan Harris (Co-chair), Susanna Hecht (Urban Planning and Geography), Akhil Gupta (Anthropology), Edward Walker

Nicholas V. DiRago

Website :

Areas of Specialization: Urban sociology, organizations, neighborhood inequality, spatial methods

Dissertation Title: Studies of Organizations, Space, and Urban Inequality

Advisors: Edward T. Walker (chair), Jennie E. Brand, Ann Owens (University of Southern California), Min Zhou

Oscar J. Mayorga

Specialization: Race & Ethnicity, Quantitative and Computational Methods
Dissertation: Reconceptualizing Colorblindness: A Racecraft Approach
Dissertation Committee:
Prof. Vilma Ortiz, Chair, Department of Sociology at UCLA
Prof. Ka-Yuet Liu, committee member, Department of Sociology at UCLA
Prof. Jennie Brand, committee member, Department of Sociology and Statistics at UCLA
Prof. Dylan Rodriguez, external committee member, Department of Media and Cultural Studies at University of California – Riverside

Allison Ramirez Madia

Areas of Specialization: Settler Colonialism, Race & Indigeneity, Environment, Economy, Comparative-Historical Sociology, and Ethnography

Dissertation Title: Transforming the Tohono: Water Management, the Tohono O’odham Nation, and American Colonialism

Advisors: Vilma Ortiz (co-chair), Jessica Cattelino (co-chair), Rubén Hernández-León, and Aradhna Tripati

Angela Clague

Areas of Specialization: Gender Stratification, Organizations and Work, Family and Domestic Labor, Demography, Computational Methods, In-depth Interviews.

Dissertation Title: The Balancing Act: A Mixed-Method Study of Working Mothers and Gendered Labor at Home

Advisors: Megan Sweeney (Co-Chair), Abigail Saguy (Co-Chair), Wei-hsin Yu, Patrick Heuveline, Nelson Lim, Chaitra Hardison