Recent Student Placements

This list of our department’s recent placements of graduates below not only illustrates our department’s excellent track record in preparing students to be successful on the job market, but also the variety of positions our students choose to take. Our students are currently working as professors in both teaching and research-intensive academic institutions, as well as holding positions related to sociological policy and practice.

We've made every effort to be comprehensive, but we may have lost track of some students. Because our department’s community is so important to us, we would appreciate updates from our graduates. If you're an alumnus of the Notre Dame Ph.D. program in Sociology and are not listed here or the listing is outdated because you have taken a new position or been promoted, please e-mail Rebecca Overmyer, our graduate administrator, so that we can update our records. Graduates should also join our Notre Dame Sociology Graduate Program Network on LinkedIn.

Recent Student Placements


  • Julie Dallavis -Assistant Professional Specialist, Institute for Educational Initiatives, University of Notre Dame
    Dissertation title: Does a School's Mission Matter? Exploring Changes in Statement Content, Use and Understanding, and Links to Student Achievement
    Dissertation chair: Mark Berends
  • Stefanie Israel de Souza -Post-Doctoral Fellow, Tulane University
    Dissertation title: Expiration Date: Mega-Events and Police Reform in Rio de Janeiro's Favelas
    Dissertation chair: Ann Mische
  • Nicole Perez -Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Illinois-Chicago
    Dissertation title: At the Crossroads of America: New Latino Immigrants in Northern Indiana
    Dissertation chair: William Carbonaro
  • Marshall Taylor -Assistant Professor, New Mexico State University
    Dissertation title: The Politics of Attention: The Case of White Nationalism in the U.S. South, 1980-2008
    Dissertation co-chairs: Omar Lizardo and Ann Mische
  • Justin Van Ness -UX Researcher, Facebook
    Dissertation title: A Cognitive Ethnography of Meaning-Making and Social Interaction
    Dissertation chair: Erika Summers-Effler
  • Kelcie Vercel -Assistant Professor, Augustana University
    Dissertation title: Narratives of Livability in American Housing: Connecting Meaning and Materiality in the Work of Home Stagers, Home Builders, and Realtors
    Dissertation chair: Terence McDonnell
  • Michael Wood -Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University
    Dissertation title: Three Essay in Culture and Cognition
    Dissertation chair: Terence McDonnell


  • Megan Austin -Researcher, American Institutes for Research
    Dissertation title: High School Curricular Intensity: Inequalities in Access and Returns over Three Cohorts
    Dissertation chair: Mark Berends
  • Mary Kate Blake -Visiting Professor, Valparaiso University
    Dissertation title: An Organizational Analysis of the School Counseling Profession: Implications for Students, Counselors, and Schools
    Dissertation chair: William Carbonaro
  • Matthew Chandler -Research Fellow, NetHealth Project, University of Notre Dame
    Dissertation title: Civil Resistance and the Processes of Contentious Politics in Egypt, 2010-2015
    Dissertation chair: Ann Mische
  • Kristi Donaldson -Postdoctoral Associate in Education Research and Policy, Rutgers University
    Dissertation title: The Implementation of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program: Equity, Access, and Effectively Maintained Inequality
    Dissertation chair: Mark Berends
  • Kevin Estep -Assistant Professor, Creighton Univesity
    Dissertation title: Opting Out: Vaccine Refusal, Family Reproduction, and Resisting the Common Good in Homogeneous Communities
    Dissertation chair: Rory McVeigh
  • David Everson -Assistant Professor, University of Southern Maine
    Dissertation title: Red Power, White Discourse: Privilege Narratives and the American Indian Movement, 1973-2015
    Dissertation chair: Rory McVeigh
  • Linda Kawentel -Senior Reserach Scientist, Wellbeing at Work Program, Mendoza College of Business, Notre Dame
    Dissertation title: The Intersection of Religion, Gender, and Family among U.S. Catholics: A Quantitative Analysis of the Relation of Religious Orthodoxy to Attitudes and Practices Concerning the Family
    Dissertation chair: Mary Ellen Konieczny
  • Deborah Kwak -Assistant Professor, Malone University
    Dissertation title: Building and Burning Bridges: Contention and Solidarity among Peace Activists in Mindanao
    Dissertation chair: Ann Mische
  • Karen Hooge Michalka -Assistant Professor, University of Mary
    Dissertation Title: Embodied Cultural Transitions in Latino Protestant Congregations
    Dissertation co-chairs: Mary Ellen Konieczny and Lyn Spillman 
  • Megan Rogers -Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Global Religion Research Initiative, Notre Dame
    Dissertation title: Faiths and Fortune: Religion among the Professional Middle Cleass in Urban China"
    Dissertation chair: Mary Ellen Konieczny 


  • Jade Avelis -Senior Research Coordinator and Project Director, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
    Dissertation title: Social Stratification and Primary Caregiving Fathers
    Dissertation chair: Jessica Collett
  • Pete Barwis -Senior Data Scientist, Capture Higher Ed
    Dissertation title: Power and Mobilization: The Problem of All-Volunteer Force Enlistment
    Dissertation chair: Rory McVeigh
  • Cole Carnesecca -Assistant Professor, Zhejiang University
    Dissertation title: Fate of the Gods: State Formation, Secularization and the Emergence of Religious Modernities in China and Japan
    Dissertation chair: Chris Smith
  • Bryant Crubaugh -Assistant Professor, Pepperdine University
    Dissertation title: Not all Civic Action is Equal: How Place-Based and Identity-Based Civic Associations Differentially Impact Neighborhoods and Cities
    Dissertation chair: Rory McVeigh
  • Amy Jonason -Assistant Professor, Furman University
    Dissertation title: Growing the Good Food Revolution: Strategies of Sustainable Community in Two Altruistic Civic Projects
    Dissertation chair: Erika Summers-Effler
  • Jonathan Schwarz -Assistant Director of Institutional Research, Office of the Provost, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Dissertation title: Lost in Translation: Elite College Admission and High School Differences in Letters of Recommendation
    Dissertation chair: William Carbonaro


  • Daniel Escher -Conservation Consultant, DJ Case & Associates
    Dissertation title: Unmoving People, Removing Mountains: Coal Mining, Cultural Matching, and Micro-Mobilization in Central Apalachia
    Dissertation chair: Rory McVeigh  
  • Matt Linford -Research Team Lead, U.S. Air Forces Europe, Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
    Dissertation title: Explaining Attitudes of Political Contention in Yemen: Legitimacy, Protest, and Political Violence
    Dissertation chair: Kraig Beyerlein
  • Melissa Pirkey -Postdoctoral Associate, Cornell University
    Dissertation title: Cultural Context, Organizational Processes, and Sensemaking in a Voluntary Organization: An Organizational Ethnography
    Dissertation chair: Omar Lizardo
  • Bradley Vermurlen -Director of Social Research, Docent Research Group, Austin, Texas
    Disstertation title: Reformed Resurgence: A Field-Theoretic Analysis of Religious Strength (and Weakness) in Advanced Modernity
    Dissertation chair: David Sikkink


  • Stephen Armet -Visiting Assistant Professor, Mercer University
    Dissertation title: Education Policy as a Mechanism for Secularization in the Catholic Majority Country: The Case of Uruguay, (1877-1932)
    Dissertation chair: Samuel Valenzuela
  • Josh Dinsman -Research Analyst, Office of Institutional Research, LIM College and Website Manager & Digital Projects Assistant, Catholic Research Resources Alliance
    Dissertation title: Breaking Institutional Isomorphism: Urban Branding in Four American Cities
    Dissertation chair: Robert Fishman
  • Peter Mundey -Research Associate, University of Oklahoma, Health Sciences Center
    Dissertation title: American Christianity & Consumerism: Understanding the Relationship Between Christian Economic Culture and Secular Consumer Culture
    Dissertation chair: Christian Smith
  • Meredith Whitnah -Assistant Professor, Westmont College
    Dissertation title: Faith and the Fragility of Justice: Religious Responses to Gender-Based Violence in South Africa
    Dissertation chair: Mary Ellen Konieczny


  • Ellen Childs -Research Scientist, School of Public Health, Boston University
    Dissertation title: Maladapted to Change: How Routinized Practice is Killing the United Methodist Church
    Dissertation chair: Jessica Collett
  • Justin Farrell - Associate Professor, Yale University
    Dissertation title: The Battle for Yellowstone: Morality and the Sacred Roots of Modern Environmental Conflict
    ​Dissertation chairs: Omar Lizardo and Christian Smith
  • Kari Hojara -Senior Researcher, Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability for the Maine Legislature
    Dissertation title: Running in Culture and Running into Culture: A Cultural Sociological Account of Why Meanings Matter
    Dissertation chair: Lyn Spillman
  • Jessica Mikels-Carrasco -Social Scientist, DJ Case & Associates
    Dissertation title: Closer to the Ground: Environmental Sociology of Children
    Dissertation chair: Jessica Collett
  • Sara Skiles-duToit -Project Manager, Cardus Religious Schools Initiative (Notre Dame)
    Dissertation title: Aesthetic Taste Expression and Symbolic Boundary Work
    Dissertation chair: Omar Lizardo
  • Brandon Vaidyanathan -Associate Professor, Catholic University of America
    Dissertation title: Living in a Secular Age: Work, Lifestyle, and Religion in Bangalore and Dubai
    Dissertation chair: Christian Smith
  • Ana Velitchkova -Croft Assistant Professor of Sociology and International Studies, University of Mississippi
    Dissertation title: Esperanto, Civility, and the Politics of Fellowship: A Cosmopolitan Movement from the Eastern European Periphery
    Dissertation chair: Omar Lizardo
    Previous Position: Post-Doctoral Researcher, Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies, Santiago, Chile
  • Joseph Workman -Assistant Professor, University of Missouri
    Dissertation title: When Sharing Hurts: Sibship Size, Resource Dilution, and Education
    Dissertation chair: William Carbonaro


  • Austin Choi-Fitzpatrick  – Assistant Professor, University of San Diego
    Dissertation title: Letting Go: Resignation and Resistance Among Contemporary Slaveholders
    Dissertation chairs: Rory McVeigh and Kraig Beyerlein
  • Jeffrey Seymour  – Assistant Professor, Carthage College
    Dissertation title: Moving Beyond Consistency in “Pro-Life” Attitudes: Frames and Typologies of Varying Life Ethics
    Dissertation chair: Michael Welch
  • Michael Strand – Assistant Professor, Brandeis University
    Dissertation title:  A Genealogy of Social Justice: Britain, 1834-1914
    Dissertation chair: Lyn Spillman


  • K. Monique Gregg – Visiting Assistant Professor, Montana State University
    Dissertation title: The Safe and Sacred Pajama Party:  Social Processes in a Religious Youth Ministry Program for High School Adolescents
    Dissertation chair: Kevin Christiano
  • Guillermo Montt – Analyst, Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development
    Dissertation title: Socioeconomic School Composition Effects on Student Outcomes
    Dissertation chair: William Carbonaro
  • Christopher Morrissey – Visiting Assistant Professor, George Fox University
    Dissertation title: Peace or War? Religion in the Debate before the Iraq War
    Dissertation chair: Mary Ellen Konieczny
  • Heather Price – Assistant Professor, Marian University
    Dissertation title: School Networks as Social Resources: The Relationship of School Resources and School Community to School Effectiveness
    Dissertation chair: Mark Berends
  • Sarah Shafiq – Coordinator of the Hate Crimes Project, Coalition of Muslim Women in Waterloo Region (Canada)
    Dissertation title: De-secularizing Finance: Islamic Banking in Pakistan
    Dissertation chair: Lyn Spillman
  • Nicolas Somma – Associate Professor, Pontifica Universidad Católica de Chile
    Dissertation title: When the Powerful Rebel. Armed Insurgency in Nineteenth-Century Latin America
    Dissertation chair: Samuel Valenzuela
  • Cheng Wang – Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Notre Dame
    Dissertation title: Three Essays on Triadic Evolution in a Large-Scale Mobile Phone Network
    Dissertation chair: David Hachen


  • Christopher Hausmann – Associate Professor, Northwestern College
    Dissertation title: Profound Encounters: How Groups Cultivate Extraordinary Experiences of Social Reality
    Dissertation chair: Erika Summers-Effler
  • Patricia Snell Herzog – Associate Professor, Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis
    Dissertation title: People In Context: Perceptions of Social Dissonance and Community Involvement
    Dissertation chair: Christian Smith
  • Ge Liu – Assistant Professor, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
    Dissertation title: Peer Influence on Adolescents' Academic Outcomes
    Dissertation chair: William Carbonaro
  • Elizabeth Martinez – Assistant Professor, California State University-Northridge
    Dissertation title: Paths of Legitimacy: A Sociology of the First Amendment Examining Legal Change at the Boundary Between State and Society
    Dissertation chair: Daniel Myers