Sociology

Asad L. Asad

Asad L. Asad

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Asad L. Asad is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Harvard University, where he is a Beinecke Scholar, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, a Graduate Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy, and a Graduate Student Associate with the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs.

His primary research interests encompass the fields of im/migration, race/ethnicity, urban sociology, and inequality. His current research seeks to understand contemporary patterns of unauthorized migration from Latin America in spite of unprecedented levels of enforcement at the U.S. border and beyond. His dissertation relies on ethnographic observations and longitudinal interview data with a sample of immigrants living in Dallas, TX in order to interrogate the conditions under which legal status—or a lack thereof—affects migrants' everyday experiences.

Another project relies on large-scale survey data from the Mexican Migration Project in order to understand how ethno-racial processes in Mexico shape individuals' opportunities for lawful migration to the United States.

In both endeavors, Asad seeks to illuminate previously-overlooked social processes that explain the remarkable persistence of the unauthorized migrant population in the United States across time. 

Aaron Benavidez

Aaron Benavidez

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Aaron Benavidez is a doctoral student in Sociology. He received his B.A. in Sociology and Rhetoric (double major) from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011.

He continues to explore his interests in race, poverty, urban sociology, gender, violence, and suffering.

Kristina Brant

Kristina Brant

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Kristina Brant is a Ph.D. student in Sociology at Harvard University and a Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality & Social Policy.  Prior to coming to Harvard, she graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Chicago with Bachelor's degrees in Sociology and Economics.

Kristina’s research interests focus on the structural and cultural factors which condition transition to adulthood. Specifically, she is interested in how criminal justice and education policies and programs affect young people’s social-cognitive processes, including self-awareness, information processing, and decision making. In her research, she hopes to combine in-depth fieldwork and quantitative analysis to study these effects.

Kristina also works as a Research Assistant for the National UnDACAmented Research Project, studying the effect of Deferred Action on undocumented youth's life trajectories and perception of self.

Kreg  Steven Brown

Kreg Steven Brown

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Steven is a PhD candidate in the sociology department. He received his bachelor's degree in sociology (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. His primary area of research addresses racial inequality in the workplace and in the labor market, but he has also completed work and maintains interest in housing disparities and residential segregation. 

His dissertation-in-progress examines potential root causes of racial differences in job loss and experiences of unemployment. The three empirical chapters consider career trajectories before job loss, differences in reasons for separation at job loss, and the how conditions at separation influence employment outcomes after job loss. 

In addition to being a doctoral fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program, he is also the recipient of both the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship and the Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship. He currently resides in Washington, D.C. 

Anny Fenton

Anny Fenton

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Anny Fenton hails from Maine and is a PhD student in Sociology. Her research focuses on economic sociology, education, inequality, race and ethnicity.

She is currently focused on two research areas: (1) examining the effect changing community demographics has on nationalist parties in the UK and (2) how people's economic activity and relationships are influenced when they engage in new consumption practices like car sharing and time banks that blur the line between private and public goods and services.

Prior to entering the PhD program, Anny worked as a management consultant for PA Consulting Group. She holds an AB in Sociology (magna cum laude) from Cornell University.

Carly Knight

Carly Knight

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Carly Knight is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology. Prior to joining the department, she graduated from Duke University with a degree in Economics and Political Science. She subsequently worked in Washington D.C. for two years as a researcher with the Urban Institute.

Her research interests fall at the intersection of economic, political, and historical sociology and she is especially interested in the application of quantitative methods to historical questions.

Her dissertation explores the origins and changing meanings of the metaphor of corporate personhood in American law.

Angela Lee

Angela Lee

Ph.D. student in Sociology
Malcolm Hewitt Wiener Ph.D. Scholar in Poverty and Justice

Angela is a PhD student in sociology. She plans to study how delinquent adolescents transition out of crime in an era when traditional turning points like marriage and steady employment are increasingly difficult to attain in disadvantaged communities. Angela is particularly interested in how family structures and relationships impact the life course trajectories of high-risk youths. She graduated with a BA in sociology from Yale, where she did an ethnographic study of a women’s drug treatment facility of her senior thesis.

Theodore Leenman

Theodore Leenman

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Theodore Leenman conducts research in the areas of education, politics, and sexuality. His work on education examines the link between high school students’ occupational plans and educational attainment. He also analyzes how congruence between parenting and teaching strategies affects students’ classroom participation.

His political research examines how governors’ framing of school choice policies adapts to the racial composition of their audiences. More recently, a co-authored project studies variation in political behaviors across Boston neighborhoods.

Finally, his work in the field of sexuality examines how men who have sex with men (MSM) think about their sexual relationships in the context of shifting HIV risk.

Theo is originally from West Haven, Vermont. He received his A.B. in sociology from Cornell University where he also studied Spanish and International Relations

Christy Ley

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Christy Ley is a PhD Candidate in the Sociology Department at Harvard University, a Research Associate in the Organizational Behavior Unit at Harvard Business School, and a Doctoral Fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. 

Broadly, her research covers organizational behavior, work culture, and gender inequality. Her dissertation, in particular, focuses on career experiences and success strategies across science, engineering, business, and finance professions within the life sciences industry (including biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies).

Previously, Ley worked as a legal analyst at BlackRock, the global investment management company. She holds an AB in Sociology (magna cum laude) from Cornell University and an AM in Sociology from Harvard University.

Margot Moinester

Margot Moinester

Ph.D. student in Sociology
Margot Moinester is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology. Originally from Memphis, Tennessee, she graduated from Brandeis University with a B.A. in Health: Science, Society, and Policy.
 
Prior to her doctoral studies, Margot led a regional assessment of access to healthcare in northeast Montana as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and conducted research with the Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) in Chicago.
 
Her research interests include immigration policy and enforcement, health inequalities, and crime and punishment. 

Daniel Schrage

Daniel Schrage

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Dan Schrage studies labor market discrimination, the spatial distribution of labor markets, and statistical methods aimed at improving research in these and other policy-related areas.

He received his A.B. in computer science from Harvard in 2001, where he focused on computational economics. Before coming to graduate school, he spent four years doing research in artificial intelligence at a think tank in Cambridge.

He is currently working on a project exploring the effects of a variety of hiring and recruitment practices on diversity in the managerial workforce. He is also examining the spatial mismatch hypothesis in urban labor markets.

Dan grew up in the rural town of Salem, Illinois, then spent his adolescence trying to get his head around city life in downtown Phoenix. He was socialized at an early age into a lifelong passion for the St. Louis Cardinals, and in his spare time he enjoys spinning, producing, and dancing to the blips and bleeps of electronic music.

Jessica Tollette

Jessica Tollette

Ph.D. student in Sociology
Jessica Tollette is a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology. Originally from California, Jessica earned a B.A. in Communication and with a minor in Hispanic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to graduate school, she spent two years as a management consultant in New York City.
Her research focuses on race, ethnicity and immigration. Previous research examined the intersections between migratory status and new demographic contexts in shaping racial attitudes and intergroup relations for low-income African-American women from New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Jessica is currently in Madrid conducting fieldwork for her dissertation which investigates the role of race in Spain's policies and strategies for the incorporation of nonwhite immigrants. She is interested in how race influences the social, political and economic integration of afro-descendant immigrants, particularly in times of economic crisis.… Read more about Jessica Tollette
Mo Torres

Mo Torres

Ph.D. student in Sociology
Inequality and Wealth Concentration Ph.D. Scholar

Mo Torres is a PhD student in sociology. He studies urban inequality, particularly in the areas of policing, housing, and education.

Before graduate school, Mo was a public school teacher in Detroit. He has worked with a number of non-profit organizations, including Teach For America (in Chicago and Philadelphia), Lighthouse Academies (in Detroit), and The New Teacher Project (in Washington, DC).

Mo received a bachelor’s in history and Chicana/o studies from the University of California, Davis, and a master’s in public policy from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy. He is originally from Sacramento, CA.… Read more about Mo Torres

Beth Truesdale

Beth Truesdale

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Beth Truesdale is a doctoral student in Sociology.  Beth’s current research examines the relationship between evidence and early childhood policy in the US and UK. 

Other research interests include inequality, education, and labor markets. Beth has collaborated with the UK’s Social Research Unit at Dartington on several projects designed to improve the use of evidence in services for children and families, and worked at the White House Office of Management and Budget on disability policy.

Prior to Harvard, Beth worked in London, leading teams of analysts in creating reports that helped to shape UK public policy.  She studied at St. Olaf College and the University of Oxford, where she was a Rhodes Scholar.

Nathan  Wilmers

Nathan Wilmers

Ph.D. student in Sociology

Nathan Wilmers is a Ph.D. student in Sociology. His research interests lie in the areas of economic sociology, labor markets and institutions, corporate governance, income inequality, sociology of the welfare state, and social theory. He received his BA in philosophy from the University of Chicago, studying German idealism and its social theory aftermath. He turned to sociology in hopes of developing the tools necessary to understand the confusing path of economic change.