PH.D Students on the Market

Pierce Dignam


I am a PhD candidate at Florida State University’s Department of Sociology.  I study the intersection of social movements, gender, collective identity, and politics in the digital age. My work has focused on the social movement dynamics of Alt-Right spaces on Reddit, the Trump campaign’s working-class appeals, and Trump’s supporters cultural understandings of masculinity and anti-establishment politics. I have also helped develop The Institute for Research on Male Supremacism, which works to shed light on and challenge misogynist movements. My research has been published in Race, Gender and Class, Signs, and Men and Masculinities. My teaching experience includes designing and teaching Political Sociology, Sex and Gender, and Introduction to Sociology.

Committee: Deana Rohlinger (chair), Miranda Waggoner, Koji Ueno, and Jennifer Proffitt

Roxie Brookshire


Roxie is a doctoral candidate whose research focuses on the areas of work and employment. In previous studies, she has examined the issue of pregnancy discrimination in low wage employment and the experiences of women in the military. Her research in this latter area has been published in Gender, Work, and Organization. Roxie’s newest project focuses on older workers and their experiences with technology design and training.

In addition to research, Roxie greatly enjoys engaging with students in the classroom. Roxie’s primary teaching interests are in qualitative methods, theory, and gender.

Tyler Bruefach


Tyler is a doctoral candidate researching how early-life circumstances shape health and well-being in future life stages, through nonmaterial resources like social relationships and psychological resilience. His dissertation employs a life course perspective to understand how the associations between psychological resilience and physical health vary across racial and ethnic groups in early adulthood, and whether disproportionate disadvantage in early life explains observed variations in these resilience-health linkages. 

Tyler is also experienced in conducting research in applied settings. Before pursuing his Ph.D., he managed the Campus Recreation Employability Study, a longitudinal study of student-employees across 30 colleges and universities. He is currently a data analyst for Knowli Data Science and analyzes data within the Texas Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Cherish Michael 


Cherish is a doctoral candidate whose dissertation examines sociological explanations for gender differences in chronic pain. Her areas of expertise include medical sociology, gender, aging and health (especially ageism), and sociology of the body & embodiment.

Cherish’s recent publications include an examination of gender patterns in subjective aging and an analysis of Twitter reactions to generational sacrifice as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her research experience also includes working on a project funded by the Florida Department of Transportation. This mixed-methods project collected data from over 3,500 participants aged 50 or older, who were asked important questions about driving safety and retirement and hurricane preparedness. 

Cherish is a dedicated instructor with experience teaching sociology of the body, sociology of sex and gender, social problems, sociology of marriage and the family, social deviance, drug and alcohol problems, and political sociology. She also has published course materials in the American Sociological Association’s Teaching Resources and Innovation Library for Sociology (TRAILS). 

Cherish also was a recipient of the 2021 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) scholarship and was a top 10 finalist for an Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award (OTTA) through FSU’s Program for Instructional Excellence (PIE).

Jessica Noblitt


Jessica is a doctoral candidate who studies sexual minority status, age, and gender as social factors that influence physical and mental health. Her dissertation uses data from the National Health Interview Survey to examine the effects of sexual identity on health-related behaviors, including sleep, exercise, health care utilization, and substance use. Other recent projects include examinations of how same-sex partner loss affects mental health and how hetero-normative definitions of sex reduce LGB+ women’s use of preventive healthcare.

Jessica’s research experience also includes working on a project funded by the Florida Department of Transportation. This project involved designing and conducting an online survey of middle-aged and older adults’ transportation behaviors and attitudes, analyzing the results, and drafting reports for the funding agency. 

Jessica’s teaching experience includes designing and teaching courses on Social Statistics and Social Problems.