Florida State University


College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

For the latest information related to COVID-19, visit fsu.edu/coronavirus

PH.D Students on the Market

Bert Buyukozturk

Email: bb13d@my.fsu.edu

I am a recent Ph.D. graduate and Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Sociology at Florida State University. My research interests include gaming, social psychology, identity, culture and social inequalities. My work broadly explores the construction of gender identity and inequality through digital, physical, and symbolic interaction, and integrates sociological approaches with game studies. I have published in Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Social Movement Studies, and Sociology Compass.  Based on three years of fieldwork in and 48 in-depth interviews with members of a collegiate gaming communities, my dissertation analyzes the construction of gender identity and hierarchy. I have developed and taught seven undergraduate courses at Florida State University, both online and in person, including Social Problems, Methods of Social Research, Race and Minority Relations, and Social Psychology of Groups.

Dissertation committee: Doug Schrock (chair), John Reynolds, Koji Ueno

Brittney Dennis

Email: brdennis@fsu.edu

Website: http://brittneydennis.com/

I am a Ph.D. candidate who studies organizational diversity and is interested in becoming a Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in higher education, government, or business. I founded Sociology’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and have facilitated annual climate surveys, workshops, and policies to foster a more inclusive department. As a founding member of FSU’s Diversity and Inclusion in Research and Teaching Organization, I have established an annual symposium, negotiated stakeholder funding, authored a funded a Diversity and Inclusion Mini-Grant, and was recognized for my leadership and service to FSU and the Tallahassee community. While employed at the Center for Leadership and Social Change, I designed the Social Justice Ally Training curriculum, managed the inaugural Latinx Cultural Celebration, and created a curriculum and annual report for the Women’s Leadership Institute. My dissertation investigates how diversity practitioners in four predominantly white universities frame and carry out their work. I have published essays on cultural appropriation, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. I have also designed and taught Introduction to Sociology and Research Methods.

Dissertation Committee: Doug Schrock (chair), Shantel Buggs, John Reynolds

Pierce Dignam

Email: pad15b@my.fsu.edu

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

Rachel Douglas

Email: rad14d@my.fsu.edu

I am a Ph.D. candidate in Sociology who studies gender, leisure, aging, culture, and urban sociology. My dissertation is an ethnographic study of Key West, Florida as a socially progressive, leisure-oriented “cosmopolitan canopy” that both challenges and reinforces social inequalities. Using interviews with tourists, residents, and workers in the tourism industry (n=186), I compare Key West with the more conservative, leisure-oriented city of St. Augustine, Florida. My research has been published in Sociological Forum, Journal of Women & Aging, Journals of Gerontology, and Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences. I also have developed and taught three undergraduate courses at Florida State University: Introduction to Sociology, Sociological Theory, and Research Methods.
Committee: Anne Barrett (chair), Deana Rohlinger, Patricia Homan, and Chris Coutts

TehQuin D. Forbes

Email: tf16e@my.fsu.edu

Website: www.tehquinforbes.com

I am a PhD candidate in Sociology at Florida State University. I use both qualitative and quantitative methods in my research to examine the intersections of race, gender, class, and sexuality. I am interested in the ways well-intentioned policies and interactions inadvertently reproduce inequalities and marginalize people, especially queer people of color. My dissertation is based on interviews and fieldwork with Black queer students attending either a predominantly white or an historically Black university.  My comparative analysis reveals how college racial contexts influence how students understand and experience diversity, inclusion, and allyship. I have published papers in Social Problems and Sociological Perspectives, and have additional papers that are under review or have received revise and resubmit decisions. I have taught several undergraduate courses, including Research Methods, Social Statistics, and Social Problems. I am an elected member of ASA’s student forum advisory board and serve on the student advisory board for Social Problems.

Committee: Koji Ueno (chair), Doug Schrock, Shantel Buggs, Lara Perez-Felkner

Shawn Gaulden

Email: sgaulden@fsu.edu

Website: www.shawngaulden.com

I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at Florida State University. My research interests include social movements, social networks, and social media. I use both qualitative and quantitative methods in my research. My dissertation examines the spread of misinformation among online social movements, its diffusion by social bots and online users, and the leadership tasks among central users within movement networks during the 2016 presidential election.  Using network, bot, and content analysis, I find a heavy presence of social bots within Twitter networks and widespread misinformation within political networks. I am also interested in how social movements navigate the opportunities and barriers that accompany information and communication technologies. I have published papers in Social Movement Studies, Emerald Studies in Media and Communication, and Social Inclusion and Usability of ICT-Enabled Service.  I have taught and designed several undergraduate courses, including Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, and Collective Behavior and Social Movements.

Committee: Deana Rohlinger (chair), Koji Ueno, Paromita Sanyal, and Jennifer Proffitt

Taylor M. Jackson

Email: tjackson6@fsu.edu

Website: https://taylormjackson.com/

I am currently a doctoral candidate in the department of sociology at Florida State University. Broadly, my research interests are race, gender, work, social media, and mental health. I primarily use qualitative and digital methods in my research. My dissertation examines how Black women utilize social media platforms to engage in self-care and cope with racism in their daily lives. I am also interested in how racial, gender, and sexual minorities navigate the workplace and other organizations. My research has been published in Social Currents, Journal of Business Anthropology, and Women, Gender, and Families of Color. I have several pieces under review, including an investigation of how social media users evaluate racial representation in the film Moonlight and a study of how Black women entrepreneurs overcome social capital deficits to operate their businesses. I have taught Introduction to Sociology and Sociology of Marriage and the Family. I have also assisted teaching Research Methods, Social Problems, and Sociology of Mass Media.
Committee: Katrinell Davis (chair), Shantel Buggs, Deana Rohlinger, and Ashby Plant.

Megan M. Jones

Email: mmj13b@my.fsu.edu

Website: https://meganmelissajones.squarespace.com/

I am currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology at Florida State University.  My research focuses on the sexual behavior of women in romantic relationships, and I am particularly interested in studying era-related social shifts.  I primarily employ quantitative methods in my research.  I gather, collect, analyze, and leverage various demographical data points to provide participative research and cross-functional collaboration.  Outside of research, I coordinate with faculty, staff, and academic leaders to develop new course content, interactive coursework, and elevate user experience with online learning management systems. My dissertation explores women’s sexuality in cohabiting and married relationships across historical time periods.  

Committee: Koji Ueno (chair), Karin Brewster, Kathryn Tillman, and Joe Grzywacz.

Kristen Erichsen

Email: ke15@my.fsu.edu

I am a recent Ph.D. graduate of the Department of Sociology at Florida State University, now serving as a Postdoctoral Researcher at FSU’s Center for Postsecondary Success. My research examines various topics in education, gender, and politics. As a postdoctoral researcher, I examine factors that facilitate or hinder women’s entry and persistence in computer science fields, with a specific focus on race, gender, and class. In my dissertation, I examined how the punitive school security measures at K-12 schools influences school culture and rates of disciplinary action. I am broadly interested in factors within educational pathways that propel students towards different life outcomes, and gendered processes in both education and politics. I also conduct research examining gendered processes in politics, including several co-authored publications about Trump supporters’ gendered construction of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. I have published works in Social Currents, Social Science Research, Men and Masculinities, Race, Gender & Class, Journal of Working Class Studies, and College Student Journal. I am deeply committed to service and mentorship. Over my graduate and postdoctoral career at FSU, I developed and taught multiple undergraduate courses at Florida State University, mentored several undergraduate and graduate students, and served on multiple committees.  

Committee: John Reynolds, Amy Burdette, Irene Padavic, and Patricia Warren-Hightower