Graduate Students on the Job Market
Lindsey B.Trimble *currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University
New Job Placements:
Meredith Conover-Williams accepted an assistant professorship at Humboldt State University starting Fall, 2013 in Arcata, California
Michelle L. Edwards
Michelle L. Edwards accepted an assistant professorship at Texas Christian University starting Fall, 2013 in Forth Worth, Texas
Areas of Interest:
Criminology – emphasis on social inequality, social justice, gender, sexuality and crime
Sociology of gender – emphasis on social construction of gender and sexuality
Deviance – emphasis on social inequality, disability, size and sexual deviance
LGBTQ studies – emphasis on transgender studies, queer methodologies and intersectionality
Research methods – emphasis on content analysis and qualitative interviews
My research focuses on how social inequality contributes to the ideologies around, and manifestations of, criminal behavior. My current research is a unique exploration of a marginalized group largely absent from the current criminological literature: sexual minority youth. I am examining the pathways of these marginalized youth into criminality, to see if systematic, differential access to known social controls, such as the family and school, impact their likelihood of offending. This research is part of a larger agenda, exploring the experiences of sexual minorities and their offending. With this research, I show that sexuality is crucial to understanding how inequality impacts crime, and explore how, as criminologists, we could benefit by expanding our definitions of social controls to include other types of attachments, such as to mentors rather than parents
Areas of Interest:
Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods; Environmental and Natural Resource Sociology; Community Sociology; Labor Markets and Organizations; Social Justice Issues
My dissertation research explores the public’s perception of water governance organizations at different spatial scales (local and regional) across two states, Nebraska and Washington. In order to measure public perception, I designed and implemented, along with colleagues Dr. Don A. Dillman (of WSU and the SESRC) and Dr. Jolene D. Smyth (of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln), a large-scale general public household survey using both web and mail modes and address-based sampling. With this survey, my dissertation will address research questions such as: 1) how do public perceptions of legitimacy vary for different water governance organizations and for different water issues, 2) when discussing a potential drought, how do residents’ perceptions of the potential adaptive capacity of their community and region differ, and 3) what differences might exist between residents’ trust in scientific information and their trust in local experiential knowledge in preparing for and coping with changes in water resources at local and regional spatial scales. In addition, this study included a methodological experiment testing the effects of local (within state) and distant (out of state) university sponsorship on survey response rates. Preliminary results have provided support for our initial hypotheses that the location of the university sponsor influences response, and that this effect differs across web and mail modes. In the future, I am interested in continuing to explore methodological and theoretical questions.
Morgan M. Millar
Interdisciplinary Research Among U.S. Doctoral Graduates: An Examination of Definitions, Measurement, Early Career Outcomes, and Sex Differences.
Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson (chair), Julie A. Kmec, Don A. Dillman
Areas of Interest:
Sociology of education; inequalities of gender, social class, and race/ethnicity; survey research methodology; labor market inequality; sociology of the family
My dissertation examines interdisciplinary research, a topic of increased interest within the academic and scientific communities. In the first part of my project, I use cognitive interviews with doctoral candidates to illustrate the complexities of defining and measuring interdisciplinary research. I discuss the diversity of ways interdisciplinarity is conceptualized, and the consequences this can have for measuring and studying, as well as advancing, interdisciplinary work. I then use data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates and the Survey of Doctorate Recipients to examine whether conducting interdisciplinary dissertation research affects a variety of early career outcomes among doctoral graduates in the sciences and social sciences. I illustrate how interdisciplinary doctoral graduates’ early career placements may differ from those of graduates whose research is not interdisciplinary, and consider how these differences could affect future career success. I also use these two data sources in the third analysis of my dissertation, in which I determine if there are sex differences in participation in interdisciplinary doctoral research, and whether interdisciplinary research has any consequences for sex-based inequalities in early career outcomes of doctoral graduates in the STEM fields. I discuss how my findings differ from popular conceptions, and the implications this has for decreasing sex inequality within the scientific labor market.
Rayna Amber Sage
Ph.D. Date: Dec. 2012
When the Only Work is Women's Work: Health Care Work and Rural Retention
Jennifer Sherman (Chair), Monica Johnson, and Christopher Blodgett (Director of WSU's Area Health Education Center; Graduate Faculty in Psychology)
Areas of Interest:
Rural Well-Being, Education, Family, Health Care
My dissertation examines the experiences and expectations of rural men and women as they negotiate residential mobility, work, and education within (or outside) the context of a local labor market where the primary industry has shifted from male-dominated extractive work to health care provision. This study takes place in a rurally remote community with extensive, on-site health care provider education opportunities which attempt to address severe labor shortages. Because work is so important to how individuals "do gender", I hypothesize that the uptake of local educational and employment opportunities in the health care field will be perceived and pursued (or not pursued) differently by men and women. When completed, this study will add to our understanding of how rural individuals perceive care work and local educational opportunities. This study will also help bridge the gap between the rural out-migration literature and the research on shortages of rural health care providers. I will conduct 70-80 in-depth interviews and engage in participatory observation as a volunteer in one of the long-term care facilities. I will use theories of gender and work to understand men's and women's experiences and expectations as they relate to health care work in and outside this rural community.
Lindsey will be a postdoctoral fellow at the Clayman Institute for Gender Research at Stanford University
Dissertation Title (working):
“Social Networks and Employment Assistance: A Focus on Contacts” (supported in part by the National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, SES-1003692)
Julie A. Kmec (chair), Don A. Dillman, Amy S. Wharton
Areas of Interest:
Work and Labor Markets, Social Networks and Work, Race/Sex Segregation, Work Organizations, Work/Family Interface, Stratification, Poverty
My dissertation examines social network contacts—the people who are asked to help with others’ job searches—and the factors that lead them to provide help when asked. While a large body of literature examines the effects of using social network contacts to search for work, relatively little is known about contacts and the factors that enable job seekers to gain access to and make use of their social capital. To study this topic, I used a mail survey to collect data from a random sample of 577 Washington state adults. I asked respondents whether they had recently been asked to help with someone’s job search and collected detailed information about the last time a job seeker solicited their help. Most respondents (around 80%) had recently been contacts. I find that some job seekers are able to access and use their contacts’ resources, while others experience barriers to doing so. I draw on social resource theory and social psychological theories of interpersonal relationships to explain this variation in outcomes. Once completed, this research will advance the literature on social capital and work by providing new empirical evidence that will help scholars’ identify the mechanisms that make this job search strategy work for some, but not others.
Benjamin Lee Messer
Ph.D. Date: December 2012
Pushing households to the web: Results from web+mail experiments using address based samples of the general public and mail contact procedures.” (supported in part by USDA-NASS and NSF-Science Resources Statistics under Cooperative Agreement 43-3AEU-5-80039 to the SESRC at WSU)
Don A. Dillman (chair), Greg Hooks, & Tom Rotolo
Areas of Interest:
Political and Environmental Sociology, Methods, and Survey Research
My dissertation reports on a series of experiments designed to test the use of web & mail methods in general public household surveys. As the effectiveness of telephone survey methods continues to decline, it is important to understand how alternative methods may perform in different populations, and what methodological procedures are most effective. Internet penetration is increasing in the U.S. and using the web for conducting surveys may result in faster data collection and lower costs, but limitations such as coverage and low response rates prevent researchers from using it alone in surveys of the general public. Using address-based sampling with the USPS Delivery Sequence File, which has near-comprehensive coverage of U.S. households, can help overcome coverage problems and postal addresses are suitable for using mail contact methods. However, little research has been conducted testing whether and how mail methods can be used to conduct web surveys, and push households to respond via the web. It is of great importance of learn how to use web effectively for conducting general public surveys and this dissertation is an effort toward achieving this.