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Current Graduate Student Notable Accomplishments

Erin McAuliffe

2022 ASA DDRIG Recipient

Mira Vale

Mira was awarded the 2022 ASA Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant. Her dissertation, "Data Values: Moral Entrepreneurship in Digital Health," was one of 27 exceptional research projects by a diverse group of advanced graduate students chosen for their intellectual merit.

Erykah Benson

2022 Clifford C. Clogg Scholarship (ICPSR Summer Program)

Shauna Dyer

Coauthored a paper with Giovanni Roman-Torres that was accepted at Demography. It's titled "Latina/o Postsecondary Education: Trends in Racial/Ethnic Education Gaps and the Role of Citizenship in Access to Higher Education."


Black-Latina/o and White-Latina/o bachelor’s degree gaps persist despite substantial increases in Latina/o educational attainment since the late 1950s. The Latina/o population has grown rapidly in recent decades and currently comprises over 20% of the United States population. However, barriers to citizenship have grown in tandem, and these barriers have limited access to higher education. Using data from the U.S. Census (1950-2010) and the ACS (2015-2017), we examine trends in Black-Latina/o and White-Latina/o college completion gaps and factors that may explain them. We find that college enrollment differences explain the majority of the bachelor’s degree gaps. We then decompose enrollment gaps by differences in enrollment by citizenship. We find that if Latina/os had the same citizenship rates as the White and Black populations, the Black-Latina/o enrollment gaps would effectively disappear, and the White-Latina/os enrollment gaps would be reduced by up to 75%. Our findings indicate that the Latina/o population's relatively low college completion rates can partially be explained by restricted access to citizenship. The high proportion of Latina/o non-citizens has also masked the considerable educational progress Latina/o citizens have made in recent decades.

Luis Flores

IRWG/Rackham Community of Scholars Fellowship - Summer 2022 - Each summer, IRWG brings together a cohort of graduate students each summer who research questions related to women and gender.

(Alternate) Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship - 2022.

Fellow - ASA Minority Fellowship Program 2022

Kristin Foringer

Kristin won the Elise Boulding Student Paper Award for ASA's Peace, War, and Social Conflict Section in August 2021. The title of her work is "Defining Post-Conflict Victimhood" and analyzes the construction of a victim category in Colombia's Congress from 2007-2011.

Jane Furey

Along with my co-authors, I received the 2021 Palmer O. Johnson Memorial Award in December 2021. The award is presented annually in recognition of the most outstanding article published in a journal of the American Education Research Association (AERA). Our paper, "What Happens When You Combine High School and College? The Impact of the Early College Model on Postsecondary Performance and Completion" was published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis in 2020.

Maya Glenn

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowship Recipient for my dissertation research titled, "Black Women's Sexual Identity Formation Processes"

2022 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Recipient

Sofia Hiltner

Coauthored a paper with Erin Cech titled Unsettled Employment, Reshuffled Priorities? Career Prioritization among College-Educated Workers Facing Employment Instability during COVID-19. Socius. January 2022. doi:10.1177/23780231211068660


Millions of workers experienced job instability during the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic. A prevailing assumption is that such experiences of instability intensify economic rationality in workers’ career decision making as a matter of course. In contrast, the authors argue that pandemic-related employment instability may have “unsettled” workers’ lives in ways that elevated nonfinancial priorities such as meaningful work. Using proportionally representative survey data (n = 1,628), the authors compare the priorities of U.S. college-educated workers who were laid off or furloughed during the pandemic with those of workers whose jobs remained stable. Counter to expectations of heightened economic rationality, job-unstable workers were not more likely than job-stable workers to emphasize job security or salary in beliefs about good work. But they were more likely to prioritize passion for work. These findings challenge common assumptions about job prioritization in the wake of crisis-related job instability and have implications for how scholars and policy makers interpret labor force trends.

2022 National Science Foundation/NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program

Joyce Ho

Awarded a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Doctoral Fellowship, 2021-2024

Kimson Johnson

On March 29th, 2022, Kimson was selected as a 2022 Phi Kappa Phi Dissertation Fellowship Recipient. The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi annually awards ten Dissertation Fellowships of $10,000 each to active members who are doctoral candidates and in the dissertation writing stage of their doctoral studies.

Katherine Leu

My 2020 paper with Dr. Caren Arbeit, “Differences in High School CTE Coursetaking by Gender and Race/Ethnicity,” was awarded the "Outstanding CTER Journal Article Award" by ACTER (the Association for Career and Technical Education Research). This award is given to the author(s) whose paper in the most recent volume of the journal Career and Technical Education Research received the highest ratings in the blind review process. It was awarded at the 2021 ACTER Conference in New Orleans, LA on November 29-30, 2021.

Shoshana Shapiro

Horowitz Foundation Dissertation Grant (Grant funding used during Summer '22). From the Horowitz Foundation: "Established in 1998, the Horowitz Foundation now approves approximately twenty-five grants each year.... Research grants are open to researchers in all social science disciplines. Projects must deal with contemporary issues in the social sciences, particularly issues of policy relevance." In my case, this grant funded mixed-methods dissertation research on low human services provision counties.

Poverty Solutions Doctoral Graduate Research Assistant Award (Served as RA during Fall 2022). From Poverty Solutions: "The Graduate Research Assistant (GSRA) Awards are granted for creative, action-based research that can inform existing policies, practices and interventions or inform future policy directions. Doctoral students will pursue research projects in collaboration with a faculty mentor that seek to contribute to efforts aimed at preventing and alleviating poverty in Michigan, the nation and the world." The project that was funded for this RAship was a mixed-methods study of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic outcomes and material hardship in recreation industry dependent counties.


Deanna Smith

IRWG/Rackham Community of Scholars Fellowship

Levy Smith

Presented at APHA 2021: "Trends in nationality and deportations over time in 20th century CA mental health institutions practicing eugenics." Spirit of 1848 Caucus.

Presented with Louise Seamster & Chad Rhym at ASA 2021: "Racial Politics, Water Governance and Health Outcomes."

Presentation with Juan Gudino at ELSIcon 2022: "The Limits of Consent and Patterns of Coercion in U.S. Histories of Eugenic Sterilization"

Received The University of Iowa College of Public Health's "Advancing Graduate Student Success Award" for work studying Legionnaire's disease decision-making during the Flint water crisis.

Mira Vale

Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship
May 5, 2022

The Institute for Citizens & Scholars, formerly the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, has named Mira Vale a 2022 Charlotte W. Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellow. The Newcombe Fellowship, funded by the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, is the largest and most prestigious award for Ph.D. candidates in the humanities and social sciences addressing questions of ethical and religious values in interesting, original, or significant ways.

Aya Waller-Bey

Published op-ed about research in Forbes (December 2021)

Invited speaker at the 2022 frank gathering organized by the University of Florida Center for Public Interests Communication. frank brings together a purposely small group of sophisticated, groundbreaking, and sometimes surprising communicators who work to change the world. February 2022

Invited speaker at the 2022 Creating Connections Consortium (C3) virtual Summit, where I shared my research on the “Narratives of Resistance: The Case of the College Essay.”


Interviewed about life and research by VoyageMichigan magazine (December 2021)

Selected for induction into the Bouchet Graduate Honor Society at the University of Michigan. This prestigious honor is awarded to graduate students who exemplify scholarship, character, leadership, service, advocacy, and contributions to the academy. January 2022

Invited to sit on the Students of Color of University of Michigan - Rackham Graduate School (SCOR) Racial Justice panel as part of the 2022 Social Justice Symposium. April 2022

Jun Zhou

Winner of the 2022 McGuigan Prize for best graduate essay in Women's and Gender Studies , 04/02/2022

Rackham International Student Fellowship for 2021-2022 ($10000), 12/01/2021

The Lieberthal-Rogel Travel and Research Fellowship for 2022-2023 ($ 7500), 03/25/2022

Paper accepted for presentation at the open paper session "Platforms, Visibility, and Power" in Section on Communication, Information Technologies, and Media Sociology, 2022 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Los Angeles, August 5-9, 2022

Paper accepted for presentation in the Digital Economy network for the conference of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) to be held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands - July 9-11, 2022.

Selected to participate in the New Political Economy Graduate Summer Institute at UC Berkeley, June 6-19, 2022