I am a doctoral candidate in my final year of the graduate program at the Department of Sociology at UGA. My research interests are in identity processes across the life course with a focus on mental health during the transition to adulthood. My teaching interests are in Sociological Theory, Gender and Work, Health, Social Psychology, and the Life Course.
My research focuses on health and identity during the transition to adulthood. In my dissertation, I explore how views of one’s self as an adult and perceptions of how others view one’s progress toward adulthood affect health risk behaviors and mental health. I explore the cultural understandings of adulthood as they relate to participation in health risk behaviors and mental health outcomes. The dissertation builds upon themes introduced in my previous research. In an article published in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, I analyze how romantic relationship quality and stability affect mental and physical health. In an article published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, I examine the role of depressive symptoms and alcohol use in sexual revictimization. In my future work, I intend to continue my focus on health during young adulthood, while also making explicit comparisons between identity processes and health in young adulthood and other stages of the life course.
My teaching experience includes responsibility for multiple sections of the department's required undergraduate Sociological Theory course, a course on Gender and Work, Introduction to Sociology and a class about The Life Course. Through three years of teaching, I have consistently received outstanding student evaluations for my effectiveness, preparation, and ability to guide classroom discussions. My teaching efforts were recently recognized by the University of Georgia when I was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, an honor presented to less than 10% of the University’s graduate student teaching population. I also recently received the Department of Sociology’s Beck Graduate Student Teaching Award. I am well-qualified to teach additional core courses in sociology, such as Introduction to Sociology, Social Problems, Social Inequality, and Research Methods. I am prepared to teach courses in a number of substantive areas, including courses related to the life course, gender, family, and health. I would also be excited to develop special topics courses on identity, transitions to adulthood, or upper level social psychology courses, as needed.
In addition to my dedication to research and teaching, I have been an engaged citizen of my discipline and department. At the national level, I have been elected as the Student Representative to the Council for two ASA sections: Social Psychology and Sociology of Emotions. In addition, I have served on a nominations committee and on a graduate student advisory committee for the Section on Social Psychology, which included the task of surveying student members in an effort to understand and increase the involvement of student members. I then wrote and presented a report recommending ways to recruit and support student members of the section. I have also been involved in departmental service each year of graduate school, including serving as the President of our Sociology Graduate Student Society, as well as serving on a faculty recruitment committee, and representing the graduate students in faculty meetings.