Graduate

Graduate Students on the Job Market

Doctoral Candidates

Juan G. Arroyo-Flores headshot

Juan G. Arroyo-Flores

Juan’s work is informed by structural symbolic interactionism, in particular Sheldon Stryker’s identity theory framework and Anthony Giddens’ structuration theory. His dissertation aims to address, through a mixed method approach, massive multiplayer online gamers’ identity management and social networks (online and offline) using both quantitative and qualitative methods. Juan's primary research interests are digital culture, media sociology, and social network analysis. Juan obtained both his BA and MA degrees in Sociology from the University of Puerto Rico. His master thesis titled Debugging the Body: The Construction of a Posthumanist Discourse Mediated by Aesthetically-Healthy Body Advertising, looked at the narratives of aesthetically-healthy bodies embodied in success stories in newspaper advertisements.

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Douglas J. Engelman headshot

Douglas J. Engelman

As the parent of two children who received diagnoses of serious mental illnesses while in college, Doug's primary area of study and research is in medical sociology, with an emphasis on disabilities, mental illness, and the resulting stigma. His secondary area is the sociology of education. In his dissertation, he employs multiple qualitative methods to explore family responses to a diagnosis of mental illness. This research has important emancipatory potential because most research on familial response has been conducted by sociologists, psychologists, and social workers who lack the lived experience of an “insider.” Doug's goal is to use his insider status to bring the voices and perspectives of family members into the professional discourse on how the wellbeing of individuals with mental illness and their families can be enhanced.

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Carley Geiss headshot

Carley Geiss

Carley's dissertation research is a multi-level examination of organized emotion in healthcare. Her research and teaching interests are situated in medical sociology, emotion, organizations and work, disability, ethnography, and narrative. She is especially interested in how cultural ways of thinking and feeling are constructed and operate within organized medicine. Her research typically reflects an interpretive framework, guided by theoretical traditions of social constructionism, phenomenology, ethnomethodology, and symbolic interactionism. Carley has been awarded the American Sociological Association’s 2018 Graduate Student Paper Award from the Body & Embodiment Section for a co-authored paper with Justine Egner titled, “Having a Sexual Outlet Changes Everything: Examining Organizational Narratives of Legal Sex Workers and Disabled Clients.”
Carley teaches Introduction to Sociology and Medical Sociology, and received a 2018 Award for Teaching Excellence from the USF Department of Sociology.

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Fangheyue (Amber) Ma headshot

Fangheyue (Amber) Ma

Amber’s research is situated within cultural sociology, the sociology of international tourism, and social psychology, particularly the subfields of identity, the presentation of self in daily interactions and emotion. She draws from interpretive perspectives, social constructionism, and symbolic interactionism to explore how Chinese international tourists in the U.S. present their individual and collective identities, interpret the U.S. culture and make sense of the unfamiliar reality when they travel. This research offers a micro-level analysis reflecting the macro-level globalization and economic development between the two most prominent economic bodies in the world. She completed her master’s degree in sociology at Iowa State University (2013-2015), and her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Nanjing University in China (2009-2013). With theoretical and methodological focuses on symbolic interactionism and ethnography, she has presented papers at several qualitative conferences locally and internationally.

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Rodrigo Serrão headshot

Rodrigo Serrão

Rodrigo’s research is located at the intersection of religion, race and ethnicity, and immigration. For his dissertation, he is investigating how different racial ideologies (racial democracy and color-blind racism) are evident among first- and second-generation Brazilian churchgoers in Central and South Florida and how their congregations influence those ideologies. Rodrigo has taught a variety of courses, including Introduction to Sociology, Contemporary Social Problems, Sociology of Religion, and Racial and Ethnic Relations, in Brazil and the U.S. using both online and face-to-face forms of delivery.

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Edlin Veras. Edlin is a fourth year Ph.D. student, instructor, and research assistant. A former student athlete at Clayton State University, Edlin graduated with two bachelor’s degrees, Criminal Justice and Sociology. He earned his master’s in African American Studies from Georgia State University, where his thesis explored the salience of colorism among African American men. His current research explores race, racialization, colorism, migration and identity among African descendant peoples from Latin America, both in the U.S. and abroad. As an instructor, and only in his second semester as instructor of record, he was awarded Outstanding Teaching Award by USF’s Department of Sociology. In collaboration with USF Honors College, he also serves as a co-leader to USF’s study abroad trips to the Dominican Republic and Panama. His desire to teach and research abroad led him to apply to the Ford Fellowship, where his application was granted Honorable Mention status. His dissertation research project explores inequality and identity among Dominicans of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic.

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