Recent Placements of Missouri PhDs in Sociology

Braden Leap – PhD 2016

Position: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Mississippi State University

Matt Cousineau - PhD May 2014

Position: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Auburn University

I’ll never forget my time as a student in the Department of Sociology because it continues to play such an important part in my life. The faculty and staff helped me develop my intellectual perspective and prepare for tenure-track life. The extraordinary faculty taught courses where I gained an in-depth understanding of sociology’s classic themes, cutting edge debates, and methods. The faculty’s extensive experiences also provided a stock of practical knowledge that proved indispensable for successfully navigating the worlds of academic publishing and the academic job market. Finally, my experience as a graduate instructor in the department helped me gain valuable, first hand teaching experience.

Joshua Olsberg - PhD May 2014

Position: Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, National University, California

My time as a graduate student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Missouri was marked by intellectual growth and professional development.  The faculty members in the department are a diverse and energetic group that provides their students with the training necessary to have success on the academic job market.  The core course offerings gave me the opportunity to build a foundation of disciplinary knowledge that lead to a successful doctoral research agenda.  I refined my skills as a graduate instructor and developed courses that resonated with my own interests, something faculty members in the department encourage.   I was hired by Southern Methodist University in 2014, a program which houses a conventional Sociology major as well as an interdisciplinary program entitled ‘Markets and Culture.’

Margaret Ralston - PhD May 2014

Position: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Mississippi State

I joined the Sociology Department at Mississippi State as an assistant professor in Fall 2014. My research focuses on co​ncepts of health and social wellbeing in aging populations in the Global South. The ability to publish with faculty and the wide array of graduate mirrors offered at Mizzou prepared me well for life after grad school.

Roslyn Fraser Schoen - PhD May 2014

Position: Assistant Professor, Texas A & M, Central Texas; Postdoctoral Associate (2014-15), Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

My research contributes to global-transnational sociology through a critical examination of the gendered consequences of economic change. My current projects focus on women's status, women's labor,  and economic liberalization in Bangladesh and the U. S.

The sociology department at MU prepared me very well for an academic career through the courses they offer, the multiple opportunities for professional development, and by providing support for the job market. Sociology faculty at MU are experts in a variety of substantive areas and offer excellent courses in theory and method. The department encourages students to succeed by fostering an environment that encourages intellectual curiosity as well as supports students in writing grant proposals, preparing manuscripts, and presenting at conferences. Autonomous teaching was integral to the training I received in sociology at MU and I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to teach both traditional classroom and online courses on a variety of sociological topics. I am extremely grateful for my friends and colleagues in Mizzou sociology and cannot imagine a better place to have launched a career.

Stephen Barnard - PhD August 2012

Position: Assistant Professor of Sociology, St. Lawrence University

After a couple years in interdisciplinary postdoctoral positions, including Mizzou Advantage (2012) and the University of Denver (2013), I accepted a position with St. Lawrence University as an Assistant Professor of Sociology.  As three-time graduate of Mizzou Sociology (B.A. ’05, M.A. ’07, and Ph.D. ’12) I am especially grateful to the department and it’s faculty for preparing me well for this career path.  The breadth of faculty expertise in the department helped expose me to many research areas and methodologies, while their universally critical and theoretically-informed inquiries helped me fashion the tools I needed for my own academic work.  Looking back, I am just as grateful (if not more so) for the extensive teaching experience I gained as a graduate student at MU, which both gave me my calling and also prepared me to pursue

James M. Thomas (JT) - PhD December 2011

Position: Assistant Professor of Sociology, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Mississippi

My research has been featured in international, peer-reviewed journals including Contexts, Ethnic and Racial Studies, Ethnicities, and Ethnography. My monograph, Working to Laugh(Lexington Press, forthcoming) examines how collective feelings of ‘good times’ are manufactured, and then tethered to prevailing norms of race, class, gender, and sexuality within urban nightlife settings. My current research, funded in part through the American Sociological Association’s Fund for the Advancement of the Discipline, aims to illuminate how institutional rhetoric of diversity, racial civility, and multiculturalism enables and constrains racial unrest on American college campuses.

The University of Missouri’s Sociology program prepared me well for a life on the tenure-track. The faculty in the Department are committed to a critically oriented sociology program that prepares its students to distinguish themselves in both research and pedagogy upon graduation. My mentors were extremely supportive of my academic interests, and worked closely with me to turn those interests into areas of expertise.