Graduate Students

azhin-bahraini
Ahzin Bahraini (Race & Ethnic Relations/Criminology) 

Email

Curriculum Vitae

Azhin Bahraini is a first year graduate student at the University of Miami pursuing her Masters and PhD in sociology with a concentration on Race & Ethnic relations as well as Criminology. Azhin is originally from Atlanta, Georgia and earned her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Georgia. Azhin's research interests focus mainly on colorism and racial inequality in relation to social mobility and employment. 

 christina-bellasalma
Christina Bellasalma (Law)

Email

Curriculum Vitae

Christina Bellasalma is a first year graduate student at the University of Miami pursuing her Masters in criminology with a concentration in law. Christina is originally from Orange, California and earned her B.S. in political science with a specialization in public law from the University of California, Irvine. Christina's research interests focus mainly on juvenile delinquency and the efficacy of juvenile detention centers in deterring future crime.

Christopher Brown, Ph.D. candidate
Christopher Brown (Constructions of Deviance) 

Email

Christopher Brown is a first year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology. His primary concentration is on constructions of, and reactions to, deviance. In particular, he focuses on deviant speech, with an emphasis on the conflict between free speech and hate speech in liberal democracies. His master's thesis explored the different factors that compel societies to either criminalize or legally tolerate hate speech. Christopher is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He earned his B.A. in Democracy and Justice Studies from the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay, and his M.A. in Applied Society from Northern Arizona University. 

felicia-casanova
Felicia Casanova (Medical Sociology/Race & Ethnic Relations)

Email

Curriculum Vitae

Felicia is a second-year doctoral student in the department of sociology. Her research focuses on global health as well as immigration and health from a sociological lens. Felicia completed her M.A at UM in International Administration where she focused on evaluating the role, impact, and sustainability of medical missions in Latin America. Upon completing her M.A., she joined the U.S Peace Corps, where she served from 2009 to 2011, in Guatemala as a Municipal Development Volunteer engaged in citizen participation and capacity building efforts that supported community leaders such as community health workers and women's groups. Felicia worked with the UM department of Public Health Sciences managing and arranging public health capstones locally and globally, which led her to pursue a doctoral degree in Sociology. This summer, Felicia presented a paper at the Association for Black Socicologist Conference in Montreal. She is currently a Distinguished Graduate Fellow for the UM Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas. 

 jordan-grasso
Jordan Grasso (Criminology/Race & Ethnic Relations

Email

Jordan Grasso, M.A. is a doctoral student in Sociology concentrating in the areas of criminology and race. She is a critical criminologist with interests in power, race, police culture, police brutality, and the criminal (in)justice system. She holds a B.A. in Criminology and Justice Studies and an M.A. in Sociological Practice from California State University San Marcos. Currently, she is working on publishing her thesis findings about body-worn cameras and the militarization of law enforcement in San Diego County

carrie-hough
Carrie Hough (Medical Sociology/Race & Ethnic Relations)

Email

Carrie Hough is a PhD student from South Florida. Her primary concentrations are medical sociology and race. Her research interests focus on health inequalities in the US. She received her M.A. in Sociology from Florida Atlantic University and worked as a medical case manager and supervisor at an HIV service organization in Palm Beach County.
Laura Iesue, PhD candidate
Laura Iesue (Race & Ethnic Relations)

Email

Laura Iesue, MA is a PhD student and is originally from the Columbus, Ohio. Her research focuses on crime, security and development with a special interest on how these factors impact migration, within the context of Central America and Mexico. Laura completed her M.A. at New Mexico State University in sociology followed by internships in Washington D.C. where she gained experience learning about security and criminal justice programs within Central America, migration due to violence, and also reintegration programs available for recently repatriated individuals in Central America’s Northern Triangle.

 oshea-johnson
Oshea Johnson (Medical Sociology/ Criminology

Email 

Curriculum Vitae 

Oshea Johnson, M.A. is a doctoral student originally from Washington, D.C. HIs primary areas of concentration are Medical Sociology and Criminology, with intersections of race and socioeconomic status. His specific research areas within medical sociology are health disparities, quality health care treatment, access to health care, and health outcomes. His Criminology research areas include: racial inequality and punishment, and gun control. He has interned at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. Oshea is also a McKnight Doctoral Fellow and serves on the executive board as the Vice President for McKnight Fellows at the University of Miami. He has published in the American Journal of Public Health and has a brief report out on research published with a scientist from the CDC. He earned his B.A. from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA.

willie-joseph
Willie Joseph (Medical Sociology/Race & Class) 

Email

Curriculum Vitae

Willie L. Joseph III, MBA from Miami is a Doctoral Student of Medical Sociology and Race & Class in the Department of Sociology. He received a dually accredited Executive MBA in Health Policy & Management from the University of Miami’s School of Business Administration, as well as a concentration in Public Health from the UM’s Miller School of Medicine and School of Nursing and Health Studies. He's earned a distinguished award for Academic Excellence in Public Health and a congressional recommendation for an appointment as a US Naval Healthcare Officer. Willie also has an eight-year background in the Federal Government working in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Social Security Administration serving our nation's most vulnerable populations. His research interests include analyzing the racial wealth gap in the U.S. as it relates to wealth inequalities and health disparities as well as health services research. He also has an interest in proposing policy based off research findings.

anastasiia-kuptsevych
Anastasiia Kuptsevych (Criminology)

Email

The research of Anastasiia Kuptsevych is located at the intersection of criminology, medical sociology and social psychology. Her research interests include testing and developing theories, health of vulnerable populations, social networks, causes of delinquency, mental health, and cross-national research. She received her master’s degree at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and is currently a PhD student at the University of Miami.

 bryan-lagae
Bryan Lagae (Medical Sociology)

Email

Curriculum Vitae

rachel-lautenschlager
Rachel Lautenschlager (Criminology)

Email

Curriculum Vitae

Rachel Lautenschlager, M.A. is a doctoral student in sociology concentrating in the areas of criminology and race, ethnicity, and immigration. Her research explores how law enforcement and other components of the criminal justice system vary across neighborhoods, and the ways that this results in differential outcomes across racial and ethnic groups. She earned her B.A. in Judaic studies in 2012 at the George Washington University.

Brandon Martinez
Brandon P. Martinez (Race & Ethnic Relations/Criminology)

Email

Curriculum Vitae

Brandon P. Martinez is a PhD student of Sociology at the University of Miami. His research interests include race and racism, immigrant selectivity, urban sociology, the sociology of housing, and racial-ethnic inequality in the criminal justice system. More specifically, Brandon’s work explores the role of immigrant selectivity in explaining social stratification and how social stratification is created and reinforced through institutional processes. His coauthored chapter on the homeownership outcomes of Cuban-Americans appears in the edited collection Latinos in the 21st Century: Their Voices and Lived Experiences. Most recently, Brandon worked alongside the ACLU of Florida and a team of professors, graduate students, and undergraduate students at the University of Miami to write Unequal Treatment: Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Miami-Dade Criminal Justice.

Maria del Rosario Concha Mendez
Maria del Rosario Concha Mendez (Criminology)

Email

Curriculum Vitae

Rosario is a second year graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in sociology with concentration in Criminology. She is originally from Santiago, Chile. Rosario earned her M.A. in Sociology from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, and an M.Phil. in Chilean and Latin American Literature from the University of Chile, and a B.A. in psychology from the University Católica de Chile. Her research interests are sociology of crime and punishment, historical sociology, archival research, Latin American and gender studies.

akinshimaya-nnamdi
Akinshimaya Nnamdi (Criminology/Race & Ethnic Relations)

Email

Curriculum Vitae

Akinshimaya Nnamdi, M.S. is a Miami, Florida native from Coconut Grove. She is a PhD student concentrating on Race & Ethnicity and Criminology. Her research interests include a historical analysis of race relations in Miami, the social ramifications of gentrification, and the perpetuation of marginalization through film and media of minorities. She also has a strong interest in raising the educational attainment of minorities in the greater Miami area through research and intervention. 

 kaitlin-pericak
Kaitlin Pericak (Medical Sociology/Race & Ethnic Relations)

Email

Curriculum Vitae

Kaitlin Anne Pericak, M.A. is a Ph.D. student with concentrations in Medical Sociology and Race/Ethnic Relations. Research interests include the intersection of mental health and sport participation. Kaitlin has recently been accepted to the 2017 SSSP conference to present a paper entitled “High School Sport Participation and Depression in Young Adulthood.”

 tebogo-sebeelo
Tebogo Sebeelo (Medical Sociology)

Email

Curriculum Vitae

Tebogo B. Sebeelo is currently a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at the University of Miami, USA. His area of concentration is Medical Sociology and Race Relations. He has a specific interest in the etiology of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan African, Social Construction of Alcohol and Drugs, Health Disparities as well as Social Change in the African context. He holds a BA Sociology & Environmental Science (2004) and Post Graduate Diploma in Education (2005) both from the University of Botswana, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Monitoring and Evaluation (2012) from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa as well as an MA Sociology from the University of Miami.

kapriskie-seide
Kapriskie Seide (Medical Sociology)

Email 

Curriculum Vitae

 yasukiyo-sugimoto
 Yasukiyo Sugimoto (Criminology) 

Curriculum Vitae 

Yasukiyo Sugimoto, Master of Human Sciences, is a Ph.D. student concentrating in Race and Ethnicity and Criminology. His research interests include international sociology, discrimination, juvenile delinquency, sociology of education, and industrial sociology.

randon-taylor
Randon Taylor (Immigration/Race & Ethnic Relations)

Email

Curriculum Vitae

Randon Taylor is entering the program as a PhD student after receiving his M.A. in sociology from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, Texas. His primary focuses include, but are not limited to: race and ethnicity, immigration and comparative sociology.

shameka-thomas
Shameka Thomas (Medical Sociology/Race & Ethnic Relations)

Email

Shameka Poetry Thomas, M.A. is a Candidate for the PhD in Medical Sociology with a concentration in Reproductive Health Disparities at University of Miami. Her dissertation entitled, “Giving Birth in South Florida: A Phenomenological Study on the Pregnancy and Birthing Experiences among Black Women,” focuses on the lived-experiences of Black and Afro-Latinas who have had medicalized births, such as highrisk pregnancy and cesarean sections. Shameka’s current research project further investigates the reproductive health outcomes of female inmates across jails and prisons in the United States context. Shameka’s research in reproductive health disparities was also presented at Harvard Medical School’s Biomedical Science Careers Conference 2018 and subsequently invited to be a part of the Maternal Health Policy summit at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Currently, Shameka is a student-faculty instructor and after her first semester of teaching, she won an award for Most Innovative Teaching methods from UM’s College of Arts and Sciences. Shameka not only is a recipient of the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship, but has also proudly served as one of UM-McKnight’s pioneering Executive Board members for twoconsecutive years. Shameka was similarly a sociological fellow at University of Cape Town-South Africa and at the University of California‐Berkeley where she participated as a semester-exchange student with distinguished honors. Shameka is a very proud alumna of Spelman College cum laude, where her research on Black female health narratives not only won First Place, but also won the Scholar‐Activism award in Sociology and Anthropology for Best Senior Thesis in applied sociological research.