Introducing the 2012-2013 Cohort

The incoming cohort for the 2012-2013 school year brings a whopping seventeen new students to our department. This diverse group includes first year students from eight states and four countries. Read on to learn about our new students’ interests, from sociology to late-night snacking and study tunes.

 Bryant BestBryant Best
Hometown/country: Wilson, NC
Previous degrees: B.A. Psychology and African American Studies University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: Growing up in a racially segregated Southern town that opened my eyes to the complexities of economic and educational disparities. As such, I chose to study identity through race, ethnicity, and gender, three factors that I feel are central to one of the complications.
Favorite late-night study snack: Ramen noodles, AKA poverty’s pasta! Survival tactics 101
Dreams of a coffee date with: Dr. Patricia Hill Collins *wink, wink*
First cassette/CD purchase: Sisqó- Unleash the Dragon (great CD! Don’t judge me! Lol)
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: You can’t go that long without spiritual encouragement, so I’d be fine with a CD featuring Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond, and other gospel singers.

Esha ChatterjeeHometown/country: India
Previous Degrees:B.S. Economics, Calcutta University, M.A. and M.Phil Economics, Jadavpur University
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: A project I did for my M Phil (it was on demography). I was interested in the work done by faculty in the department, especially in the field of demography.
Favorite late-night study snack: Chicken Nuggets.
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: Any good Hindi music.

Chih-Chin Chen
Hometown/country: Taipei, Taiwan
Previous degrees:  B.A. Sociology, University of Maryland College Park
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: I‘m interested in social theory, globalization, and consumption of the world. I would like to study them in depth, systematically and create my own theory.

Jonathan CoxJonathan Cox
Hometown/country: Dayton, Ohio
Previous degrees: B.S. Health and Physical Education, Hampton University, M.Ed. College Student Affairs, The Pennsylvania State University
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: I want to teach at the college level and that requires a PhD. I decided on sociology because I have varied interests and the point of intersection was sociology.
Favorite late-night study snack: Pretzles and an Izze [soda]. Or nachos and salsa. I’m undecided.
Dreams of a coffee date with: Malcom XFirst cassette/CD purchase: New Kids on the Block- Hangin’ Tough
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: John Legend- Once Again

Hsiang-Yuan Ho
Hometown/country: Taiwan
Previous degrees: BA in International Business, National Taiwan University
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: I changed my major from business, so there’s a lot I need to learn in Sociology. And getting a graduate degree could help me not only in academic achievement but in bridging academics to practices.
Favorite late-night study snack: Chocolate and cookies
Dreams of a coffee date with: Queen Elizabeth the First
First cassette/CD purchase: Titanic theme songs
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: The second album of MayDay (a Taiwanese rock band)

Kristin KernsKristen Kerns
Hometown/country: State College, PA
Previous degrees: BA Sociology, Penn State. Psychology minor and Law, Crime, and Society Certificate.
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: I wanted to keep going and branch out and expand on everything I learned as an undergrad. Also a good career move, allows for several options in the future.
Favorite late-night study snack: Pizza, Pop Tarts, and Pretzel M&Ms
Dreams of a coffee date with: Nikola Tesla
First cassette/CD purchase: Backstreet Boys, perhaps?
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: Brahms German Requiem

WendyWendy M. Laybourn
Hometown/country: Memphis, TN
Previous degrees: B.A. Sociology, University of Memphis
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: I love the discipline and I want to contribute to the research and the public’s understanding of my field.
Favorite late-night study snack: Green seedless grapes.
Dreams of a coffee date with: I’d love to have a cup of coffee and conversation with Oprah.
First cassette/CD purchase: Hmm…not exactly sure, but probably Garth Brooks or some other country artist.
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: John Legend- Get Lifted, OR a mixtape by Memphis based DJ, DJ Houston

Jaein LeeJae-In Lee
Hometown/country: Seoul, South Korea
Previous degrees: B.A. and M.A. Sociology, Korea University
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: Because I want to make my specialization respond to society.
Favorite late-night study snack: Pringles
Dreams of a coffee date with: Abraham Lincoln
First cassette/CD purchase: Michael Learns to Rock
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: Chris Tomlin

Phillip LennonPhil Lennon
Hometown/country: Warwick, New York
Previous degrees: B.S. Sociology, Florida State University. Minor in Philosophy.
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: Fortune & fame
Favorite late-night study snack: Almond butter
Dreams of a coffee date with: Jack Kerouac or Ghandi
First cassette/CD purchase: Pennywise, “Full Circle”
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: Silverstein’s “Decades”

Glenn_LoveGlenn Love
Hometown/country: Baltimore, MD
Previous degrees: Coppin State University
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: Sociology provides the most comprehensive lens for analyzing the causes and consequences of social phenomena.  Favorite late-night study snack: Gummi Bears and Butterfingers!
Dreams of a coffee date with: W.E.B. Dubois
First cassette/CD purchase: The soundtrack from Teddy Ruxpin
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: Drake–Take Care

Jessica Peña
Hometown/country:New YorkPrevious degrees: B.A. Sociology, CUNY Hunter College
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: As a sociology undergrad, I read tons of work on immigration, gender inequality, and many other areas, and I realized I could apply my knowledge and experiences to create knowledge. Being able to influence the field is extremely important to me.
Favorite late-night study snack: Popcorn and strawberries
Dreams of a coffee date with: Audre Lorde

Joanna PepinJoanna Pepin
Hometown/country: Seattle
Previous degrees: Human Development and Family Studies, Colorado State University
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: My background is in couples’ therapy and domestic violence. I’m interested in how culture shapes the spectrum of intimate partner relationships- idealized weddings to intimate partner fatalities.
Favorite late-night study snack: Hot chocolate
Dreams of a coffee date with: Anne Frank
First cassette/CD purchase: New Kids on the Block
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: Can I cheat? Podcasts of This American Life

Robert ReynosoRobert Reynoso
Hometown/country: Bronx, New York
Previous degrees: B.A. Forensic Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, M.A. Organizational Psychology, Teachers College, Colombia University
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: Perspective. I believe the collision of sociology and psychology is stronger, more powerful, and will offer me an opportunity to approach issues in life with a robust perspective and approach.
Favorite late-night study snack: Whatever’s available
Dreams of a coffee date with: My Dad, someone who did something great
First cassette/CD purchase: Good one, probably Puff Daddy, Forever (don’t judge me!).
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: At the moment, Crystal Castles (2010)…if that magically breaks, then the XX

VLUU L110  / Samsung L110Shengwei Sun
Hometown/country: Shanghai, China
Previous degrees: B.A. Politics  and Gender and Women’s Studies, Scripps College
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: While in college, I was actively engaged in the civil society within the sphere of women’s organizing through my internships with various kinds of women’s NGOs both in China and the U.S. My senior thesis seeks to explore the puzzle of an emerging civil society within an authoritarian setting through a case study of women’s organizing in China. I examined how local groups adopt certain strategies and prioritize certain issues over others under the political, economic, and social constraints of their living environment. In my future studies, I am primarily interested in the issues of gender, demography and development.
Favorite late-night study snack: FruitDreams of a coffee date with: Hannah Arendt
First cassette/CD purchase: Savage Garden
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: Savage Garden

J. Ross Yastrzemsky “Yaz”
Hometown/country: Baltimore, MD
Previous degrees: B.S. Civil Engineering, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY and M.P.A. Public Administration, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: My following assignment in the Army is to serve as the course director for “officership” (ie leadership) in the Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic at West Point. This degree will prepare me for my future assignment.
Favorite late-night study snack: Mike & Ikes
Dreams of a coffee date with: Coach K
First cassette/CD purchase: Huey Lewis and the News
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: Miley Cyrus –Party in the USA

Sojin YuSojin Yu
Hometown/country: South KoreaCommunications, Sogang University
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: I did a master’s degree in Sociology in the UK and I did enjoy the discipline. I want to study gender and possibly globalizing theory in-depth and continue my research on these issues.
Favorite late-night study snack: Any kind of chocolate
Dreams of a coffee date with: Michael Jackson
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: Curtis Mayfield

Yangzi ZhaoYangzi Zhao
Hometown/country: Chengohi, China
Previous degrees: B.A. Sociology, SUNY Stony Brook
Chose Sociology for graduate school because: I want to study the social phenomena with my approach and to know this field with my explaining. Not just want to read other sociologists’ knowledge from books.
Favorite late-night study snack: Taro cake.
Dreams of a coffee date with: Virginia Woolf
First cassette/CD purchase: Sound track of the movie “The Piano”
Choice of music if trapped in the data lab: Sound track of the movie “The Piano