2023-24 Doctoral Research Fellows

Photo of Jennifer BabitzkeJennifer Babitzke
Advisor: Dr. Tracey LaPierre

Jennifer is a fifth year doctoral student in the department of Sociology. Jennifer’s research focuses on the intersection of gender, family, caregiving, and the life course. Jennifer plans to investigate how caregiving behaviors in families are influenced by intergenerational processes, specifically in how subsequent generations use personal agency to disrupt historically gendered caregiving practices in families. She plans to conduct semi-structured interviews with men in the Midwest across various socioeconomic groups to better understand their decisions to engage in caregiving behaviors and how these decisions are informed by intergenerational experiences. The goal of this project is to highlight how families enact agency to replicate or disrupt intergenerational cycles of behavior which, in turn, influences sociocultural perspectives on gender roles within families over subsequent generations.
Photo of Noelle BroughtonNoelle Broughton
School of Public Affairs & Administration
Advisor: Dr. Dorothy Daley

Noelle Broughton is a third-year doctoral student in the School of Public Affairs and Administration. Noelle’s research interests broadly surround the process and role of housing policy in racial justice. Specifically, Noelle is interested in the process through which cities pass tenants’ rights and the role these policies play in reducing evictions. Noelle also researches the taking of property by the state through municipal tax sale, where delinquent taxes and utilities result in low-income homeowners of color losing their homes. Often, these properties are purchased below market value by investors, destabilizing neighborhoods and perpetuating a deep history of racist housing practices. Overall, Noelle’s research ties together literature from policy, administration, law, and sociology to work toward a more racially just housing landscape.
Photo of Mohsen FatemiMohsen Fatemi
School of Public Affairs & Administration
Advisors: Dr. Rachel Krause

Mohsen Fatemi is a third-year doctoral student in the School of Public Affairs and Administration. His research interests include renewable energy policy and justice, collaborative governance, and local government. Mohsen currently serves as a member of the Sustainability Adivosity Board at the City of Lawrence. Also, he is an urban planner and architect with experience in climate action planning, energy-efficient design, and sustainability rating systems.
Photo of Senjuti MallikSenjuti Mallik
Geography & Atmospheric Science
Advisor: Dr. Barney Warf

Senjuti Mallik is a fourth-year PhD Candidate in the Department of Geography. She is a human geographer who studies vulnerable populations' health by integrating social theory into health geography research. Her PhD dissertation focuses on determining the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 among different social groups based on age, gender, caste, religion, income, and occupation within the slums of Kolkata, India. It also seeks to understand the treatment-seeking behavior of slum residents in the face of the pandemic. Senjuti is interested in understanding the role of ‘place’ in understanding health and the various health disparities specifically among vulnerable populations. This includes limits that the poor and disadvantaged communities suffer because of a lack of health and other services, as well as the risk of unfavorable health outcomes due to living in impoverished regions.
Photo of Sreerupa SanyalSreerupa Sanyal
Communication Studies
Advisor: Dr. Ashley Muddiman

Sreerupa Sanyal is a fourth-year doctoral student. Her research focuses on news exposure, engagement, and learning on digital devices in comparative democracies. She is currently working on her dissertation proposal. In her dissertation, she wants to investigate the impact of cognitive traits on incidental news exposure and engagement in the USA, India, and South Africa.
Photo of Heeyoun ShinHeeyoun Shin
Advisor: Dr. ChangHwan Kim

Heeyoun Shin is a fifth-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology. Her research interests include Family Demography, Inequality & Social Stratification, Labor Market Policy, and Quantitative Methods. Currently, she's working on two projects: one focuses on educational homogamy and women's labor market participation's influence on family members' social status identification in Korea and the U.S. The other project explores gender disparities in earnings growth among highly educated individuals early in their careers.
Photo of Tatsuya SuzukiTatsuya Suzuki
Communication Studies
Advisor: Dr. Alcides Velasquez

Tatsuya is a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Communication Studies. His research focuses on understanding the socio-political and technological barriers that shape participation in the digital public spheres – digitally mediated spaces in which the opinions of the public emerge through dissemination of information and communication in traditional and contemporary media environments. His dissertation focuses on unequal social power between dominant and social minority groups in the public sphere and studies attacks, appropriation, and dismissal communication capitalizing on mis- and disinformation, hate speech, conspiracy theory, and countermovement as a reaction to #StopAsianHate movement.
Photo of Christabel TsotoChristabel Tsoto
Geography & Atmospheric Science
Advisor: Dr. Jay T. Johnson

I am a fourth year doctoral candidate in the department of Geography and Atmospheric Science with a specialization in migration studies. I am interested in researching the nexus between migration and children as well as culture and childhood chronic illnesses. For my dissertation project, I am exploring the effects of parental migration on the well-being of children left behind in Zimbabwe.
Photo of Marie WagnerMarie Wagner
Special Education
Advisor: Dr. Wayne Sailor & Dr. Elizabeth Kozleski

Marie Wagner, MM, MAT (she/her) is a third-year Ph.D. student in the Department of Special Education in the Policy and System Studies specialization. Marie’s research focuses on redesigning teacher preparation according to democratic principles to prepare teachers to teach for difference and diversity. Her most recent study uses intersectional feminist theories to highlight how inequitable macro-level policies manifest in individuals and are perpetuated using social markers of difference such as ability and race. Marie’s experiences as a special education teacher in New York City and Kansas City inform her lines of inquiry.
Photo of Derek WilsonDerek Wilson
Sociology & Gerontology
Advisor: Dr. Brian Donovan & Dr. Sarah Jen

Derek Wilson is a 6th-year, dual-title PhD Candidate in the Sociology and Gerontology departments. He also possesses a graduate certificate from Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Broadly, he specializes in media and technology in society, aging and the life course perspective, and gender and sexuality studies. In his dissertation, Derek studies the lived experiences of older adults using smart home technologies through an interpretive phenomenological analysis.
Photo of Yiwen WuYiwen Wu
School of Public Affairs and Administration
Advisor: Dr. Ward Lyles

Yiwen Wu is a fourth-year doctoral student in the School of Public Affairs & Administration. His primary research interests revolve around long-term hazard risk reduction, land use planning, and environmental justice. Some of his current projects explore ways to promote equitable climate change adaptation, such as private planners’ involvement in hazard mitigation planning, nuanced institutional barriers for sustainable recovery, and the integrated/networked planning processes.

Click here to view past IPSR Doctoral Research Fellows.

Links on this page:

  1. ipsr@ku.edu