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Teaching Assistants

Graduate Teaching Assistants

MA Graduate Teaching Assistants

Brittany Buttry-Watson
Brittany is a second-year master's student and teaching assistant for Dr.  Mark Austin and his SOC 201 course.  Brittany earned her bachelor degrees from Greenville College in psychology/religion and social work.  Her research interests include issues surrounding mass incarceration and public responses to crime and criminals.  She is currently working on a project exploring Restorative Justice Louisville through an organizational/social movement perspective. In her free time she enjoys outdoor activities and strategy games.    
    (502) 852-8044   Lutz 113


Brandon McReynolds
Brandon is a first-year master's student and teaching assistant for Dr.  Derrick Brooms and his SOC 210 course. Brandon attended UofL where he received his bachelors of science degree in political science in December of 2012. He spent time working for the Louisville Chamber of Commerce where he worked on city wide education initiatives connected to Louisville's 55,000 Degrees Initiative. Brandon's main areas of research focus on inequality, education, and recently family.   His future goals include working on his Ph.D and potentially other educational opportunities.             (502) 852-8044   Lutz 113


Rachael Metzger
Rachael is a first-year master's student and teaching assistant for Dr.  Derrick Brooms and his SOC 210 course.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Ball State University.  Her main interest are social psychology and inequality, specifically as they relate to social class and identifying as LGBTQ.         (502) 852-8044   Lutz 113


James "Kent" Pugh
Kent is a second-year master's student and teaching assistant for Drs.  Bob Carini, Dave Roelfs, and Hiromi Taniguchi and their SOC 301 courses.  Kent grew up in Menifee County in Eastern Kentucky and attended Berea College where he received a bachelors of arts degree in sociology with minors in history and Appalachian studies in May 2012. His main interest areas are poverty, work and labor and Appalachian studies. However, his interest areas have not been limited to the world of academia; he has been an activist on including issues related to LGBTQ community, Mountain Top Coal Removal and in the Occupy Wall Street protests. He has also traveled extensively in Eastern Europe and Uganda in Central Africa.  He plans eventually to work towards a Ph.D. in sociology.
      (502) 852-8043   Lutz 106

Shawn Rolfe
Shawn is a first-year master's student and teaching assistant for Dr. Mark Austin and his SOC 201 course.  Shawn earned his bachelor of arts degree from Wright State University in sociology and a minor in crime and justice studies. His main research interests are crime and deviance, labeling and stigma theories, and re-entry issues for criminal offenders. He plans to eventually work towards a Ph.D. in applied sociology in order to conduct future research at the university level or in the private sector. Shawn is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps having served in more than 14 countries. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and three dogs.      (502) 852-8044   Lutz 113



PhD Graduate Teaching Assistants

Muhamed Fazlagic
A third-year doctoral student, Muhamed earned his Master of Public Administration degree at Kentucky State University in International Administration and Development. His research interest is in the social construction of ethnic identity, ethnic conflict and multiculturalism.  His co-authored book review with Dr. Ryan Schroeder on "Wounded I am More Awake: Finding Meaning after Terror" by Lieblich and Boskailo is forthcoming in Teaching Sociology Journal in October 2012.  He is currently conducting research on  the effects of socially constructed ethnicity among Bosnian refugees living in the US in ethnically mixed marriages.  Muhamed presented his research on this topic at the Anthropologists and Sociologists of Kentucky Conference (2011) and North-Central Sociological Association (2012) in Pittsburgh, PA.  His long term goals are to research and teach in a university setting. He spends the majority of his free time watching soccer.     (502) 852-8045   Lutz 115


Clarence Gordon
A first-year doctoral student, Clarence earned his Master of Arts degree at Texas Southern University in Sociology (2010) and his Bachelor of Arts degree at Florida A&M University in Philosophy (2003). He has worked in collegiate environments as an administrator, instructor, and advisor. He applies his practical experiences by continuing to give priority to the academic development of his students’ critical thinking skills. He studied Psychosocial Sports Studies at Miami University in their Kinesiology and Health graduate program cultivating his research interests examining sports from a sociocultural perspective. His research interests also fuse pedagogy with the sociology of Hip Hop culture and he is the lead author of “The Damnation of Hip Hop: A critique of Hip Hop through the lens of W.E.B. Du Bois” published in the International Journal of Africana Studies (2010). Clarence believes in the power of being a mentor to young males and he has been a baseball coach for nearly ten years in urban communities of Tampa, FL and Cincinnati, OH. This volunteerism has fueled his current research of examining the decline of African American participation in baseball and he is working with Major League Baseball’s urban youth initiative programs. He aspires to conduct research and teach in a university environment while working toward becoming an athletic director. Clarence appreciates spending time in his native city of Tampa, relaxing with family and friends, watching sports, and coaching baseball.   
     (502) 852-8046   Lutz 116

Robert Shelby
A third-year doctoral student, Rob holds two master of arts degrees, one in communication and culture from Trinity Graduate School (2006) and the second in sociology from Western Illinois University (2011). He earned dual bachelor of arts degrees in youth ministry and Biblical studies from Trinity International University (2001). He has held leadership positions within higher education, telecommunications firms, non-profit organizations, and the United States Army. His research interests relate to organizational structure and social cohesion within large organizations. His current research projects focus on multisited megachurches in the U.S. Rob aims to conduct research and teach in a university setting, while providing consultancy services for organizations in a variety of sectors. Rob collects comic books, is a film enthusiast, and technology aficionado.       (502) 852-8045   Lutz 115


Fran Shupe
A fourth-year doctoral student, Fran received her undergraduate degree in the interdisciplinary studies of mass communications and marketing from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Fran earned her master's degree in sociology from the University of Louisville in 2010.   She co-authored a research article with Dr. Hiromi Taniguchi entitled "Gender and family status differences in leisure-time sports/fitness participation" is forthcoming in the International Review for the Sociology of Sport.  Fran is currently conducting research in the area of poverty and social welfare policy.  Her goal is to conduct research and teach in a university setting.      (502) 852-8046   Lutz 116


Jennifer Sinski
A third-year doctoral student, Jennifer graduated from Bellarmine University with a BA in liberal studies followed by an MAT in education with additional hours in special education.  She received an MA in English literature from Murray State University.     After teaching high school special education students for five years, she served as an IDC Coordinator and English instructor for Bellarmine University for two years.  While teaching full-time in the English Department at Elizabethtown Community College, Sinski decided to return to school to obtain her PhD in Sociology.  In addition to teaching, Sinski has co-authored with Dr. Curtis Bergstrand “Swinging in America:  Love, Sex and Marriage in the 21st Century” and several journal articles on subjects including teaching students with PTSD in the college classroom.  Currently, Jennifer is working with Dr. Patricia Gagne on a project focusing on the population of canines and felines held in Kentucky County public animal shelters.  Current interests include animals and society with focus on the human/animal bond.  Another area of interest is the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder for returning Veterans in the classroom.  In her free time, Sinski trains and competes in canine agility with her dogs Chloe, Allie and Sunshine.   (502) 852-8046   Lutz 116


Heidi Williams
Heidi is a second-year doctoral student, Heidi earned both her bachelor and master of arts degrees in Sociology from Marshall University. After completing her graduate work at Marshall, she served as the Program Coordinator for the National Science Foundation-supported Marshall University (MU) ADVANCE Program. The goal of MU-ADVANCE was to increase gender equity within the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics disciplines through recruitment, faculty development, and policy initiatives. The successful implementation of two family-friendly policies stimulated her interest in applied sociology. Her research interests include family and gender, with a particular interest in examining the role extended family members play in father involvement among disadvantaged families. She spends her free time both helping her partner search for antique books and painting doors.   
     (502) 852-8046   Lutz 116



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