Born and raised in New York City, Sarah graduated magna cum laude from the University of Rochester in 2005 with a B.S. in geological sciences and a B.A. in German. Before beginning her doctoral work, Sarah spent the 2005-2006 academic year studying paleontology at the University of Cologne in Germany on a Fulbright research fellowship. Under the guidance of adviser David Bottjer, professor of earth sciences and biological sciences in USC College, she is currently pursuing several research projects related to her interests in evolutionary paleoecology and mass extinctions as a member of the College’s geobiology group. Specifically, Sarah’s dissertation research focuses on the marine ecological recovery from the end-Permian mass extinction, the biggest extinction in Earth history.
I entered the Department of Sociology's PhD program in 2004, after receiving a Master's degree abroad, from the University of Warwick (UK). I chose USC's program because I had already been introduced to books written by Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo when I was in graduate school, and was eager to attend a program where I could learn from a notable scholar in immigration studies. In addition, the USC Sociology department offered core graduate-level classes in several fields I had interest in: Sex and Gender, Race Theory, and a year-long Qualitative Methods course. I was also glad with the elective offerings in other departments, such as Latino Studies in the program for American Studies and Ethnicity.
I conducted ethnographic research for my thesis, an ethnography on masculinity among recovering gang members at a Pentecostal church, Victory Outreach. This research was published in Ethnic and Racial Studies, and then led to my dissertation work, a comparative analysis of faith-based gang recovery at Homeboy Industries and Victory Outreach. I received a dissertation fellowship from the Haynes Foundation, and was able to publish research from my dissertation in two edited volumes by leading presses.
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