2022 Cohort Biographies

Lolayemi Charles is a senior at New York University majoring in Global Public Health and Sociology. She is interested in understanding how social processes and cultural nuances such as immigration and sexual and gender-based violence influence health and healthcare inequalities. She hopes to pursue a career in medicine and subsequently public health while continuing to engage in population health research.

Sophia Costa is a senior at Tufts University majoring in Sociology. She researches immigration and culture, with an emphasis on race and ethnicity, as well as the socioeconomic and cultural impacts of international migration on sending communities. To explore these issues, Sophia hopes to join a doctoral program in Sociology. Within demography, she is particularly interested in measuring racial and ethnic identity, as well as advancing participatory action research methods. LinkedIn

Jillian Elba is an incoming senior at Fordham University majoring in Sociology and English. She is interested in child welfare, housing policy and international studies. In the future, she hopes to support people who have experienced sexual trauma and difficulties in housing from an individual and demographic perspective, both nationally and internationally.

Leo Goldblatt is a Northern Virginian native who studies sociology and psychology at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Leo’s background as a queer athlete has him interested in a mix of hands-on work for treating mental illness and clinical research regarding the mental health of minority populations. His current plan is to obtain a Master of Social Work and gain licensure to become a therapist – but a Ph.D. might be in his future!

Natalie Hernandez is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee majoring in Urban Studies with a certificate in Urban Planning. She is interested in understanding migration, health and education disparities, and inequitable housing in urban spaces. She hopes to pursue a career in urban planning through working in the planning department within a city government. She is also interested in working with organizations that focus on enriching under-represented communities through research-based initiatives.

Dalanda Jalloh is a senior at the University at Buffalo majoring in International Studies and minoring in Public Health. She is interested in international development, with research interests in the built environment, food insecurity, public health and neo-colonialism in Sub-Saharan Africa. Dalanda is also nterested in core demography topics such as maternal/infant health and migration, and she hopes to merge her interests with professional degrees in African Studies and Urban Planning.

Amalea Jubara of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a senior at St. Catherine University majoring in economics and public policy. She is interested in place-based inequities and resource provisioning, the relationship between grassroots organizing, community resiliency, and social cohesion, as well as the impacts of historical and local forces on upward mobility. Amalea plans to pursue a doctoral degree in sociology, where she hopes to advocate for the inclusion of community voices in systems change through mixed methods, community-engaged, and participatory action research. LinkedIn

Alyssa Kamara is a rising junior at the University at Albany majoring in Public Health and Economics. She is interested in researching structural inequalities for marginalized demographics through critical investigation of policy, economic inequality and wellness outcomes, particularly in relation to maternal mortality and morbidity. She intends to pursue a PhD in Economics after earning her undergraduate degree. LinkedIn

Dianna LaTerra is a rising senior at Wake Forest University majoring in Sociology and Psychology. She is interested in researching the determinants of gentrification, inequality, and the impact of cultural arts and music on rural and urban communities. She plans to pursue a career in research and anticipates attending graduate school to obtain a PhD in sociology. Additionally, she is a musician and plans to launch a non-profit that provides music spaces to underserved youth.

Courtney Metz is a senior at Lebanon Valley College majoring in Sociology with a double concentration in Criminal Justice and Family Studies. She is currently interested in researching and learning about various aspects of work, occupation, organizations, and family. At the moment, she is unsure what the future holds in terms of a career, but she would like to pursue a job where she can engage in both qualitative and quantitative research, spread knowledge, and help others to understand and learn more about what goes on in the social world.

Wesley Nay is a senior at Elmhurst University majoring in sociology and urban studies. He is interested in understanding how processes of globalization influence poverty and housing instability in urban spaces, especially for racially and ethnically marginalized communities. He hopes to continue his post-graduate studies broadly in sociology, urban studies, and policy and to engage in mixed-methods research. LinkedIn

Patrick Nolan is a senior at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities majoring in Sociology of Law, Criminology, and Justice. He is interested in studying incarceration and carceral policies in an international context. He plans on pursuing a PhD in Sociology, with an emphasis on understanding the mechanisms by which structural factors contribute to incarceration-dependent outcomes. Patrick is a McNair Scholar, an undergraduate research assistant, and a published coauthor in Criminal Justice Studies.

Anastasia Onyango is a recent graduate from Harvard College with a BA in Sociology. She is interested in social-ecological sustainability, community-based health initiatives, and racial-ethnic identity formation. She intends to attend medical school where she plans to conduct research on the intersection of culture and biology.

Devon Player is a senior at Whitman College majoring in Sociology with a minor in Race and Ethnic Studies. She is interested in understanding how community-centered approaches to addressing food, housing, and carceral injustice can be used to dismantle institutionalized forms of oppression and exploitation, particularly along racial and ethnic lines. While she plans to spend time after her undergraduate education gaining more professional experience and narrowing her research interests, she then hopes to pursue a graduate degree in sociology or social work. LinkedIn

Devin Reeves is a senior at Ohio State University majoring in sociology with a minor in physical anthropology. She is interested in studying the intersections of health, environment, and demography. After her undergrad education, she hopes to pursue a PhD in sociology.

Brandon Roca is a first-generation college student and senior at George Mason University majoring in International Relations with a minor in Data Analysis. He is interested in Latin American socio-economic inequality, migrant integration, geospatial analysis, and public policy in global migration. He hopes to pursue studying abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina this upcoming Fall to further understand persisting economic disparities along with the causes of international flows of people and their complex integration with development.

Brayden Rothe is a Senior at the University of Minnesota majoring in history and sociology. He is interested in 19th-century history, capital, demography, the life course, and migration. He is fascinated by where these interests intersect as well as where they differ. Brayden hopes to apply to a PhD program where he can apply an interdisciplinary lens. LinkedIn

Azucena Morales Santos is a junior at Lewis & Clark College majoring in Hispanic Studies & Sociology & Anthropology. She is interested in pursuing a field in social research centered on equity and social justice. She hopes to pursue a masters and/or doctorate in her professional career.