Resources for Alumni & Friends


Our Graduates. Where Are They Now?

Bonnie Baker (Jensen), B.A. '05, M.A. '08. 
Bonnie is an instructor at Waubonsee Community College, where she teaches sociology. Bonnie also teaches in the Sociology Department at NIU.

William Mingus, M.A. ’08. As of Fall 2008, Will is a doctoral student at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He also is co-author on two publications: an article in the Journal with Professor Keri Burchfield and a chapter with Professor Jim Thomas.

Jason Sternberg, B.A. '05, M.A. '08.  As of Fall 2008, Jason is a doctoral student in the Sociology Department at the University of Kansas.


Jeremy Adolphsen, B.A. '05, M.A. '07. Jeremy is an instructor at Kishwaukee Community College, Malta, Illinois.  He is also teaching sociology at NIU in Fall 2008.

Nathan Jurgenson, B.A. '04, M.A. '07.  Nathan is a doctoral student in the Sociology Department at the University of Maryland.  He is currently enjoying the theoretical possibilities provided by what has come to be known as Web 2.0: developments in Internet technology that have improved creativity, functionality, and information-sharing among web communities. For Nathan, Web 2.0 provides fertile ground to rethink sociological theory in areas such as knowledge production, the presentation of self, consumption, authority, exploitation and so many others.


Michael Barton, M.A. '06.  Mike is a doctoral student at The State University of New York at Albany.

Brian Brutlag, M.A. '06. Starting in July 2008, Brian became a Full-time Sociology Instructor at Rio Hondo College in California. He is teaching courses in race and ethnic relations and sex and gender.  Brian is also running for Academic Senate at Rio Hondo, with an eye to champion persons with disabilities on campus.  He and wife Irene were married in May 2007.

Jacob Frank, B.S. '05, M.A. '06.  Following graduation, Jacob joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Moldova.

Rebecca Ludens, B.A. '00, M.A. '06.  Rebecca continues to work at Elder Care Services of DeKalb County, where she is a client advocate and investigator.  She and her partner Clay were married on the beach in Pensacola, Florida in March 2008.

Jin You, M.A. '06.  Jin is working on her doctorate in the Sociology Department at the University of California at Santa Cruz.


Nathan Walters, B.A, '05.  Nate is a doctoral student in the Sociology Department at The Pennsylvania State University.


Justin Hoy, B.A. '04.  After completing his M.A. at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Justin joined United Airlines.  Justin returned to his alma mater and taught Sociology at NIU for a number of years.  In the Spring of 2009, Justin accepted a tenure-track position in the Sociology Department at McHenry County College in Illinois.  

Christopher J. Schneider, M.A. '04.   In 2008 Chris completed his Ph.D. at Arizona State University in the School of Justice and Social Inquiry.  This fall he begins a tenure track position in sociology at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.


dr. pat archer

Patrick Archer, M.A. '03. Pat completed his Ph.D. at Iowa State University in 2008.  His dissertation explores middle-class identification and evaluations of morality and success. He and his wife Lindasay are the proud parents of William, born in January 2008; they are expecting their second child in March 2009.  Pat will be a Visiting Assistant Professor at in the Department of Sociology and Social Work at Bradley College in 2008-2009.  They live in Peoria, Illinois.

Jennifer Husayko (Comerford), B.A. '02, M.A. '03.  Jen is employed at the Radiological Society of North America (physician membership society that holds the world's largest medical meeting).  Since February 2004, she has been Manager of Program Evaluation, assisting in research to help improve patient outcomes, and helping maintain ACCME Accreditation for Continuing Medical Education Personal.  She and husband Ryan live in Mokena, Illinois and will become proud parents for the first time in January 2009.

Carrie Ippel (Zack), M.A. '03.  Carrie is working at NIU as the Assessment Coordinator for the Teacher Certification Program.

Juan Martinez, B.A. '03, Juan is currently in the M.A.-Ph.D. program in Sociology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His areas of specialization are race, ethnicity, and gender. Juan's thesis is titled: “It’s Like Fighting For a Bed in Your Home”: Sources of White Ethnic Discontent in a Church Undergoing Italian to Mexican Succession." He recently returned to NIU to participate in the spring Ethnography Conference.

Melissa Satterlee, B.A. ’01, M.A. '03.  Following graduation at NIU, Melissa “fell in love with public health research.”  Her first position was with Access Community Health Network, where she conducted interviews and focus groups on a variety of research topics such as teen pregnancy, family planning, prostate cancer, and asthma in Chicago's poor and underserved communities.  From ACHN, she moved to do asthma research at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), where she worked on a two-year CDC study of home asthma education for under/uninsured families. When that project ended, Melissa moved to the UIC Department of Surgery in pharmaceutical clinical trials research for organ transplant recipients.  She is also on the board of directors for the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women.  Melissa is currently a PhD candidate in the UIC School of Public Health in the Health Policy and Administration Department.


Krista Clark (Cline), M.A. '02. Krista finished her Ph.D. at Purdue University in 2007 and accepted at post-doc at the University of Missouri the same year.  As of Fall 2008 she is an Instructor at Butler University, Indianapolis, Indiana.  Krista, husband Shawn, and their son Cameron live in West Lafayette.

Anthony Cooling, B.A. '00, M.A. '02.  After his graduation from NIU, Anthony joined the U.S. Coast Guard.  He has been stationed in Groton, CT, Milwaukee, WI, and is now stationed in Juneau, Alaska, where he lives with his wife and three children.  He hopes to pursue a doctorate in the near future, exploring the "delicate balance between civil rights and public safety."

Nadee Gajanayake, M.A. '02. Nadee is living with her husband in San Antonio, Texas.

Christine Janis, M.A. '02. Christine has been working as an NIU instructor teaching Intro, Social Institutions, Social Problems, Criminology and Criminal Justice courses in the Sociology department since 2002. She is on the Board of Directors of the Naperville Community Radio Watch, a civilian volunteer division of the Youth and Community Services Bureau of the Naperville Police Department. Christine is currently working on her second novel, and has been accepted to NIU's College of Law!

Laura Rhoton, M.A. '02. After graduating from NIU, Laura was an Associate Research Specialist, working with Dr. Carol D. Ryff, Director of the Institute on Aging and Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  At Wisconsin, much of her work was with the MIDUS II (Midlife in the U.S.) national survey, funded by the National Institute on Aging (Ryff, P.I.).  More recently Laura entered the Ph.D. program at Iowa State, where she is studying inequality, methods, and social psychology.

Kamesha S. Spates, B.A. '02. Kamesha completed her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Texas A&M University in Sociology/Criminology.  She is an assistant professor of Sociology at Colorado State University Pueblo (CSU-P).  Her research interests include: the intersections of race, class and gender; the African American experience; criminology; and mental health.

Lee Trejo, B.A. '00, M.A. '02. Since his graduation from NIU, Lee has worked for ACNielsen in Chicago, a leading world marketing research company.

Kathleen Westman, B.A. '74, M.A. '02.  Kathy is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Waubonsee Community College, Sugar Grove, Illinois.


Jennifer Dierickx, M.A. '01. Jennifer finished her Ph.D. at Wayne State University in 2008.  She is Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice at York University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches Policing in America, Policing Communities, Introduction to Criminal Justice, and Gender and Crime. Her research interests include police practices, ethnomethodology, and criminological theory.

Jennifer Kosinski, M.A. '01.  Jenny is a full-time sociology instructor at Rock Valley College in the Division of Social Sciences.


Michael Sobcziak, M.A. '00.  Mike finished his Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2007. His main area of study was demography, race and ethnicity, attitudes toward immigrants and immigration, and quantitative methods. In Spring 2008, Mike was a Visiting Assistant Professor at UIUC.


Kristie Crane (Bongiovanni), B.A. '97, M.A. '99.  Kristie has been the Sociology Department's Undergraduate Advisor since 2000. 

Ophra Leyser-Whalen, M.A. '99. Ophra is in the Ph.D. program in Sociology at the University of Kansas.  Her dissertation examines experiences with fertility treatments.  Ophra is also an adjunct instructor at Washington University.