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Carolyn Behrman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Anthropology
Department of Classical Studies, Anthropology and Archaeology

Dr. Behrman’s interests lie in urbanization processes as they relate to gender, health and poverty.  These interests lead to her study economic and cultural aspects of women’s work and family health in poor, peri-urban and urban settings in the U.S. and southern Africa as well as to explore school culture and low-income urban elementary school children’s diet and activity in the U.S.  Her training in both physical and cultural anthropology are reflected in the questions she frames and in the combination of data types and collection techniques that she employs.  Dr. Behrman teaches Cultural Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, the Anthropology of Sex and Gender, and a two-course sequence in research methods (Introduction to Anthropological Data, Anthropological Field Methods) in her department which is entirely undergraduate and emphasizes research experience for its majors. 

A staunch advocate for community-based research and service-learning (CBRSL), Dr. Behrman devotes part of her time to cultivating community-based partnerships and developing curriculum that aligns course content goals with partners’ concerns.  CBRSL projects have become an integral part of the two-course sequence in research methods.  Dr. Behrman is currently research director and principal investigator for the Mason School Project, a longitudinal study of the effects of a SL partnership between the University of Akron and an urban elementary school on both partners, as well as on the elementary students’ attitudes toward school and students’ success in school.  She is also research director and principal investigator of the ongoing CBRSL study “Food for Thought” in collaboration with Tracey Cason, a fifth grade public school science teacher.

Dr. Behrman has extended her graduate training in research methods through an NSF-funded Short Course in Research Methods operated by Duke University, a summer research fellowship with the Institute for Health and Social Policy at the University of Akron, and a weeklong workshop on Culture, Health and Human Development sponsored by National Institutes of Health and the School of Family Studies, University of Connecticut.  She is the leader of the Service Learning Research Team at the Institute for Teaching and Learning, as well as member of the faculty advisory committee for the Center for Conflict Management.

Kathryn Feltey, Ph.D.
Associate Professor & Associate Chair
Department of Sociology

Dr. Feltey’s area of specialization is the sociology of gender, which she teaches at the undergraduate and graduate level.  Her research focuses on women who have experienced dislocation as a result of poverty, domestic violence, and related factors.  She primarily uses qualitative methods to explore women’s lived experiences of violence, homelessness, mothering, and survival. In current work with Dr. Cheryl Elman, she is studying the lives of pioneer women in 19th century America, using their diaries and letters to explore their physical, social, and emotional journeys. Dr. Feltey teaches qualitative research methods at the graduate level, working with students as they develop research skills in designing and carrying out projects using qualitative methods, as well as managing and analyzing the data they generate.  She will be teaching a special topics class on qualitative methods for undergraduate students in the Spring semester 2008.  Both the graduate and undergraduate methods classes will be held in the ARM lab.

Dr. Feltey is the gender section editor of the journal, Sociology Compass and co-editor of a forthcoming special issue of the National Women’s Studies Association Journal, New Orleans: A Special Issue on Gender, the Meaning of Place, and the Politics of Displacement.  She is past-president of the North Central Sociological Association and recipient of the association’s Distinguished Contributions to Teaching Award.  She is a Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTAL) fellow and member of the faculty advisory committee to the Center for Conflict Management at the University of Akron.

Sandra Spickard Prettyman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Educational Foundations and Leadership

Dr. Spickard Prettyman's research focuses on the relationship between gender and education, specifically examining the construction and enactment of identity within different educational spaces.  Her recent work explores multiple forms of masculinity and femininity within both school and sport cultures.  In addition, she is working with faculty in Chemical Engineering to explore the impact of curricular and instructional changes in the program as well as with middle school programs aimed at improving math and science experiences for girls.  Dr. Spickard Prettyman teaches courses in the social foundations of education, and her area of specialization is the sociology of education.  She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the teacher preparation program as well as in the Women's Studies program, graduate courses in social foundations, and qualitative methods courses at the doctoral level.  Dr. Spickard Prettyman works closely with doctoral students as they develop their research ideas and questions, design appropriate methods to address them, and implement qualitative projects and dissertations.  Her qualitative methods classes are taught in the ARM Lab where she works to help students understand the role of technology in the research process, and the reciprocal nature of research design, data collection, and data analysis.

Dr. Spickard Prettyman recently served as Guest Editor for a special issue of Eductational Studies focused on Homophobia and Heterosexism in Education, and she is working on a second volume of Learning Culture through Sport, which she is co-editing with Brian Lampman.   Currently, she is a Co-PI on a grant funded by the U.S. Department of State which is aimed at creating an exchange between U.S. and French teachers in training.  She also serves as the co-advisor for E-Docs, a doctoral support group in the College of Education at the University of Akron.


Tracy A. Thomas
Professor of Law

Tracy A. Thomas is a Professor of Law and Director of Faculty Research and Development at The University of Akron School of Law. She earned a J.D. degree from Loyola, Los Angeles, an M.P.A. from California State University, and a B.A. in Public Administration from Miami University. Professor Thomas clerked for Judge Fernandez of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and was a litigation attorney at the Washington, D.C., firm of Covington & Burling. Her research concentrates on the areas of remedies and women’s legal history.

Matthew T. Lee *
Associate Professor of Sociology

Matthew T. Lee is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Conflict Management Fellow at The University of Akron. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Restorative Justice of North Central Ohio. Dr. Lee received a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Delaware in 2000. His research focuses on three areas: the relationship between immigration and crime; attributions of responsibility for organizational deviance; and the social production of altruism. His work has appeared in journals such as Criminology, Social Psychology Quarterly, Social Problems, Sociological Quarterly, Sociological Focus, Social Science Quarterly, and International Migration Review. Dr. Lee is also the author of a book titled Crime on the Border: Immigration and Homicide in Urban Communities (LFB Scholarly 2003). Dr. Lee’s latest project involves a three-year study of altruism funded by the John Templeton Foundation.

Robert L. Peralta *
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Robert L Peralta is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of Akron. He holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Delaware. Dr. Peralta’s areas of interest and expertise include deviance, gender, social inequality, alcohol use, and interpersonal violence. Alcohol use in intimate partner violence and the association between alcohol use and the construction of gender are the focus of his current research.

Mary Triece *
Associate Professor in the School of Communication

Mary Triece is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Texas. Dr. Triece teaches courses in rhetorical theory and criticism and public speaking. Her areas of research include social movement rhetoric; feminist and marxist theories and criticisms. She is the author of On The Picket Line: Strategies of Working-Class Women During the Depression (University of Illinois Press, 2007); Protest and Popular Culture: Women in the U.S. Labor Movement, 1894-1917 (Westview Press, 2001); and articles in Critical Studies in Mass Communication and Women's Studies in Communication.

Patricia Hill
Associate Professor in the School of Communication

Patricia Hill is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication. Dr. Hill’s area of specialization is interpersonal and intercultural communication. Her research interests include gender, ethnicity, and critical pedagogy. She has authored book chapters and many articles in various journals and anthologies. Her research is published in scholarly journals such as, Women and Language, The Gerontologist, Journalism History, and The Electronic Journal of Communication. Dr. Hill teaches Introduction to Public Speaking, Effective Oral Communication, and Intercultural Communication at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, she teaches qualitative research methods. She is involved in campus initiatives and advising to promote recruitment and retention of students of color.

Jodi Ross *
Doctoral student, Sociology

Jodi Ross is a doctoral student at The University of Akron. Her areas of interest include deviance, criminology, gender, mothering, and qualitative methodology. She has completed graduate coursework in qualitative methodology across several disciplines including sociology, anthropology and education. Her dissertation research will use ethnographic methods to examine the mechanisms of informal social control in a gentrifying neighborhood.

Daniela Jauk *
Doctoral student, Sociology

Daniela Jauk is a doctoral student at The University of Akron, and came as an Austrian Fulbright Scholar to Ohio in fall 2007. Her areas of interest include inequality, gender studies and qualitative methodology. She has completed various graduate coursework in qualitative methodology, carried out qualitative research projects, and is also interested in visual methods. Her dissertation research will most likely use grounded theory to examine the transgender-movement in the U.S. and Europe in comparative perspective.

Jennifer Milam
College of Education

Jennifer is an Assistant Professor in Curricular and Instructional Studies at the University of Akron. She holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Curriculum and Cultural Studies from Texas A&M University. Dr. Milam’s areas of interest and study include explorations of race and racism in education, critical white studies, the social foundations of education, and reconceptualized teacher education. Most recently, her work has focused on the historical and theoretical construct of currere (Pinar, 1976, 2004) as a qualitative method of study in curriculum and autobiography.

David Purcell
Assistant Professor of Sociology, Kent State

David Purcell is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Kent State University. His research focuses on race/class/gender inequality, culture, neighborhoods, work, and teaching & learning. Much of his research focuses on the reproduction of inequality in institutional contexts. Current projects include an examination of cultural capital in a corporate workplace, and an investigation into everyday racial segregation in urban sociocultural spaces. His work has been published in Research in the Sociology of Work, Social Science & Medicine, Sociological Focus, and the Journal of the National Medical Association. David received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Cincinnati.

Dena Hanley *
Political Science

Richard Steiner *

Margaret Wineman *
Dean, College of Nursing

Kathleen Ross-Alaolmolki *
Assistant Dean, College of Nursing

Sam Baumgartner
School of Law

Amy Dreussi
Social Science, Summit College

Patrice Marshall
College of Nursing


* denotes founding Consortium member
† denotes new Consortium member


Teresa Huzyak
Graduate Student Coordinator for ARM Project

Teresa is currently a Ph.D. student in Sociology at The University of Akron.  She received her Master’s Degree in Sociology from The University of Akron in 2008, and her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Youngstown State University in 2006.  Her ARM Project responsibilities include coordination of lab use; management of inventory; management of webpage materials; guidance of undergraduate ARM Project staff; and assistance with equipment use.  Additionally, she serves as a research assistant to investigators using the ARM Lab in their research.    Her personal research centers on issues of domestic violence and education.