Graduate Student Achievements

We are proud of our hard-working graduate students! The department makes two annual awards to recognize our students' excellence in teaching and research. 

This is a sampling of some of our students’ many other achievements.

Jump To:


  • Yu-An Chen published “Multi‐scalar and Multi‐dimensional Conceptions of Social Capital and Mental Health Impacts After Disaster: The case of Hurricane Harvey” in Disasters with collaborators Kevin Smiley, Lauren Clay, and Ashley Ross.
  • J Coley published “Gentrification in the ‘City of Good Neighbors’: Race, Class, and Neighborhoods in Buffalo” in Sociological Inquiry with collaborator Robert Adelman. 
  • Jennifer Schweitzer published “Designing an exercise intervention for adult survivors of childhood cancers” in BMC Cancer with collaborators Denise Rokitka, Jennifer Heffler, Michael Zevon, Caleb Kitcho, Elisa Rodriguez, and Martin Mahoney. 
  • Srushti Upadhyay published “Sugaring: Understanding the World of Sugar Daddies and Sugar Babies” in the Journal of Sex Research.
  • J Coley was awarded a dissertation fellowship from the Humanities Institute for the upcoming year. J also got a grant from the Mark Diamond Research Fund.
  • Shiyue Cui was awarded a UB Southeast Asian Summer Language grant and a tuition scholarship from the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute at the University of Wisconsin to study Burmese this summer. Shiyue also just completed a Humanities Institute fellowship she was awarded this year.
  • Zaque Evans won the 2021 Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award from the UB Graduate School. This is a very competitive award given to instructors who go above and beyond UB's already-high standards and truly demonstrate excellence in every aspect of teaching. Fewer than 1% of graduate student instructors receive this award!  
  • Matthew McLeskey was awarded the Best Scientific Abstract Award for a submission to the 11th International Conference on Stigma, a conference aimed at practitioner education and advocacy. 
  • Shiyue Cui served on the Action Grant Review Committee for Humanities New York. 
  • Matt McLeskey served on the Michael Harrington Award Committee for the SSSP Poverty, Class, and Inequality Division. Matt is also a member of the Membership and Graduate Student Concerns committees of the Teaching & Learning section of ASA. 
  • Srushti Upadhyay was interviewed for and quoted in a Buzzfeed News article about sugaring relationships.



  • Vinay Kumar published an article in City & Community titled "When Heritage Meets Creativity: A Tale of Two Urban Development Strategies in Kampong Glam, Singapore."
  • Matthew McLeskey was awarded the Advanced PhD Fellowship from the Humanities Institute.
  • Vinay Kumar was awarded the 2018-19 Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award by UB’s Graduate College.
  • Miranda Workman was elected to a 3-year Council position for the Animals & Society section of the American Sociological Association.
  • Miranda Workman, Matthew McLeskey, and Vinay Kumar were each awarded Mark Diamond Research Fund Dissertation Research Grants.


  • Greg Hall published an article in The Sociological Quarterly with recent PhD graduate Rob Kappel titled “Gender, Alcohol, and The Media: The Portrayal of Ideal Men and Women in Alcohol Commercials.”
  • Matthew McLeskey published a book review in Teaching Sociology of Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metro Areas by Chris Benner and Manuel Pastor. He also published an essay, “If Adjuncting, Be Strategic,” in the summer 2018 newsletter of ASA’s Teaching & Learning section.
  • Aysegul Balta Ozgen was awarded a National Science Foundation Dissertation Improvement Grant for $11,995 for her research titled “Impact of Immigration Policies on Syrian Refugees’ Integration in Canada, Germany, Turkey, and the U.S.”
  • Erica Boyce won a 2-year pre-doctoral fellowship with Harvard Univeristy's Center for Education and Policy Research Strategic Data Project.
  • Jared Strohl was awarded the 2017-18 Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award by UB’s Graduate College in April.
  • Aysegul Balta Ozgen and Sam Yuan were each awarded Dissertation Fellowships from the UB College of Arts and Sciences.
  • Vinay Kumar was awarded a grant from Asian Studies’ Nila T. Gnamm Junior Faculty Research Fund.
  • Matthew McLeskey was awarded a 2018 SAGE Teaching Innovations & Professional Development Award to attend the ASA Teaching & Learning section’s pre-conference workshop. He was also awarded a Mark Diamond Research Fund grant.
  • Jessica Coley was elected as the President of UB’s Graduate Student Association for the 2018-19 academic year.



  • Joanne Tompkins’ chapter coauthored with Debra Street, “Is 70 the New 60? Extending American Women’s and Men’s Working Lives,” is forthcoming in the book, Gender, Ageing, and Extended Working Life: Cross National Perspectives.
  • Miranda Workman’s chapter, “Perceptions of Personality: How What We See Influences Our Perceptions About and Behavior Toward Companion Animals,” is forthcoming in Companion Animals in Everyday Life: Situating Human-Animal Engagement within Cultures (2016).
  • Rob Kappel published an article, “One Person’s Party is Another’s Trash: The Creation of Urban Public Space Through To-Go Cup Laws,” in the School of Management Review.
  • Melis Kural published an article, “Lost (and Gained) in Transition: The Contradictions of
    Gentrification in Alacati, Turkey,” in the School of Management Review.
  • Jared Strohl published an article, “Neoliberalism, Work, and the Growth of Individualism,” in the School of Management Review.
  • Patrick McDonald was awarded a $43,000 grant from Say Yes to Education for a 10-year longitudinal study to better understand factors affecting college success. He was previously awarded grants of $40,000 and $52,000 for this research.