Undergraduate Institution: Tufts University
Undergraduate Major: Sociology, English
MAPSS Graduation Year: 2012

I came to MAPSS to explore graduate level study in the sociology of gender. The most important courses I took were: Kristen Schilt’s Theorizing Gender, Kristen Schilt’s Researching Sex and Gender, Andrew Abbott’s Library Research Methods, and The Little Red Schoolhouse academic and professional writing workshop. My MA thesis is called, "Follow the leader: The reproduction and persistence of gender roles in salsa schools." My faculty advisor was Kristen Schilt. I did in-depth, semi-structured interviews with salsa instructors and students in two dance schools and participant observation of classes and events in those dance schools. I studied why students invested time, resources, and energy into learning heteronormative scripted dance roles in for-pay schools, but were resistant to learning the dance role opposite to their gender presentation, even though that training would have helped them to become better social dancers. I did not have a graduate program in sociology at Tufts. MAPSS helped me to learn about academic careers and sociology as a discipline within the social sciences. MAPSS improved my academic profile by giving me the opportunity to learn from faculty like Kristen Schilt and Andrew Abbott. I am currently in the doctoral program for sociology at UT Austin.