Graduate Students

 Christie Craig

Christie Craig


 Areas of Interest

  • Political Sociology
  • Gender and Policy
  • Rural vs Urban Development 

Bio

Christie is pursuing a Master of Arts in Sociology and works within the department as a Graduate Assistant. She holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of Arkansas and plans to pursue a doctorate in public policy. Her research and eventual teaching interests include intersectionality of economics, political science and sociology; structures and sources of social power; gender and policy; and regional influences on sociological development of ideology and policy.

Interesting Facts

After two decades with the company, Christie left her position as a Store Manager with Walmart to pursue a second career focused on public sociology and service. She enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends, and volunteers with animal welfare non-profit organizations.

 

 Reilly Gibson

Reilly Gibson


 Areas of Interest

  • Theory
  • Poverty
  • Social Disorganization Theory
  • Collective Efficacy

Bio

Reilly is a first year graduate student pursuing a Masters in Sociology.  He received his B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas in spring of 2019. He hopes to earn his PhD and teach in the future.

Interesting Facts

When he’s not busy with class and homework, Reilly spends his time with his kitten he adopted over the summer as well as spending time playing tennis and hiking with his friends.

 

 

 Kyle Kaminicki

Kyle Kaminicki


 Areas of Interest

  • Terrorism
  • Statistics and Data Analysis
  • The American Legal System
  • Restorative Justice

Bio

Kyle is a second-year graduate student. His research interests are domestic and international terrorism, counterterrorism, and the utilization of the American legal system to prosecute crimes associated with terrorism. Kyle earned his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Arkansas in 2017 before returning to start the Sociology Master’s program with a Criminology concentration. He anticipates working in a government agency as an analyst or field agent.

Interesting Facts

Kyle loves spending time with his family and his dog, Benjen. He enjoys playing the guitar, watching and analyzing films, reading, playing video games, exercising, and flying.

 

  M. Alison Keeling

M. Alison Keeling 


 Areas of Interest

  • Gender & Sexuality
  • Social Psychology
  • Vigilantism
  • Restorative Justice

Bio

Alison is a master’s degree candidate in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Arkansas. Alison was awarded a B.A. in Sociology and Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas in the Spring of 2018. She has participated on research projects using both qualitative and quantitative methods. She prefers to implement an interdisciplinary approach to research. Alison plans to pursue a PhD upon completion of her current program.

Interesting Facts

Alison has been in an elevator with Simon Cowell. She once worked as a production assistant for Guns N’ Roses on a segment of their tour. Alison has been in a car accident where she was hit by a blind, drunk driver. That accident resulted in a high-speed car chase in San Diego, CA. Another interesting fact is that her father was a federal agent. Otherwise, Alison is an introvert that is often mistaken for an extrovert. She prefers to stay home with her rescued animals. She currently has a fifteen-year-old chocolate lab and fourteen-year-old, three-legged terrier.

 

 Melinda Lepre

Melinda Lepre 


 Areas of Interest

  • Educational/Therapeutic Opportunities for Youth
  • Community Development
  • Re-entry and Recidivism Reduction

Bio

Melinda is a second-year master's student in the Sociology program. Hailing from Alabama, she received a B.A. in Psychology from Auburn University in 2013 and a B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas in 2017. She has a desire to work with or create a non-profit catered to children and teens, utilizing tabletop role-playing games to help children and adolescents build social, verbal, mathematical, and critical thinking skills. Hoping that she will be able to provide a new fun way for children to learn and grow in Northwest Arkansas, Melinda is working with the Teen Action and Support Center to create a Dungeons and Dragons program for its facility The Station in Springdale. Additionally, she is the guinea pig for the new practicum track in the department.

Interesting Facts

When not working with the department or studying, Melinda enjoys spending time with her husband and pets, an Australian Shepherd named Harley and an orange Tabby named Wesley. She also enjoys a hot cup of tea, a good book, and playing video games. She plays Dungeons and Dragons every week with her friends, and is currently working on creating her own D&D campaign from scratch.

 

 

 Hayden Lucas

Hayden Lucas


 Areas of Interest

  • Suicide Terrorism
  • Transformative Justice
  • Data Analysis

Bio

Hayden is a first year Graduate/Teaching Assistant pursuing a Master’s in Sociology with a concentration in Criminology. He received his B.A. in Criminology, and a minor in Sociology, at the University of Arkansas. His research focuses primarily on criminal law, specifically police policy and restorative justice.

Interesting Facts

For two and a half years of his undergraduate career, Hayden interned at a private Criminal Defense Law firm. He has an Australian Shepard/Lab pup named Opal, and enjoys spending time outdoors. Hayden has been an active pescatarian since January of 2019, and has also picked up on gardening in his free time.

 

 

 

 Evan Mudgett

Evan Mudgett


 Areas of Interest

  • Domestic Terrorism
  • Policing Methods/Strategies
  • Data Analysis

Bio

Evan is a second-year graduate student in the Department of Sociology with a concentration in Criminology. He received his B.A. in the spring of 2018 in Criminal Justice from the University of Arkansas. As a Graduate Assistant in the Terrorism Research Center, he hopes to build a strong research and data analysis foundation to carry into a career in the federal or private sector.

Interesting Facts

Evan grew up involved in the sport of wrestling and when he’s not on campus, Evan spends his time coaching a youth wrestling team in Fayetteville. He also enjoys watching sports and keeping active in the beautiful outdoors Northwest Arkansas is known for.

 

 Vianny Nolasco

Vianny Nolasco


 Areas of Interest

  • Race
  • Gender
  • Social Inequalities

Bio

Vianny is a Master’s student in sociology and graduate assistant. She received her B.A. in sociology from the University of Arkansas. Her research interests primarily lie in how race and gender effects lived realities.

Interesting Facts

During her undergraduate studies, Vianny played violin with the University of Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. In her free time, she likes to play piano, draw, and walk her dogs.

 

 Heather Parks

Heather Parks


 Areas of Interest

  • Community Development
  • Education
  • Gender
  • Poverty
  • Race
  • Social Inequality

Bio

Heather is a graduate student pursuing a Masters in Sociology in the Department of Sociology and Criminology at the University of Arkansas.  She is interested in addressing social inequality as well as researching how cultural, social, gender, racial, and economic factors influence education, particular with regards to the pursuance of higher education opportunities.  Heather received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Agricultural Business, Communications, and Sociology, from the University of Arkansas in 2018. She plans to pursue a PhD in Public Policy after completing her M.A.

 Interesting Facts

Heather enjoys hiking in the outdoors, gardening, cycling, running, crocheting, painting, board games, and knitting in her spare time.  She has four adorable rescues, two sweet dogs (named after Fleetwood Mac) and two very opinionated cats. Heather also enjoys music, both playing and attending shows, and is currently in the process of learning the bass guitar. 

 

 Jessica Paschal

Jessica Paschal


 Areas of Interest

  • Environmental Sociology
  • Social Inequality
  • Education Systems

Bio

Jessica is a first year Graduate Assistant pursuing a Masters in Sociology. Her research interests include environmental sociology and the intersection it plays with various social inequalities. Jessica received her B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Arkansas. Her ultimate goal is to further pursue a PhD in Sociology and a career as a researcher.

Interesting Facts

Jessica is a native Arkansan and an avid Razorback fan. She loves animals and has a tabby cat named Kora. She enjoys volunteering with organizations like the Animal Shelter and 99 balloons. She loves to travel and lived in France for a summer.

 

 Tiana Pearson

Tiana Pearson


 Areas of Interest

  • Corrections
  • Mental Health/ Public Health

Bio

Tiana is a second year master’s student in the Sociology and Criminology program at the University of Arkansas. Her areas of interest include corrections, and mental and public health. Tiana received her B.S. from Oregon State University in Psychology with a minor in Public Health. 

Interesting Facts

Tiana is from Wyoming and enjoys camping, hiking and hunting. In her free time she likes to attend concerts, and watch old movies with her black lab, Truffles.

 

 Veronica Pereira

Veronica Pereira


Areas of Interest:

  • Education System
  • Corporal Punishment
  • Restorative Justice and Restorative Practice
  • Human Rights, Poverty, and Community Development

Bio:

Veronica Pereira. First year of Master student in Sociology and Graduate Assistant. Graduate in May 2019 in Educational Studies, Minor in Sociology at the University of Arkansas. Research interest is in Sociological Impact in Education and Vice-Versa, also want to link the human rights in education focus on the corporal punishment at schools, especially in Timor-Leste, and also want to see these connection to poverty in the nation as well as how to build for a good community development. I will also looks at the restorative justice and/or restorative practice to study about what might be some alternative to corporal punishment.

Interesting Fact:

Travel and close to nature is my favorite. Obsessed to the ocean and sunset + sunrise. Making friends around the world is one of my goals, and I want to one day invite my friends from around the world to visit the Island of East Timor.

 

 Tara Richards

Tara Richards


 Areas of Interest

  • Gender Inequality
  • Community
  • Social Media Outlets

Bio

Tara is a M.A. student in the sociology department. In 2013 she earned her B.A. in Sociology from the University of the Ozarks located in Clarksville, Arkansas. Her undergraduate research focused on feminism and social media platforms. She has a passion for teaching. After graduation, Tara hopes to continue her education by earning a Ph.D. and find a teaching position in higher education.  

Interesting Facts

Tara grew up in the city of Las Vegas. She played tennis throughout high school and college. She has a Labrador-mixed pup named Lucy (Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds). She is a Beatles fanatic. Her favorite athletes are Serena Williams, Roger Federer, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. In her spare time, she enjoys running with her dog, painting, and traveling with her boyfriend.

 

 Abigale Rongey

Abigale Rongey  


 Areas of Interest

  • Rural communities
  • Responses to global climate change 
  • The influence of social media on society and perceptions of reality 

Bio

Abigale is a second year master's student in the University of Arkansas Sociology Master's Program.  With a history of political activism and research, as well as a B.A. in Sociology, her research interests include rural communities and access to justice; the way that rural communities are responding to global climate change; and the influence that constant exposure to mass media has on society.  During undergrad, Abigale worked with a team of students to implement comprehensive education regarding sexual assault and sexual violence on or near college campuses, and remains passionate about combating violence against vulnerable and underrepresented populations.  Abigale's eventual goal is to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology or Public Administration and to conduct research for governmental institutions or nonprofit organizations. 

Interesting Facts

Abigale loves the outdoors and spends much of her free time camping and hiking.  She also loves to travel and hopes to completely fill out her National Park Passport.

 

 Hannah Steinman

Hannah Steinman


 Areas of Interest

  • Environmental criminology
  • Terrorism
  • Statistics and Data Analysis

Bio

Hannah Steinman is a master’s student and graduate assistant in her first year of the criminology program. Her research interests include crime and victimization in a built environment and better understanding an environments influence within a geo-spatial context. Her undergraduate study was in criminal justice/ sociology and Arabic. Her undergraduate research looked at data driven approaches to crime and traffic safety. She plans to pursue a PhD after completing the M.A. program.

Interesting Facts

Hannah likes to travel, hike and backpack. When she is not out of cell service reach outside she enjoys going to concerts, listening to and playing music with her viola and guitar.

 

 Caitlin Tidwell

Caitlin Tidwell


 Areas of Interest

  • Social Media
  • Capital Punishment
  • The Right to Privacy 

Bio

Caitlin is a Master’s student in the Sociology & Criminology department. She is currently a Graduate Assistant within the department, holding a B.A. in Sociology and Criminology. Her research interest include human rights, particularly research concerning the injustices procured through capital punishment in our legal system Before obtaining her undergraduate degree, she had always considered our countries legal system to be just; however, courses at the University of Arkansas it became apparent that this is inaccurate.

Interesting Facts

Caitlin has been apart of the Sociology and Criminology department at the University of Arkansas since 2015. She always knew that the University of Arkansas was her home because she spent every fall on campus from the time of birth spectating the Razorback Football games. She specifically credits her professors throughout her undergraduate career for her love and continuance of education at the University of Arkansas.

 

 Angélica Villagrana

Angélica Villagrana


 Areas of Interest

  • Social justice & Human Rights
  • International Migration
  • Sociology of Latinx

Bio

I am a first year student pursuing my Master of Arts in Sociology as a Graduate Assistant. My research interests include: human rights, particularly those related to Mexican and Central American migrants coming to the US, and Sociology of Latinx, including Chicano Rights. I graduated with Honors from Univesidad Iberoamericana Puebla (Puebla, México) with a Law degree and later got a diploma on International Migration from El Colegio de la Frontera Norte (Tijuana, México). My ultimate goal is to pursue a PhD in Social Science or Latin-American Studies.  

Interesting Facts

I am married and have two dogs. On my free time I like to watch films and football soccer, go to concerts, read novels, paint and crafts.