Urban Network Doctoral Fellows 2015-2016

2015-2016 Urban Network Doctoral Fellows

Theresa Anasti is a PhD Candidate at the School of Social Service Administration.  Her doctoral research broadly focuses on how human service nonprofits are able to balance the demanding tasks of human service provision to vulnerable populations, representation of their client population to political and legal institutions, and advocacy on behalf of social justice principles.  Recognizing that it is a delicate balance to effectively pursue each of these tasks, Theresa is interested in how these nonprofits collaborate and interact with advocacy organizations that are specifically tasked with the representation and policy advocacy tasks that human service nonprofits may have less experience with.  Her current project examines the collaborations and interactions between advocacy organizations that represent and advocate on behalf of individuals in the sex trade, with human service organizations that are likely to provide services to members of this population. 

Prior to entering the PhD program, Theresa completed her B.A. in Psychology and Gender Studies at New York University, and her AM in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.  Professionally, Theresa has worked as a development associate for the NYC-based Pathways to Housing (a permanent housing program for homeless individuals with psychiatric disabilities and addiction disorders), a data and operations manager for the University of Chicago Survey Lab, and a bartender in a country-western themed dive bar.  She enjoys distance running, the Music Box Theatre, shelter dogs, and 1990s riot-grrrl bands.   

Emilio de Antuñano is a Ph.D. Candidate in History specializing in Latin American cities, urban planning and architecture, and the relationship between the social sciences, urban populations, and state institutions during the twentieth century. As a Social Sciences/Mellon Advanced Studies Fellow, Emilio is currently writing his dissertation, tentatively titled Containing a Mass City: Urban Planning People and Space in Mexico City, c. 1930-1950. This project explores Mexico City’s urban explosion and how different institutions and urban actors dealt with the challenge of exponential growth and the resulting massive city. Before moving to Chicago, Emilio earned a B.A. in International Relations from El Colegio de México. In addition to his historical research, Emilio loves exploring cities through literature and running. He considers himself lucky to have lived in Mexico City, Paris, and Chicago.    

Ashley J. Finigan is a doctoral student in the Department of History, where she focuses on 19th and 20th century U.S women's and gender history, African American history, and the modern United States. Other research interests include black women's histories, cultural history, print and musical cultures and black internationalism. As an Urban Doctoral Fellow, Ashley will continue to write and research for her dissertation project, which studies the the National Council of Negro Women, 1935-1975, investigating their charitable work aboard and the encouragement of members to see themselves as cosmopolitan, international black women, through their emphasis on Pan-Africanism.

Ashley has also worked as an archivist at  Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, the Newberry Library and the Vivian G. Harsh Collection of Afro-American History and Literature at the Carter G. Washington Branch of the Chicago Public Library. Before attending graduate school at the University of Chicago, Ashley received an M.A in African American Studies from Columbia University, taught high school history as a member of Teach for America and earned her B.A from Amherst College in History and Black Studies. In her spare time she enjoys letter writing and participating in book clubs.

Hanne Graversen is a third-year PhD student in the Department of Art History (2015–16). Her research focuses on the relationship between post-war artistic practice and architecture. She is particularly interested in the intersection of art, politics, and the built environment of 1960s and 70s America. Currently, she is working on a research project exploring the ways in which artists engaged with the construction of the US Interstate Highway system across a range of media and sites. Before joining the PhD program, Hanne received a BA in French and an MA in Film Studies from University College London, as well as an MA in Contemporary Art from Sotheby's Institute of Art, London.

Cayce Hughes is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology, with research interests including the sociology of privacy, urban poverty, social inequality, health and well-being, and culture. His dissertation is an ethnographic and interview-based study focusing on how low-income mothers in a high-poverty neighborhood in Houston, TX, negotiate privacy in their quest for public and private assistance to make ends meet. He is concurrently collecting data for the Houston component of a comparative study of social and organizational networks among low-income mothers in high-poverty neighborhoods in Houston, Chicago, and New York City. Other research asks how doctoral students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics make sense of the gender gap in their professional fields. Prior to coming to the University of Chicago, Cayce earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from New College of Florida and a Masters in Public Health from Temple University. 

Andrea L. Jenkins, known to many as "Dréa," is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociocultural & Linguistic Anthropology at the University of Chicago. Currently in the write-up stage, her ethnographic dissertation examines belonging and related social projects in urban American Indian education, especially Title VII programs, the federally-assisted supplemental education programs for American Indian students in non-tribal public schools. She theorizes, in part, that, in certain urban contexts, Title VII programs develop and persist as alternative social worlds, distinct spaces through which American Indian students can access both the educational and cultural building blocks needed to craft positive identities and pathways to success.

A former Fulbright grant recipient, she holds an M.A. from the University of Toronto and an Honors B.A. from the University of Michigan, and her past research affiliations include the American Indian Association of Illinois, the Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies, and Imagining America: Artists & Scholars in Public Life. Core to her ongoing work are studies of race and the intersection of multiple forms of marginalization (race/class/gender), K-12 and higher education, and public policy in domestic and comparative/global frameworks, with a particular emphasis on Native North America and the African diaspora.

Nicholas Kryczka is a third-year doctoral student in history, specializing in urban history and history of education.  His research places educational policy at the center of spatial histories of late-twentieth-century Chicago, exploring the role that schools and school reform played in episodes of renewal and gentrification in the urban core.  Magnet schools, which embodied legacies of desegregation and antecedents of school choice, are the focus of Nick’s current research.  In addition to histories of schools and cities, Nick has abiding interests in migration, immigration, oral history, and the place of history and the social sciences in K-12 education.

A lifelong Chicagoan, Nick worked for a decade as a high school teacher in the Chicago Public Schools, where he led course teams in U.S. History and Sociology and held elected positions on union committees.  He earned a B.A. in political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an M.A. in history at Northeastern Illinois University.  Nick’s time away from Chicago has included stints in Spain and Mexico, as well as journeys through Europe, Africa, India, and South America.  His time away from Hyde Park is spent on the Northwest Side where he raises a family and works with his neighbors and his alderman on issues of local concern.

Zhiying Ma is a Ph.D. candidate at the Departments of Comparative Human Development and of Anthropology at the University of Chicago, trained in cultural, medical, and psychological anthropology. Her dissertation research, consisting of 32 months of fieldwork from 2008 to 2014, has been funded by the Mellon Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS, the Ford Foundation, the Association for Asian Studies, and the Lemelson Foundation, among others. It examined how the Chinese medico-legal field configures the role of the family in psychiatric care, and the implications such configurations have on postsocialist ethics of care and politics of population governance. She is currently writing up the dissertation.

Ms. Ma is also engaged in a new project on the emerging community mental health apparatus in China. As an Urban Network Doctoral Fellow, she will work on an article on how the translation of global mental health knowledge and the circulation of numbers create “community” as a new public health infrastructure.

Natalia Pavlou is a fourth year PhD student at the Department of Linguistics. Prior moving to Chicago, she got her research MA in Linguistics in the UK and her BA in English Language and Literature in Cyprus. Her research focuses on the understanding of the human language faculty, by using methodologies of theoretical and experimental linguistics. She has participated in projects investigating the acquisition of language by Greek Cypriot children and their path of acquisition of specific grammatical phenomena. She has also worked in the field of theoretical syntax, studying the grammar of Greek and Cypriot Greek. She is always excited for new projects and ideas for interdisciplinary work and this is what she will be targeting with her participation in the program. 

Alicia Riley's research as a doctoral student in Sociology has focused on urban poverty. Her qualifying paper explores how race and neighborhood disadvantage interact to influence residential mobility among older adults in the U.S. She also co-designed a mixed methods study with Professor Forrest Stuart on the influence of social media on how youth navigate gun violence in Chicago. Alicia is especially interested in urban neighborhoods for what they can reveal about racial inequality, social disadvantage, and the consequences for health and mortality.

Prior to doctoral studies, Alicia worked on health issues facing Latino communities in the U.S. and Mexico. She completed a M.P.H. degree in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Johns Hopkins University and a M.A. in Latin American Studies at Stanford University, where she also earned her B.A.