The Comparative Human Development graduate program prepares students for a full range of professional careers. The department produces graduates who take academic positions in a variety of departments, reflecting the interdisciplinary nature of their human development training: departments of anthropology, biology, education, human development, policy, psychology, sociology, social work, and other related fields. Graduates have also taken postdoctoral or other fellowship programs as their first academic posts. Additionally, some of our graduates have taken full-time research or consulting positions in non-profit organizations, government agencies, and in the business sector. The following list demonstrates this diversity and covers the dissertation titles and current job placements of some of our alumni.

You may also view the complete list of past dissertations since 1989.


Sami Abuhamdeh

Visiting Assistant Professor, American University in Cairo
Dissertation: What Makes an Intrinsically Motivated Activity Intrinsically Motivated: The Role of Challenge

Karen Hunt Ahmed

DePaul University, College of Commerce
Dissertation: The "Business" of Culture: Morality and Practice in Islamic Finance

Jacqueline Allen

Dissertation: From "Stinkin" Thinkin'" to "Easy Does It": Narratives of Enculturation and Psychological Transformation in Alcoholics Anonymous

Michael Axelman

CARE Parenting & Child Counseling
Dissertation: The Rational Experiences of African-American Adolescents and the Role of Significant Adults: An Examination of Teenage Lives During the Transition to High School

Sue Bae

American School of Professional Psychology
Dissertation: The Experience of Professional Autonomy among Psychotherapists in Korea and the West
Research: Cross-cultural psychology, cultural diversity, and development of psychotherapists

Deanna Barenboim

Dissertation: Belonging Out of Place: Navigating ‘Illegality’ and Indigeneity in Migrant Maya California

Will Bennis

University of New York in Prague
Dissertation: Experience, Values, Beliefs, and the Sociocultural Context In Gambling Decision Making: A Field Study of Casino Blackjack
Research: Cultural and cognitive influences on subjective assessments of what is rational or objective, focusing on gamblers' beliefs about winning and how/why these beliefs differ across the two cultures and from normative models of optimal decision making.

Sam Bergmann

University of Texas at Austin, B.A. Humanities, Psychology

Research: GLBT development and families, the construction of self and identity, developmental psychopathology

Elise Berman

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Dissertation: Children Have Nothing to Hide: Deception, Age, and Avoiding Giving in the Marshall Islands
Research: Linguistic, cultural, and psychological anthropology; childhood; intercultural communication; international and comparative education; semiotic analyses of deception, truth, and knowledge; adoption, kinship, and families; personhood; Oceania and the Marshall Islands, Latin America, K'iche' Maya, Guatemala

Ronan Surtida Bernas

Eastern Illinois University, Department of Psychology
Dissertation: Choosing and Maintaining a Position on a Socio-moral Issue: An Argumentative Reasoning Approach

Matthew Bird

Universidad del Pacifico
Dissertation: The Other Paths: Cultural Economics, Comparative Economic Performance, and the Formation of Capitalist Mentalities in Lima Peru

Mark Blumberg

University of Iowa, Department of Psychology
Research: Interactions between sex and thermoregulation in the male rat

Lihanna Borhan

University of Malaya, Department of Educational Psychology and Counseling
Dissertation: Self-Image of Malaysian Adolescents

Lara Braff

Dissertation: Re/conceiving Personhood: The Localization of Assisted Reproductive Technologies in Mexico City
Research: Psychological and medical anthropology; science studies; biological and social reproduction; kinship theory; Mexico

Rachel S. Brezis

Post-Doctoral Fellow, Interdisciplinary Studies of Culture and Neuroscience, Foundation for Psychocultural Research, UCLA
Dissertation: Social and Non-Social Memory in Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Research: Developmental psychology, autism, neuropsychology, cultural development, personal and social memory, religious development, neurobiological underpinnings of acculturation, Israel, India

Nicole Brodsky

Independent film producer for educational television
Dissertation: Art imitates life imitates art: Evolving themes in the lives and works of creative artists

Jason Bruck

Dissertation: New Perspectives on Dolphin Whistles: Evaluating Signal Context, Categorization and Memory
Research: Comparative animal behavior; long-term social recognition and communication in dolphins; spatial learning and memory in ground squirrels

Susan Bullivant

Dissertation: Perception of emotion in faces: mood, personality, menstrual cycle phase and breastfeeding chemosignals
Research: Biological psychology and psychotherapy research

Joseph Calabrese

University College London
Dissertation: Mirror of the Soul: Cultural Psychiatry, Moral Socialization and the Development of the Self in the Native American Church

Julia Cassaniti

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Washington State University
Dissertation: Control in a World of Change: Emotion and Morality in a Northern Thai Town

In-Soo Choe

Sungkyunkwan University, Department of Psychology
Dissertation: Motivation, Subjective Experience, Family and Academic Achievement in Korean High School Students

Cindy Dell Clark

Penn State University, Human Development and Family Studies
Dissertation: The Cultural Psychology of Christmas and Easter-with Special Reference to Children
Research: Children, culture and the imagination

Amy E. Cooper

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Muhlenberg College
Dissertation: Vital Politics: Medicine and Citizenship in Venezuela
Research: Sociocultural anthropology, medicine, the body, citizenship, political practice, everyday life, social theory, Latin America (Venezuela)

Suzanne Cox

Beloit College, Department of Psychology
Dissertation: Attachment in Preterm Infants and Their Mothers: Neonatal Risk Status and Maternal Representations
Research: Infant attachment; developmental psychology; women's studies

Bianca Dahl

Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Toronto University
Dissertation: Left Behind: Orphaned Children and the Politics of Kinship, Culture, and Caregiving during Botswana's AIDS Crisis
Research: Sociocultural and medical anthropology; transnational development; orphaned children; the HIV/AIDS epidemic; kinship; social change; non-governmental organizations; Botswana

Elizabeth Davies

University of St. Francis
Dissertation: Retrospective Reevaluation of Personally Salient Events: A Longitudinal Study

Eric S. De Vos

Professor of Psychology, Saginaw Valley State University
Dissertation: Complications of Labor: Newborn Behavioral Correlates, and Prenatal Psychological Mediation

David Scott DeBoer

Associate Director of the Wellness Center, Loyola University Chicago
Dissertation: Vicissitudes of Hope in the Lazarus Effect: Psychological Responses of HIV-Positive Gay Men in the Post Era of HIV and AIDS
Research: Psychological responses of HIV-positive gay men in the post era of HIV and AIDS

Daryl Mortensen Dugas

Dissertation: Becoming Adult/Becoming Teacher: Classroom Management as a Site of Tension in Negotiating Emerging Identities
Research: Developmental psychology, education, teacher education, transition to adulthood, teacher development, rites of passage

Sarah Sellergren Dunn

Executive Director, Suicide Prevention Action Network of Teton Valley, ID
Owner, Sarah Dunn Medical Counseling and Consulting, LLC, Driggs, ID
Dissertation: Living With Increased Risk for Breast and Ovarian Cancer: Do Religion and Spirituality Influence Health Behavior?

Christine Nutter El Ouardani

Dissertation: Discipline and Development: Negotiating Childhood and Authority in Rural Morocco
Research: Violence; childhood and child psychiatry; rural development; Islam; Morocco, North Africa and the Middle East; sociocultural, medical and psychological anthropology

Johanne Eliacin

Post-doctoral resident in Clinical Psychology at Cornell University
Dissertation: An Ethnographic Study of the "Epidemic" of Schizophrenia Among African-Caribbeans in England
Research: Clinical psychology; psychological and medical anthropology; Caribbean studies; African diaspora; gender; immigration studies

Richard Epstein

Department of Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University
Dissertation: Beyond the Yellow Door: Outcome and Follow-Up Studies in a Residential Treatment Center

Allison Fasoli

Dissertation: Moral psychology and the socialization of helping in evangelical Christian families
Research: Cultural psychology and Psychological anthropology; language socialization; theories of morality and moral development; evangelical Christianity in the United States

Elizabeth Fein

Lecturer in the Department of Comparative Human Development, University of Chicago
Postdoctoral Fellow, SociAbility
Dissertation: The Machine Within: An Ethnography of Asperger's syndrome, Biomedicine, and the Paradoxes of Identity and Technology in the Late Modern United States
Research: Clinical, cultural, and critical psychology; psychological anthropology; sociology of neuroscience; neurodevelopmental disorders

Brent Finger

Postdoctoral Associate, SUNY Buffalo
Dissertation: Exploring the Intergenerational Transmission of Attachment Disorganization
Research: Psychoanalytic theory; infant/child-parent attachment; developmental psychopathology; substance abuse; narrative psychology

Alan Fiske

UCLA, Department of Anthropology
Research: How culture, psychology, and natural selection operate together to shape human sociality

Guy Christopher Fricano

University of Chicago
Dissertation: Max Weber's theory of Charisma and the Catholic Charismatic Renewal: An examination of fit leading to a proposed complementariness with Mircea Eliade's Phenomenology of Religion
Research: Charisma and leadership; psychological anthropology of Catholicism; long-term adaptation to illness; health psychology

Heidi Fung

Academia Sinica, Taipei, Institute of Ethnology
Dissertation: The Socialization of Shame in Young Chinese Children
Research: Self construction through narrative practices

Holly Furdyna

UCLA's Center for Culture and Health
Dissertation: Parential Behavioral Control in Response to Neighborhood Adversity: Positive and Negative Effects on Adolescent Rick Behavior, Peer Relationships, and Emotional Wellbeing
Research: Ethnographic study of African-descended urban youth; culture and autonomy during the transition to adulthood

Susan Gans

West Chester University, Department of Psychology
Research: LH and lordosis: Sources of individual differences

Lawrence Gianinno

Child Development Department, Tufts University
Dissertation: Children's understandings of everyday economic practices

Christine L. Glover

McHenry County College
Dissertation: What Women Want: The Role of the Social Environment on Romantic Partner Preferences
Research: Effects of social support on women's partner preferences in romantic relationships, integrating evolutionary psychology and attachment theory with more traditional social psychological and sociological models of romantic relationship formation and maintenance

Lainie (Ilaina) Goldwert

Dissertation: Somatic Hope: Practice, Persuasion & the Body-Self in North American Yoga Therapy
Research: Psychological & medical anthropology; clinical psychology; clinical ethnography; conceptions of the body in health and healing practices; yoga in the US

David Scott Gortner

Virginia Theological Seminary
Dissertation: Varieties of Young Adult Personal Theologies: Content, formative Influences, and Current Relationships to Everyday Life

Jim Goss

Research Consultant, UX Product Development Group LLC
Dissertation: Speech-gesture Mismatches and Dynamic Coordination I Schizophrenia
Research: Psychopathology; psycholinguistics; psychiatric anthropology

Andrew Guest

University of Portland, Department of Psychology
Dissertation: Cultural processes of psychosocial competence and middle childhood: Play, self-esteem, and teamwork in two distinct impoverished communities
Research: Cultural psychology of doing good, particularly in relation to sport, the development enterprise, and education

Phil Hammack

University of California Santa Cruz, Department of Psychology
Dissertation: The Narrative Stalemate: Conflict, Identity and the Cultural Psychology of Israeli and Palestinian Adolescence
Research: Identity development during adolescence and emerging adulthood; cultural psychology of adolescence; sexual orientation, sexual identity, and life-course development; culture and identity formation in the context of ethnopolitical conflict, war, and terrorism; youth and coexistence education in Israel and the Palestinian territories

Andrew Harlem

California Institute of Integral Studies, Clinical Psychology Program
Dissertation: The Making of the 'Culturally Competent' Psychologist: A Study of Educational Discourse and Practice

Joel Hektner

North Dakota State University, Department of Child Development and Family Science
Dissertation: Exploring Optimal Personality Development: A Longitudinal Study of Adolescents

Gretchen Hermes

Yale, Department of Psychiatry
Dissertation: The Embodiment of Social Isolation: Bio-Behavioral Systems, Pre-Disease Pathways, and Patterns of Aging
Research: Psychosocial contexts and health; religion and healing; psychoanalysis

Jacob R. Hickman

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Brigham Young University
Dissertation: Morality and Personhood in the Hmong Diaspora: A Person-Centered Ethnography of Migration and Resettlement
Research: Medical anthropology; cultural-psychological adaptations in refugee and immigrant communities; transnationalism, Hmong diaspora, ethnic identity, moral beliefs; hybridity and syncretism; Messianic religion and Revitalization movements; folk health beliefs; person-centered ethnography; Thailand and Southeast Asia

Christy Hoffman

Assistant Professor, Canisius College
Dissertation: Costs of reproduction among rhesus macaque females on Cayo Santiago
Research: Behavioral and hormonal aspects of aging in rhesus monkeys; comparative behavioral biology

Randall Horton

Department of Psychology, Seattle University, Department of Psychology
Dissertation: Refining Theory and Practice in the Cultural Psychology of Emotion: Tibetan Anger and the Roots of the Modern Tibetan Commitment to Non-Violence.

Pinky Hota

Assistant Professor, Smith College
Dissertation: Affecting Violence: Development, Religion and Indigeneity in Kandhamal
Research: Anthropology of the body; affect and aesthetics; political mobilizations; indigeneity; postcolonialism; South Asia

Ryoko Imai

User Researcher, Hitachi Instruments Corporation Inc.
Charity begins abroad: Considerations of when to give, when not to give, and who is worthy
Research: Attribution of blame; construction of victim identity; reinterpretation of past events

Jason Ingersoll

China Specialist Ethnographer, consultant
Dissertation: Depression, Subjectivity, and the Embodiment of Suffering in Urban Reform China
Research: Globalization; social change; psychiatric anthropology; China

Annette Iskra

Xavier University of Louisiana
Dissertation: Nobody Wins: Psychological Effects of War and Repatriation in Croatia

Katie Jenness

Dissertation: The Collapsing Self: Psychoanalysis in American Life, 1946 to the Present
Research: Social studies of psychiatry and psychotherapy; historical sociology of psychoanalysis; psychoanalytic theory; phenomenology; clinical psychology

Lene Arnett Jensen

Clark University, Department of Psychology
Dissertation: Different Habits, Different Hearts: Orthodoxy and Progressivism in the United States and India

Eunsun Joo

Duksung Women's University in Seoul, Korea, Department of Psychology
Dissertation: The psychotherapeutic relationship in Korea: Cross-national and internal cultural comparison

Craig Joseph

Templeton Foundation
Dissertation: The Virtues as a Cultural Domain: a Study of Arabic-Speaking Muslims

Ernst Karel

Harvard University, Department of Anthropology, Film Study Center
Dissertation: Kerala Sound Electricals: Amplified sound and cultural meaning in South India

Layla Kassem

Research Associate, NIH
Dissertation: Psychotherapy Between Two Cultures: A Portrait of Psychotherapists in Egypt

Leann Helka Kinnunen

Dissertation: Evidence Concerning the Etiology of Sexual Orientation in Human Males: Differential Effects of Fluoxetine on Cerebral Glucose Metabolism of Exclusively Homosexual and Exclusively Heterosexual Men

Michele Koven

University of Illinois, Department of Speech Communication
Dissertation: French-Portuguese Bilinguals' Enactments of Self In Two Languages

Hallie Kushner

Dissertation: Substance Users and the Psychiatric Role of the Emergency Department
Research: Ethics and clinical psychology; qualitative suicide assessment; confluence of mental health and hospital care

John Lucy

University of Chicago, Committee on Human Development
Research: Comparative and developmental perspectives on language and thought

Jocelyn Marrow

Postdoctoral Scholar Stanford University, Department of Anthropology
Dissertation: Psychiatry, Modernity and Family Values: Clenched Teeth Illness in North India
Research: India, family, emotion, distress, mental illness

Julie Mennella

Monell Chemical Senses Center
Research: Social control of infanticidal behavior in rats

Usha Menon

Drexel University, Department of Culture and Communications
Dissertation: Receiving and giving: Distributivity as the source of women's well being

Joan Miller

New School University, Department of Psychology
Research: Cultural influences on social cognition and social development

Judith Marsha Mintz

Dissertation: The Social Construction of Self-esteem: Narrative Discourse Practices among Parents and Preschool Children in a Middle-class European-American Community

Neely Anne Laurenzo Myers

Professorial Lecturer in Anthropology, Research Instructor in International Affairs, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, George Washington University
Dissertation: Culture of Recovery: Schizophrenia, the United states Mental Health Care System, and the American Ethos of the Self-Made Man
Research: Psychiatric/medical anthropology; social change; cultural components of recovery from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; recovery models in the mental health system; alternative systems of mental health care

Olin E (Gene) Jr. Myers

Western Washington University, Department of Environmental Studies
Dissertation: Young Children's Sense of Connection to Animals: The Developmental Basis of an Ecological Self
Research: Conservation psychology; human development and non-human animals; environmental identity; environmental education

Jeanne Nakamura

Claremont Graduate University, Quality of Life Research Center
Dissertation: Sustaining Engagement: Continuity and Change into Later Life

Patrick Nicoletti

St. Joseph's College Connecticut, Department of Human Development and Family Studies
Dissertation: The impact of social status on preschoolers' display of direct and ritualized responses to peer conflict

Douglas Novotny

Dissertation: The Interpersonal Significance of Conflicting Messages in Couple Communication: An Examination of Relational Patterns Among Adolescent African-American Expectant Parents in Chicago

Charles Nuckolls

University of Alabama, Department of Anthropology
Research: Psychology anthropology; a study of divination and concepts of suffering in a fishing village in India

Suzanne Pelka

UCLA Center for Society and Genetics. Postdoctoral Fellow.
Dissertation: Lesbian Couples Using In-Vitro Fertilization to Co-Mother: A Cultural Study of Biological Ties

Lara C. Perez-Felkner

Assistant Professor of Higher Education and (by courtesy) Sociology
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Florida State University
Dissertation: Cultivating College Dreams: Social Pathways to Educational Attainment

Nadia Persun

Dissertation: Choosing Marriage or Cohabitation: Understanding Psychosocial Precedents and Effects on Personal and Relationship Satisfaction
Research: Close interpersonal relationships, intimacy and sexuality. Mental health: family systems and personal resilience

Sarah Van Deusen Phillips

Project Coordinator for Human Rights, Center for Research Libraries - Global Resources Network
Dissertation: When Looking is Listening: Gesture, Multi-Modal Language, and the Socialization of Deaf Children in Castellano-Speaking Families

Aarti Pyati

Case Western Reserve University, Counselor
Dissertation: Going the Cultural Distance: Worldview-relevant counseling at India's Premiere Psychiatric Institute

Jill Reichman

Dissertation: The Relationship of Acculturation and Folk Medical Beliefs in Recently Emigrated Mexican Nationals

Jerome Richardson

Deputy Director Department of Performance Management at Illinois Department of Public Health
Dissertation: Maternal Teaching Strategies: Their Impact beyond the Task Being Taught
Research: Substance abuse research with an emphasis on ethnic minority populations

Barnaby B. Riedel

Senior Research & Planning Associate - Strategy consultant
Dissertation: The Character Conjuncture: Islamic Education and its Social Reproduction in the United States
Research: Cultural psychology; moral development; psychology/anthropology of religion; Islam

James Roney

University of California Santa Barbara Department of Psychology
Dissertation: Psychological and Hormonal Responses of Men to Sensory Cues from Women (William Henry Prize)
Research: Evolutionary psychology, human mating

Shana Fruehan Sandberg

Research Writer, Workforce Studies, AAMC
Dissertation: Embodying Intimacy: Premarital Romantic Relationships, Sexuality, and Contraceptive Use Among Young Women in Contemporary Tokyo
Research: Sex, gender, and culture; Reproductive health and contraceptive use; Qualitative research methods; Japan.

Shaifali Sandhya

Alder School of Professional Psychology
Dissertation: A Study of Hindu Married Couples: The Role of Family Living Arrangements and Gender in Maintaining Happiness and Well-Being
Research: South Asian families and marriage with an upcoming book by Random House

Keith Sawyer

Washington University, Department of Education
Dissertation: The Performance of Pretend Play: Enacting Peer Culture in Conversation
Research: Conversational analysis and improvisation

Brian Schiff

American University of Paris, Department of Psychology
Dissertation: Telling Survival and the Holocaust

Lilah Shapiro

Visiting Assistant Professor, Northwestern University
Dissertation: Driven to Orthodoxy: Jewish Identity and Narratives of Exceptionalism, Essentialism, and the Family in American Jewish Culture as Motivations of "Conversion" to Orthodox Judaism
Research: Sociology, social psychology, cultural psychology, qualitative methods, religion, ethnicity, identity, assimilation and immigration, ethnicity and biology, diasporas and transnationalism, adolescence and young adulthood, life story, narrative

Benjamin Smith

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Vassar College
Dissertation: Language and the Emergence of Masculine Potency in Peruvian Aymara Boyhood
Research: Language and selfhood in middle childhood; reflexivity in language; evidentiality, modality, and reported speech; Andean languages and cultures; American psychotherapies; therapeutic discourse

David Paul Smith

Clinical practice in Chicago
Dissertation: Patterns of religion experience among psychotherapists and their relation to therapeutic orientation

Kerri Smith

Molecular Biology Group at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research
Research: Paternal kinship and social interactions among female yellow baboons

Stephanie Buttacavoli Sosa

Research Scientist II, Psychiatry, Columbia/New York State Psychiatric Institute
Dissertation: Emotion Display Rules and Well-Being in Small Town Yucatan: How Adaptive Emotion Response Alternatives Vary By Cultural Context

Amy Sousa

Managing Consultant and Senior Research Analyst at The Hartman Group
Dissertation: Pragmatic Ethics, Sensible Care: Psychiatry and Schizophrenia in North India

Kathy Stern

Clinical Trials Research at Abbott labs
Research: Pheromonal effects on human menstrual cycle

Brigitta Stolpe

Currently in a 10 year project documenting the cultural changes among tribal Kenyan villagers resulting from expansion of the national highway system, funded by the World Fund.
Dissertation: Cultural endocrinology: Menarch, Modernity and the Transformative Powers of Social Reconfigurations

Margarita Tarragona

Universidad Iberoamericanas Tijuana
Research: In search of family therapists: Who are they and what do they do?

Gregory Thompson

Visiting Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University
Dissertation: The Role of Interpersonal Recognition in Learning: Case Studies of Tutoring Interactions Between University Undergraduates and Inner-City High School Students.
Research: Developmental psychology; linguistic anthropology; development of "voice" in adolescence; language and identity in developmental perspective; the development of a "recognizable" self

Ning Wang

Arizona State University, School of Global Studies
Dissertation: The Making of a Market Economy: The Institutional Transformation of a Freshwater Fishery in a Chinese Community
Research: Political economy of China; structure of production; economic development

Jay M. Williams

Dissertation: Cultural Performance: The Personal and Collective Negotiation of Ethnic Identity through Powwow and Taiko Drumming in Chicago
Research: Ethnic identity development, globalization, indigenous rights, drumming, communication & identity

Stanton Wortham

University of Pennsylvania, School of Education
Dissertation: Participant Examples and Classroom Interaction

Wenping Xue

Dissertation: Meaning in transmission: A case study of the psychological consequences of globalized consumption in China

Jason Yee

Postdoctoral Fellow, Brain-Body Center, University of Illinois at Chicago
Dissertation: Health and Sociality: Exploring Bidirectional Relationships Between Behavior and Physiology from a Systems Perspective
Research: Developmental psychobiology; behavioral neuroendocrinology; animal behavior; social role and temperament; social isolation; cancer