Brittany Dernberger

Doctoral Student

Brittany Dernberger is a Doctoral Student in Sociology at University of Maryland, College Park, where she studies social inequality and mobility. Her research focuses on gender and sexuality, the changing nature of work, and how social institutions influence life outcomes. Examples of recent projects include (1) how social mobility varies perceptions of a "good job" and (2) public evaluations of military spouses as job candidates. 

Her work has appeared in Sociological ImaginationContexts Magazine, and on a number of other blogs. Brittany's research won the Irene B. Taeuber award for best PhD paper from the DC Sociological Society. Brittany is the Graduate Coordinator for SocArXiv and is the consulting Program Officer/Grants Analyst for the Steelcase Foundation. 

Formerly, Brittany served for four years as the Assistant Director of the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Women’s Center and taught in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at GVSU. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Women & Gender Studies and a Masters of Public Administration in Nonprofit Leadership from Grand Valley State University. Brittany has expertise in university community engagement, including designing and leading service-learning initiatives both domestically and in South Africa. Brittany also has significant experience addressing socio-economic concerns, previously working as a case manager for families experiencing homelessness and directing a Student Food Pantry to serve college students facing food insecurity.

When she's not reading and writing, Brittany can be found running, traveling, and exploring DC coffee shops. Brittany believes in the transformative power of education and community engagement, which is why she gets out of bed each morning.

Areas of Interest:
  • Social Capital
  • Social Inequality and Stratification
  • Gender
  • Sexuality
  • Veteran and Former Prisoner Reintegration
  • BA Sociology and Women & Gender Studies, Grand Valley State University
  • MPA Non-Profit Administration, Grand Valley State University
Campus -   Co-Treasurer, Graduate Student Forum, January 2016 - May 2016
Campus -   Co-President, Graduate Student Forum, May 2016 - May 2017
Campus -   Graduate Student Brownbag Coordinator, Graduate Student Forum, May 2017 - Present
  • headshot of Brittany
4145 Art-Sociology Building
Department of Sociology