Dr. Brittany Dernberger recently finished her PhD in Sociology at University of Maryland, College Park. Brittany studies social inequality and mobility. Her dissertation research focused on the college-to-career transition and how college graduates interpret and respond to underemployment. Her work has appeared in Sociological Science, Sociological ImaginationContexts Magazine, and on a number of other blogs. Brittany's research has been featured in outlets such as The New York TimesThe Atlantic, and Ms. Magazine

Formerly, Brittany served for four years as the Assistant Director of the Grand Valley State University (GVSU) Center for Women and Gender Equity 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.

Areas of Interest

  • Social Inequality and Stratification
  • Occupations & Work
  • Gender
  • Family
  • Life Course


  • BA
    Sociology and Women & Gender Studies, Grand Valley State University
  • MPA
    Non-Profit Administration, Grand Valley State University
  • PhD
Co-Treasurer, Graduate Student Forum, January 2016 - May 2016
Co-President, Graduate Student Forum, May 2016 - May 2017
Graduate Student Brownbag Coordinator, Graduate Student Forum, May 2017 - May 2018
headshot of brittany dernberger
4145 Art-Sociology Building
Department of Sociology
bdernber [at] terpmail.umd.edu