Brittany Dernberger is a Doctoral Candidate in Sociology at University of Maryland, College Park, where she studies social inequality and mobility. Her dissertation research focuses on the underemployment of college graduates, pathways from education to employment, and how job values have changed in the new economy. Recent publications include (1) comparing the transition process for LGBT people transitioning out of prison and the military 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 in 2017. 

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
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
4145 Art-Sociology Building
Department of Sociology
bdernber [at]