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Dena Lagomarsino Sociology of Education alum

Dena Lagomarsino

MA in Sociology of Education Alumni in Action

What was your research focus?

Educators, sexuality, and social justice pedagogy

What was your thesis question and a few sentences about it?

For my thesis, "Living in the Contradictions," I was interested in understanding and illuminating the experiences of middle and high school educators who openly identify as both LGBT and/or queer, and as practitioners of culturally relevant, social justice-oriented pedagogy in their  work with marginalized youth. To explore these educators' intersecting personal and teacher identities, I conducted semi-structured, qualitative interviews and engaged with theories of change and resistance in the classroom. I found that my participants act as bridges for students along lines of race, class, sexuality, and gender, and that more studies are needed on both sociocultural impediments to educator efficacy and coming out/being outed in schools. 

Where are you now/anything you would like to say about how you got there?

Thanks to the rigorous yet supportive environment and mentors I found in NYU's SOED program, I am currently pursuing a sociology PhD through Tulane University's interdisciplinary City, Culture, and Community doctoral program. My research interests are continuing to develop from my time at NYU, and include gender and sexuality, power relations, education, and cultural trauma.