2013-2014 Ph.D. Fellows


Ph.D. Fellows 2013-14

Susan Biancani

Susan Biancani is a PhD candidate in the Organization Studies program in the Graduate School of Education. She holds a MA in Sociology and a MS in Computer Science, both from Stanford. Originally from Warwick, RI, Susan spent five years teaching middle school science in New York City. During the summers, she led wilderness backpacking and canoeing expeditions in northern Maine. She lives in San Francisco with her husband. Their hobbies include long weekend bike rides and cooking for their friends. Susan's research focuses on Wikipedia as a manifestation of the public sphere. It has a radically different authority structure than most productive organizations, relying on the development and enforcement of social norms among its user community. Yet with this loose structure, Wikipedia is able to produce a high-quality, freely available reference work of unprecedented scope and scale. Susan uses computational techniques for data collection and analysis to investigate how the Wikipedia editor community maintains the quality of the encyclopedia's content, removing poor quality contributions, and encouraging and instructing one another in the production of high quality contributions.

 

Christof Brandtner

Christof Brandtner is a doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. He holds a BS in Economics, Business, and Social Science from the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), Austria. Before coming to Stanford, Christof investigated the proliferation of urban strategies as a research assistant of Renate E. Meyer at the Institute for Urban Management and Governance (WU), and studied public sector reform in the European Union at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO). His research focus on organizational and economic sociology reflects his professional experience: Christof has coordinated two non-governmental organizations, worked in a training facility for handicapped youth, and assisted in the implementation of a novel performance management system at the Federal Chancellery of Austria. An exchange semester at the University of Hong Kong spurred his interest in global cities and urban sustainability, as well as his passion for travel, culture, and cooking. At PACS, he aims to study the changing institutional environment of nonprofit organizations, with an emphasis on the rise of comparative, publicly available metrics of organizational performance and social impact. More generally, Christof is interested in the dynamics of social change, the global diffusion of organizational practices, and how institutions structure organizational behavior.

 

Marion Coddou

Marion Coddou, a PhD candidate in Sociology, studies the civic and political engagement of marginalized groups through community based organizations like churches, unions, and nonprofit service agencies. Her dissertation builds on understandings of the black church as an important mobilizing institution during the Civil Rights Movement to examine how churches differentially shape the mobilization of Latino immigrants and their children into politics and community organizing today. Using national survey data, ethnographic fieldwork, and in depth interviews, she compares the civic socialization and recruitment dynamics in churches to that of other secular community organizations to determine how access to political opportunities and level of involvement may vary by socioeconomic background, immigration status, and organizational context. She received a B.A. in Sociology at Vanderbilt University and studied at Universidad de Buenos Aires and Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales in Argentina Her interest in the dynamics behind immigrant collective action is informed by her experiences organizing a living wage campaign in college and subsequent work in communications for a Vietnamese nonprofit seeking to influence the U.S. State Department. She is currently conducting fieldwork in San Francisco.

 

Peggy Fan

Peggy Fan studies how and why citizens participate in associational and political life from a theoretical and an institutional perspective of education. She is particularly interested in the variation of participation patterns across countries and the development of civil society and educational policy, with a regional focus is on East Asia. Her current work involves a longitudinal, cross-national study of secondary school textbooks, which examines how the discussions of values related to citizenship change over time in the context of national and global trends. Her dissertation focuses on an analysis of youth participation worldwide and a case study on college students in China. She received her B.A. in Women and Gender Studies from Amherst College and M.Sc. in Comparative International Education from Oxford University. Prior to Stanford, she worked in UNESCO and UNAIDS as graduate interns, as well grassroots NGOs in US/China that focused on human rights and advocacy for HIV/AIDS.

 

Yula Paluy

Yula Paluy, a PhD Candidate in Psychology, studies how capitalizing on uniquely human characteristics may undo dehumanization, and reduce intergroup and interpersonal conflict. Her research shows that humor is considered to be a uniquely human attribute, one that people believe is not shared with non-human beings nor with people on the other side of racial, political, and national divides. By denying that others have uniquely human attributes, we effectively dehumanize them. Importantly, providing people with evidence of an adversarial other’s capacity for uniquely human attributes “re”-humanizes them, de-escalates conflict, and increases pro-social behaviors, such as charity. These humanizing effects persist over time, demonstrating humor’s potential to effect long-term change. In her dissertation work, she is leveraging mobile technology to weave humanizing interventions into people’s daily lives, and thus promote individual and societal wellbeing. Yula received a B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University. Prior to coming to Stanford, she conducted research at UC Berkeley, examining color categorization in healthy adults and in patients recovering from post-stroke language loss.

 

Teaching Fellow 2013-14

Brian Coyne

Brian Coyne is a Political Science PhD candidate studying political theory. His dissertation, currently in progress, addresses how the liberal principle of legitimacy can be revised to take into account the involvement of non-state actors, such as NGOs and corporations, in governance around the world. 

His other research interests include public reason, global justice, and representation. He has been a graduate fellow at the Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society and served as a Teaching Assistant for Justice, Global Justice, the Ethics and Politics of Public Service, and Theories of Civil Society, Philanthropy, and the Non-Profit Sector.

 

 

Post Doctoral Fellows 2013-14

Yan Long

Yan Long (PhD, Sociology and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan) works at the intersection of transnational institutions, contentious politics and community participation. Her research analyzes how emerging global health governance, as a technocratic institutional model, affects national political systems and community health development. It takes on one of the major theoretical impasses in comparative politics, international relations, and global health, examining the dynamics between global governance and strong national regimes by focusing on AIDS activism in China. Across a range of issues such as disease control, state violence, political participation, and community advocacy, she show the uneven and power-laden transnational relationships that constitute the actorhood of international organizations, states, and local communities. Yan is currently working on her book manuscript, tentative titled Challenging or Sustaining Authoritarian Rule: The Paradox of Global Health Governance and the AIDS Movement in China, 1989-2012, which centers around why the institutionalization of transnational AIDS governance accounted for both the surge and decline of AIDS NGOs in China. She has also written on long-term medical care for the elderly in China. As a postdoctoral fellow at the PACS, Yan will expand her research to nonprofit organizational studies and help to grow PACS presence in China.

Andrew K. Woods

Andrew K. Woods is an incoming postdoctoral fellow at Stanford PACS, a current fellow at Stanford Law School, and a cybersecurity fellow at CISAC. He holds a JD from Harvard Law School and a PhD in Politics from the University of Cambridge. His research focuses on unconventional and nascent regulatory regimes, with a particular emphasis on transnational issues.  His work at CISAC focuses on cybersecurity. 

His co-edited volume, Understanding Social Action, Promoting Human Rights, will be published by Oxford University Press this fall (co-edited with Ryan Goodman and Derek Jinks). His scholarly articles include "A Behavioral Approach to Human Rights" and "Moral Judgments & International Crimes: The Disutility of Desert.” His writing has been featured in the Financial Times, the International Herald Tribune, and Slate.

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