Department of Sociology
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
155 Hamilton Hall, CB 3210
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
2020 Ph.D. Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dissertation: “Major Questions: Reproducing Inequality through College Major Decisions.”
2017 M.A. Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
2013 B.A. Sociology, Furman University
Minors: Poverty Studies, Latin American Studies
Summa cum laude
RESEARCH AND TEACHING INTERESTS
Education, stratification, race/class/gender, family, civic engagement/volunteering, social psychology, teaching and learning, mixed methods (qualitative methods and statistics)
Gillis, Alanna. 2019. “Identity Exploration or Labor Market Reaction: Social Class Differences in College Student Participation in Peace Corps, Teach for America, and Other Service Programs.” Qualitative Sociology 42(4): 615-638. [Link and PDF]
*2019 Graduate Contributions to the Sociological Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Award, ASA Section for Teaching
MANUSCRIPTS UNDER REVIEW AND IN PREPARATION
Gillis, Alanna. Major Questions: How Students Should Choose Their Colleges Majors. (Book proposal; revising and resubmitting proposal for University of Chicago Press)
Nilsen, Ryan, Alanna Gillis, Bryant Hutson, and Lynn Blanchard. “From Reflection to Resumes: Alumni Perceptions of a Multi-Term Public Service Program’s Connection to Career.” (Revise and Resubmit)
Gillis, Alanna, and Renee Ryberg. “Is Choosing a Major Choosing a Career or Interesting Courses?: Stability and Change in Orientations to College Majors.” (Under Review)
Gillis, Alanna and Laura Krull (equal authorship). “Class Structures, Student Perceptions, and Inequality in the Spring 2020 Emergency Transition to Remote Learning in Higher Education.” (Under Review)
Gillis, Alanna. “Choosing a Major is Not an Individual Choice: How Institutions, Interactions, and Identity Processes Shape College Major Decisions.” (Draft available)
Gillis, Alanna. “Beyond Diverging Preferences and Chilly Climate: Why Gender and Racial Segregation in College Majors Increase During the First Year of College.” (Draft available)
Gillis, Alanna, and Renee Ryberg. “Inequality in College Student Academic and Social Experiences during Spring 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic.” (In progress)
Gillis, Alanna, and Renee Ryberg. 2020. “Housing Insecurity at Elite Universities during the COVID-19 Pandemic.” Sociology of Education Section Newsletter.
FELLOWSHIPS AND AWARDS
2020 Wilson Teaching Award, Sociology Department, UNC-CH
2019 Summer Research Fellowship, Graduate School at UNC-CH, $5,000
2019 GPSF Travel Award, UNC-CH
2018 UNC Sociology Department Pilot Study Grant, $500
Department of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Instructor of Record
Sociological Perspectives (101): Summer 2017, Spring 2018, Summer 2018, Spring 2020
Sociology of Education (upper-level course): Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019
Sociological Perspectives: Fall 2016
Racial and Ethnic Relations: Spring 2016
Family and Society: Fall 2014
Social and Economic Justice: Spring 2015, Spring 2017
Statistics for Sociologists (graduate course): Fall 2015
Published Peer-Reviewed Teaching Resources
Gillis, Alanna. 2018. “School Choice and Inequality: Choosing Schools Activity.” Class Activity published in TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology. Washington DC: American Sociological Association. http://trails.asanet.org/Pages/Resource.aspx?ResourceID=13554.
*7th most downloaded resource in TRAILS in 2019; 8th in 2018
Gillis, Alanna. 2018. “Class School Board Debate Activity: Should Tracking Be Reformed?” Class Activity published in TRAILS: Teaching Resources and Innovations Library for Sociology. Washington DC: American Sociological Association. http://trails.asanet.org/Pages/Resource.aspx?ResourceID=13573.
2019 Teaching and Learning Preconference: Inclusive Pedagogy for a More Just World
2017 SAFE ZONE: Training Seminar by the UNC-CH LGBTQ Center
2017 Sociology 980: Seminar on the Teaching of Sociology, UNC-CH
2015 Carolina Firsts, Advocate for first-generation college students, UNC-CH
ADVISING/MENTORING UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
2019-2020 Pre-Graduate School Advisor
2018-present Mentor for research assistants Sara McCauley, Myklynn LaPoint, Rosa Hannah, Elena Eddington, Grace
Hildebrand, Sarah Cheeley, and Kelsey Sutton
2018 Mentored undergraduate co-teacher at UNC Splash
2017-2018 Faculty Advisor for Cheeley, Sarah. 2018. “The AP United States History Curriculum: A Battle Between
Historical Perspectives.” UNC JOURney 2: 7-13.
2016-2020 Assistant Director of Social and Economic Justice Minor at UNC-CH
SELECTED CONFERENCE PRESENTATIONS
2020 Alanna Gillis. “Choosing a Major is Not an Individual Choice: How Institutions, Interactions, and Identity Processes
Shape College Major Decisions.” Southern Sociological Society. Jacksonville, FL.
2019 Alanna Gillis. “Provisional Major Identities, Self-Concept, and Social Ties: The Social Process of Choosing a College
Major.” American Sociological Association. New York, NY.
2019 Alanna Gillis and Renee Ryberg. “Is Choosing a Major Choosing a Career?: Gender, Social Class, and Racial Diversity
in Orientations to College Majors.” Southern Sociological Society. Atlanta, GA.
2019 Ryan Nilsen and Alanna Gillis. “What Do Alumni Say? The Impact of Undergraduate Service Programming.” Pathways
to Achieving Civic Engagement Conference. Greensboro, NC.
2018 Alanna Gillis and Laura Krull. “‘I was there for the free food’: Accidental Religious and Cultural Conversions
in College.” American Sociological Association. Philadelphia, PA.
2018 Alanna Gillis. “Inequality in Classroom Comfort: Reconceptualizing Participation Grading as Skill Building.” Southern
Sociological Society. New Orleans, LA.
2017 Alanna Gillis. “Enthusiasts, Backup Planners, and Professionals: How College Students Approach Participation in
Service Programs after Graduation.” American Sociological Association. Montreal, Canada.
2017 Andrew Perrin and Alanna Gillis. “How College Makes Citizens: Independent Effects of Higher Education on Political
Engagement.” American Sociological Association. Montreal, Canada.
2017 Alanna Gillis. “The Enthusiasts, Backup Planners, and Professionals: How College Students Approach Participation in Service Programs after Graduation.” Southern Sociological Society. Greenville, SC.
2016 Andrew Perrin and Alanna Gillis. “Humanities Education and Public Conversation.” Invited Session. American
Sociological Association. Seattle,WA.
SERVICE TO PROFESSION
2019-present Newsletter co-editor for Sociology of Education section
2019 Presider, Referred Roundtable on Sociology of Education. American Sociological Association. New York, NY.
2017 Presider, Referred Roundtable on Sociology of Education. American Sociological Association. Montreal,
2015-2016 Assistant Editor, Mobilization
2015 Presider, Referred Roundtable on Race/Ethnicity. American Sociological Association. Chicago, IL.
Reviewer: Mobilization, Socitation
SERVICE TO DEPARTMENT/UNIVERSITY
2018-2020 Qualitative Analyst for Carolina Center for Public Service at UNC-CH
2015-2016 Co-coordinator of UNC-CH Sociology Department’s Recruitment Weekend
American Sociological Association
Sections: Education; Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility; Race, Gender, and
Class; Teaching and Learning; Altruism, Morality, and Social Solidarity
Southern Sociological Society
Phi Beta Kappa
Alpha Kappa Delta
2018 UNC Splash, co-teacher for course for high school students learning about college
2012-2019 Annunciation House, case manager at shelter for migrants and refugees
2010 - present
2010 - present