The Research Team
Jeralynn (Lynne) Sittig Cossman is a medical sociologist and demographer who chairs the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at West Virginia University. She has been funded by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services. She has published in several sociology and interdisciplinary journals including the American Journal of Public Health, Social Problems, Health and Place, Population Research and Policy Review, Sociological Inquiry, and The Journal of Rural Health. Her current research focuses on spatial concentrations of mortality and morbidity, the physician workforce, and fear of crime for vulnerable (e.g., sick, elderly) populations. As chair at WVU, she has led the faculty in many curricular and policy change, including the development of a doctoral program. She is a food and wine enthusiast and when not engaged in academic life, she enjoys exploring wild and wonderful West Virginia.
Kathryn (Katie) completed her BA in sociology with a concentration in criminology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2013 and her MA in criminology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2016. She is currently a fourth-year doctoral student in the sociology program at WVU and works as a research assistant in the WVU Sociology and Anthropology department and the WVU Social Work department.She is a founding member of the Think Tank for Social Research on Cannabis. Her current research interests include cannabis, accessibility, community, mass incarceration, evaluation, and criminological theory.
Katie E. Corcoran
Katie E. Corcoran received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington and is currently an Assistant Professor of Sociology at West Virginia University. Her areas of expertise are in religion, organizations, health, social psychology, emotion, criminology, culture, and social networks. She published the book Religious Hostility: A Global Assessment of Hatred and Terror with Rodney Stark and the book High on God: How Megachurches Won the Heart of America with James K. Wellman and Kate Stockly. She is currently researching delayed diagnosis and health outcomes of infants and children diagnosed with intestinal malrotation.
As a Research Coordinator and Clinical Instructor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology within the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, Julie develops partnerships across campus and across the state to further research efforts related to health and community development. Her work focuses on increasing funding for applied social science research efforts that respond to the needs of state and local partners and empower communities.
Julie’s experience includes grant writing, program management, coalition development, policy analysis, group facilitation, evaluation, and performance improvement. She served for two years with AmeriCorps then worked for the Florida Department of Health for thirteen years. Her work at the state health office in Florida included administering environmental health and chronic disease prevention programs funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency. She also directed the Florida Department of Health’s statewide wellness initiative that engaged multiple state agencies, foundations, universities, hospitals, community based organizations, city and county governments, and local health departments in efforts to make the healthy choice the easy choice.
Misty grew up in Kansas and received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Kansas, with a focus in Medical Anthropology. Following her undergraduate degree, she was an AmeriCorps HealthCorps volunteer at a free health clinic in Kansas. She went on to obtain her MPH in Population Health from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. During this time, she worked at the county hospital in Cleveland as a research assistant across a range of programs. Through her studies and related experiences, she became increasingly interested in the relationship between inequality and health, which today defines her research agenda. Misty is in her third year of the doctoral program in sociology at WVU and her dissertation focuses on the effects of health and medicine on educational and employment opportunity and attainment among rural Appalachian adolescents.
Summer is a first year PhD student in Sociology and a West Virginia native. She completed a BS in Biology 2009 and a MPH 2012 at WVU. She currently works for Health Sciences and Technology Academy (HSTA) teaching HSTA students the foundation of research, statistics, and how to use their STEM skills to improve health in West Virginia. Her interests include, but are not limited to, health and social relationships in rural Appalachia, impact of foster care, and racial/ethnic inequality.
Dan Liedl received his BS degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from West Liberty University. He also earned his MS degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from West Virginia University. He is now pursuing a PhD in Sociology at West Virginia University. Dan is a nontraditional student, working 12 years as an Air Traffic Control Specialist for the Federal Aviation Administration before earning his BS and MS degrees, then working 8 years as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He was a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor while with the Commonwealth. Along the way he served as the President of the West Virginia Hemophilia Chapter in the 1990’s and the Sociology Club at West Liberty University in 2000 and 2001. He has also volunteered with many organizations and communities including Hemophilia, HIV/AIDS, LGBTQ+, and Special Olympics, in various advocacy roles. After being diagnosed with Stage 3C colorectal cancer at the age of 49, and beating it, he has decided to pursue his love of Sociology. His interests center in Community Health, specifically in rare genetic disorders and how they affect rural communities. Dan also loves geography, demographics, reading, travel, and animals. Dan’s current research is on Stigma related to HIV in the Hemophilia Community.
AviElle Raymore is an AmeriCorps VISTA in the WVU Department of Sociology and Anthropology. She recently graduated with her PhD in Social Gerontology from Miami University in Oxford, OH. She received her MA in Gerontology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and her BA in Anthropology from Brown University. Her research interests include kinship caregiving, aging and health, and rural aging. In her free time, AviElle enjoys reading and dancing.
Bio coming soon.
Drew graduated from West Virginia University in 2020 with a bachelors of science in Mathematics as well as minors in Philosophy and Political Science. Drew is an AmeriCorps VISTA member and is planning on applying to graduate school after his service year.
Jacob Michael Souch
Jacob Michael Souch, a Morgantown native, obtained a BS in Psychology, BA in Anthropology, and a minor in statistics from West Virginia University in 2018. Jacob worked as an undergraduate teaching assistant during his collegiate career in psychology. In 2018, Jacob was accepted to and attended Off the Beaten Track Anthropology Field School in Gozo, Malta in the Mediterranean where he developed qualitative and graphical research skills. As of December 2019, Jacob serves as an AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) at The Collaborative of West Virginia University as a dashboard designed for the Data HEART. His research interests include psychoeducation, medical and anthropological scientific racism, pedagogical ethnomathematics, demography, and anthropology of the Mediterranean. After completing his VISTA service year, he intends to apply to social science graduate programs.
Dan Totzkay (PhD, Michigan State University) is a communication scientist and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at WVU. His research focuses on clarifying social influence processes in health and risk decision-making contexts to better develop tailored communication interventions that promote risk reduction behavior. Most of this work has been conducted in the context of cancer control, and especially strategic communication to promote cancer risk reduction behaviors, funded through the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Other interests of Dan's include health information intervention planning and evaluation, and translating emerging health and environmental science into actionable recommendations. Dan teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in health communication and communication campaign design and evaluation.
Julia Kay Wolf
Julia Kay Wolf earned her BA from Case Western Reserve University in 2015 majoring in both sociology and psychology and minoring in both business management and marketing. She earned her MA in sociology from the WVU Department of Sociology and Anthropology in 2017, a graduate certificate in applied statistics from the WVU Department of Statistics, and is currently a sociology PhD student in the “community” specialization. Julia is a University Provost 3-Year Graduate Fellow (2017-2020) and the Vice President of SOCA’s Graduate Sociology Association. Her interests are in the fields of medical sociology and the sociology of health and illness/wellness. She studies the spatial distribution of health behaviors/outcomes and mortality across the United States and the cultural, social, and environmental (natural and built) factors that affect these place-based disparities. She is particularly interested in investigating spatial health disparities experienced by LGBTQ+ community members.