Research Assistants

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Christopher Robertson

Christopher Robertson is a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota -
Twin Cities. Christopher’s research examines how exposures to community and police
violence shape health and well-being across racial and ethnic groups. Christopher’s
work also explores how law enforcement-health partnerships influence health service
usage and behaviors among racial and ethnic groups, undocumented persons, and
formerly incarcerated populations. Christopher aspires for his research to contribute to
the creation and implementation of public safety policies that center anti-racism, health
equity, and structural change.


Amy Dorman, MPP

Amy Dorman, MPP, ( is a PhD student at the University of Minnesota
School of Social Work where her research centers on feminist and anti-racist cross-sector
approaches to violence prevention policy and practice in Minnesota. 
Amy has served the community as a research lead on projects with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, the U.S. Human Rights Network, the Center on Women, Gender, and Public Policy, the UMN School of Public Health, and Anoka County. Amy holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a B.A. in Women and Gender Studies from Luther College. Prior to completing her master’s degree, Amy worked for six years as a professional singer/songwriter in Los Angeles, CA.


Victoria Piehowski

Victoria is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Minnesota. Her research examines the politics of punishment, and specifically how court professionals and political actors understand and create responses to violent crime. She also has substantive interests in the areas of bail and caring labor. Her work has appeared in The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, Punishment & Society, and Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies. 

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Lisa Gulya

Lisa Gulya is a visiting instructor of sociology at Macalester College and a PhD candidate in sociology at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on childhood and youth inequality. In addition to teaching sociology and qualitative research methods at the undergraduate and graduate levels, Lisa has worked as a research analyst for the American Academy of Neurology and a newspaper reporter for the Grand Forks Herald. A resident of St. Paul, Lisa enjoys cooking, reading, biking, and hiking with her dog.


Eskender Yousuf

Eskender is an experienced qualitative researcher and evaluator. His research and evaluation topics include: African immigrant identity development, race, urban mentorship, culturally responsive leadership, and program evaluation. Additionally, Eskender is currently enrolled in a PhD program at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities studying how social issues impact k-12 education and ways that educators and educational leaders can best respond. His dissertation research explores the racial and ethnic identity construction of East African immigrant youth in relation to their educational experiences. Overall, his learning interests focus on how colonialism, race and racism, and systemic inequalities impact minoritized populations to better determine equitable solutions for our future. This deep commitment is inspired by his sense of obligation toward advocating for a more just society.