Graduate Student Mentoring and Advising

Current Graduate Students

In Geography: Lily Herbert (2017-2020 MA, PhD ongoing, co-chair), Michelle Padley (2016-2019 MA, PhD ongoing), Betül Aykaç (2018-), Mary Biggs (2018-2020 MA, PhD in progress), Deanna Corin (2018-2021 MA, PhD in progress), Suad Jabr (2019-), and Adrienne Hall (2019-).

In Transatlantic Masters Program: Maura Kitchens West (2019-).

Past Graduate Students


Devran Koray Öcal (2015-2020). Perceived Stateness, Everyday Geopolitics, and the Reconfiguration of Religion: A Quotidian Political Analysis of Turkish Mosques in Germany.

Nathan Swanson (2009-2016). The Politics of Home in Jerusalem: Partitions, Parks, and Planning Futures.

Mike Dimpfl (2011- 2016) (co-chair). Clean U: Cleanliness, Social Difference, and the Dirty Work of Everyday Hygiene. Currently at Duke University Thompson Writing Program.

Murat Es (2006-2012). Turkish-Dutch Mosques and the Construction of Transnational Spaces in Europe.


Deanna Corin (2018-2021). Uneven Temporalities of Recovery, Emotion, and Deservingness after Disaster: The 2018 Camp Fire in California .

Mary Biggs (co-chair, 2018-2020). Unsettling Authenticity, Queering Landscapes: The Role of Nature at Three State Historic Sites in Durham, North Carolina.

Lily Herbert (2017-2020). Visualizing the FBI’s Hate Crime Data: Geographic Unevenness in Reporting and Legislation.

Alexis Strang (TransAtlantic Masters Program, M.A., 2019). Integration of Muslim communities in Germany.

Michelle Padley (2016-2019). Deserving and Difference: Low-Income Housing Tax Credit in Durham.

Katherine Akin (2010-2014). “…The truth is that the center is free and open” The politics of self and social transformation in Santo Daime’s living doctrine. (MA)

Jim Kuras (2012-2015). Images of Pregnant Women at Gezi Park Protests in Istanbul, 2013. (MA)

Doctoral and Postdoctoral Mentoring

Kamila Klingorova, (Ph.D. 2017). September 2016-February 2016, visited from Charles University in Prague, Regional and political geography to work on project on gender, religion, and everyday space.

Zeynep Türkyılmaz (Ph.D. 2009, UCLA History). UNC Sawyer Seminar Postdoctoral Fellow 2009-2010.

Undergraduate Students

Suad Jabr (Asian Studies and Geography, 2019). Queer Burden of Proof: A Critical Analysis of Exceptional Vulnerability, Authenticity, and Deservingness of Queer Syrian Refugees. (Highest Honors)

Marisa Breathewaite (Global Studies and Asian Studies, 2018). Making Space and Women’s Activism in the Arab World. (Highest Honors)

Alexis Strang (Global Studies, 2017). More Than a Pretty Face: How Turkish Magazines Function as Social Spaces. (Highest Honors)

Lily Herbert (Geography, 2016). ‘Is Hijab for Kazakh Girls?’: Shifting the Borders of Kazakh Nationhood and the Modern in Almaty, Kazakhstan. (Winner of the Best Undergraduate Thesis Award in Geography)

Leah Neal (Global Studies, 2013). Minorities, Mobilization, and Marginalization: Non-Majority Actors and the 2011 Tunisian and Egyptian Revolutions.

Amy Sarah Nunez (Geography, 2012). An Orientalist Appetite for India: The Commodification and Consumption of the “Other’s” Culture in the West.

Bethany Corbin (Global Studies, 2011). A Bleeding Sin: An Examination of Honor Killings in Turkey and Germany. Awarded the competitive Mary Turner Lane Award for Excellence in Research on Women’s Issues by a Senior (2011) and full scholarship to Wake Forest Law School.

Hannah Highfill (Global Studies, 2009). Beyond the Mosque: Religious Practice, Gender, and Space in an Istanbul Sufi Community. Accepted with scholarship to Islamic Studies MA program at Washington University in 2009.

Callie Peck (Global Studies, 2007). Female Political Bodies and Body Politics: Muslim Women’s Participation in the Development of the Palestinian Nationalist Islamist Movement.

Katherine Shields (Public Policy and Drama, 2006). Cracked Foundations: Urban Development and Changing Politics of Squatter Settlements in Istanbul. Accepted with scholarship to the joint Masters Program in Middle Eastern Studies and Public Heath at the University of Michigan in 2010.