Orlaith Heymann

Orlaith Heymann

Professional Summary

I am a seventh-year Ph.D. candidate (previously a Taft Fellow and Graduate School Dean's Fellow) in the sociology department at the University of Cincinnati. I am fundamentally a sociologist of social institutions, in that I examine how people navigate institutional policies and cultures, particularly in contentious social fields such as sex education and abortion. As a result of my focus on educators, schools, and health care settings, I have developed expertise in the sociology of health, reproduction, education, sexuality, and work.

In my dissertation reserach I examine the challenges of teaching sexual health in K-12 schools by interviewing sex educators across the United States. To support my research, I received grant support from the National Science Foundation and from the Kunz Center for Social Research and the Taft Research Center, both at the University of Cincinnati. I also received fellowship support from the Graduate School and Taft Research Center at UC, and a national scholarship award from PEO International.

In the past I have coordinated large, multi-site and multi-project research studies. From 2013-2015 I worked with an addiction research team at Boston Medical Center, coordinating two clinical studies on injection drug use, addiction, and opioid prescribing practices. From 2018-2019 I worked as a Project Manager and Research Trainee for the Ohio Policy Evaluation Network, a 9-project research initiative which conducts social-science research on the reproductive health of Ohioans, focusing particularly on reproductive health equity, access, and autonomy.

A great benefit of my research on sex educators is that it has informed my teaching by highlighting how students’ and educators’ identities and life experiences shape the teaching and learning process. These connections between my research and teaching reinforce my excitement about teaching a diverse student body and motivate my continued growth as an instructor. I have independently developed and taught the following courses: Sociological Theory (in person), Sociology of Culture (in person and online), Sociology of Reproduction (in person), Media & Society (online), and Introduction to Sociology (in person).

For a list of peer-reviewed publications, external/internal grants and awards, service activities, and professional experience, please see my CV:

Heymann CV