Doctoral Candidate Highlight: Sam Allen
Family Science Doctoral Candidate and Graduate Instructor Sam Allen has had a fun, fulfilling, challenging, and nurturing journey here at UMD. Sam obtained his bachelor’s degree at UMD in Family Science with minors in both LGBT studies and vocal performance. Sam then went on to complete his master’s degree within the Department of Family Science in Couples and Family Therapy. He enjoyed learning how to help families on a micro-level, but desired to help families on a larger scale, which informed his decision to enter the PhD program in Family Science. As a 4th year doctoral candidate, Sam has been able to help families on the larger scale through both his research and teaching.
Sam’s research interests include gender & sexuality studies, LGBT families, racial minority families, and intersectionality. He is currently working on his dissertation, for which he is using both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the relationships between gender identity, family relationships, and aspects of wellbeing among transgender adults. The study’s qualitative portion analyzes primary interview data to better understand how parents of transgender adults with non-binary gender identities make sense of their child’s gender. He has been published in several research journals including the Journal of Family Theory & Review, Family Relations, and the Journal of GLBT Family Studies. His most recent publication is an article about the role of nativity in the health and psychological well-being of Black LGBT adults in the Journal of Homosexuality. If you are interested, here is the link:
Throughout Sam’s journey at UMD, he has developed into a clinician, researcher, and instructor all within the Family Science department. Sam’s says, “There have been many important people that were instrumental to my success here at UMD-too many to name- yet, I would like to specifically mention Dr. Leigh Leslie and Dr. Mia Smith-Bynum for both their formal and informal mentorship over the years.”
Sam hopes to become a Professor in the future to be able to continue researching and teaching, elevating the voices and experiences of those historically unheard, and inspiring future students to promote social justice in the field.