Hello! I'm Maggie.
My research and teaching centers on organizational diversity and inclusion by identifying and overcoming intersectional and structural barriers in accessing and persisting within institutions of higher education, especially for women, LGBTQ+ students, and students of color. Ultimately, this is a question of inequality and social justice–how do institutions and communities, despite efforts of being inclusive, reproduce inequality in practice?
My current research examines transgender inclusive admission policies at gender-selective women’s colleges through a multi-method collaborative ethnography. Of particular interest, my research questions how these policies construct exclusive discourses and experiences for non-normative gender expression and embodiment through practice, as complicated by the intersections of race, class, ability, and sexuality.
I have published research out of this project in Gender & Society (2017, with David Brunsma), Advances in Gender Research (2017), Intersectionality and Higher Education (2019), Rethinking LGBTQIA Students in Collegiate Experiences (2019, with Z Nicolazzo and Kari Dockendorff), and Sociology Compass (2020). This work is supported by the National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship.
Through this work, I am the founder and creator of TransAdmissionPolicy.org, an open-access resource site advocating for transgender inclusion within gender-selective colleges. This resource site offers comprehensive information for transgender and non-binary applicants and students of these colleges to make informed and empowered decisions regarding campus policies and culture, as well as policy and resource guides for faculty and staff. Through this, I work with a team of transgender students to center their experiences and knowledge of institutional issues, as well as offer institutional workshops and consulting to create inclusive and affirming spaces for transgender students to not only attend but thrive on campus.
From this project, my research has expanded into numerous other topics driven by the same goal of social justice:
Examining the (il)logics of transgender exclusive radical feminism (AKA gender critical feminism)
STEM pathways and intersectional barriers
Undermatching in college persistence
Same-sex sexual assault and sexual violence within trans communities
Diversity within craft beer cultures
Montessori and social justice education
Faculty recruitment and retention
My other work is also available in Food, Culture and Society, Journal of LGBT Youth, Sexualities, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, and Research and Higher Education.
I currently work as the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Data Analyst in the Office for Equity and Diversity at East Carolina University. Additionally, I chair Sociologists for Trans Justice and authored the 2018 edition of the #TransJusticeSyllabus and the #BlackTransLivesMatter Reader. I further consult for the Campaign for Southern Equality’s Southern LGBTQ Health Survey. Between 2013-2018, I served as the founding managing editor of Sociology of Race and Ethnicity, news editor for Sociology Lens, Editor-in-Chief of The Interloper (VT's Queer Magazine), lead research assistant on the Broadening Participation in STEM project, and Research Associate at the Five College Women’s Studies Research Center. I have taught Sociology and Gender Studies Courses at Smith College, Virginia Tech, and Hollins University.
When not in the field or classroom, I live with my fiancée Jess (also a sociologist), miniature Jack Russell Terrier Penelope, and cat Stevie. In my little spare time, I am a certified POUND Pro and enjoy teaching fitness classes, golfing, paddle-boarding, knitting, and baking (gluten-free) treats.
Megan (Maggie) Nanney
PhD in Sociology & Women's and Gender Studies
I am a sociologist specializing in diversity, inclusion, and equity policy within higher education. As a trained social scientist, I have been taught to observe and examine the world through the eyes of those I study. Yet I’ve never conducted research just for knowledge's sake. My approach to diversity work is to examine the day-to-day experiences and practices of diversity--or how diversity "lives a life" (Ahmed 2012)-- rather than the mere presence of and commitment to diversity policies. I believe that it is imperative to improve the lives of the people I work with by listening to what it is they are trying to accomplish, understanding their challenges and needs, and using my insights and skills to design solutions that help them achieve their goals.
I received my PhD in Sociology and Women’s and Gender Studies from Virginia Tech in 2020. My recent work can be found in Gender & Society, Advances in Gender Research, Sociology Compass, Research in Higher Education, Sexualities, and the Journal of LGBT Youth and has been supported by the NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant and the National Academy for Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship.
I currently work as the Equal Opportunity and Diversity Data Analyst in the Office for Equity and Diversity at East Carolina University. I also am a Visiting Instructor in the Department of Gender and Women's Studies at Hollins University and a Research Team Member with Campaign for Southern Equality.
EAST CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
Equal Opportunity and Diversity Data Analyst
SOCIOLOGISTS FOR TRANS JUSTICE
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF EDUCATION/ SPENCER FOUNDATION
FIVE COLLEGE WOMEN'S STUDY RESEARCH CENTER (located at Mount Holyoke College)
CAMPAIGN FOR SOUTHERN EQUALITY
Research Team Member
BROADENING PARTICIPATION IN STEM PROJECT (NSF CAREER GRANT)
Lead Research Assistnat
SOCIOLOGY OF RACE AND ETHNICITY
Founding Managing Editor