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Dr. Rachel SchmitzDr. Rachel Schmitz's Headshot

Associate Professor

Curriculum Vitae


Rachel M. Schmitz joined Oklahoma State University’s Department of Sociology in 2018 as an Assistant Professor. Her research agenda underscores the nuanced aspects of intersecting social inequalities within the realms of gender, sexuality, social class, and family using primarily qualitative methods, with complementary work using quantitative techniques. She has published scholarly work in numerous academic journals, including Society and Mental Health, Sexuality Research and Social Policy, Journal of LGBT Youth, Archives of Sexual Behavior, Journal of Research on Adolescence and Culture, Health & Sexuality. Currently, she is conducting a qualitative interview study that examines Native LGBTQ2S+ young adults' life experiences with trauma and violence, and how these experiences shape their understandings of their own mental health and well-being. Dr. Schmitz is also working with LGBTQ+ young people experiencing homelessness to understand their perspectives on the role of companion animals in their lives within the context of their mental health. Her future research plans include a mixed methods study working with LGBTQ+ young adults of color in Oklahoma to explore how they navigate prejudice, discrimination, and health challenges. Learn more about Dr. Schmitz's work here.

In addition to research, Dr. Schmitz is highly committed to teaching socially and culturally diverse groups of students, as well as pursuing research and publication collaborations with underrepresented students, such as students of color and LGBTQ+ students. Dr. Schmitz’s research focus on gender and sexuality augments her teaching as she encourages students to analyze social life through an intersectional framework, particularly in acknowledging the importance of intersecting identities within their own lives, such as gender, sexuality, race/ethnicity, social class and immigration status. She and her miniature Schnauzer, Lucy, are also dedicated to student health and well-being, as they are active members of Pete's Pet Posse, OSU's Pet Therapy Program.

  • B.A. in Sociology and Spanish, Wayne State College, Summa Cum Laude
  • M.A. in Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Research Interests
  • Gender & Sexualities
  • Stratification
  • Intersectionality
  • Family
  • Homeless Youth & Young Adults
  • Health Inequalities
  • Qualitative Methods
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