Laura Atkins

Section 1


Research Assistant of ATLAS Statistics GIS Data and Survey Research Team

User Photo

Contact Information


Laura Atkins is a doctoral candidate at the University of Illinois. She currently holds an appointment with CITL (Center for Innovation in Teaching & Learning). As a research consultant, she assists students with qualitative and statistical data analysis programs and methods, and with the development of survey instruments. Additionally, she works collaboratively with clients on research, and she recently served as the primary research assistant in the qualitative analysis of 60 interviews conducted with U.S. innovators for the Educate to Innovate Project.

Specializations / Research Interest(s)

  • Health Inequality; Race/Class/Gender; Environmental Sociology; Qualitative Methods

Research Description

  • Laura's research interests relate to health disparities along racial, class and gender lines. Her dissertation research investigates local dimensions of a cancer cluster in Ohio where approximately 50 children have been diagnosed with or have died of cancers of the brain and central nervous system since the mid-1990s. Through a historical and ethnographic study of environmental contamination and illness, she is investigating the dynamics of agency and accountability as they relate to interpersonal and structural domains of power.


  • M.A., Sociology. Humboldt State University
  • B.A., Sociology. Kent State University