PhD in Sociology

Felicia Garland-Jackson, 2018

Felicia Garland-Jackson

Dr. Felicia Garland-Jackson, SIS adjunct faculty, has been part of GMU’s Mason Nation since 2012. She earned both her Sociology Ph.D. (2018) and MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (2015) from the university. Her research focuses primarily on the intersection of institutions and inequalities with further research into military family sociology. Dr. Garland-Jackson’s doctoral research, funded through a grant from the National Park Service (NPS), investigated the agency’s Washington D.C.-based Summer in the Park Program (SITP) [1968-1976]. This innovative federal effort, designed to bring the area’s African American residents into the local national parks for free structured activities, reflected the local and national social forces of the era. Launched in the shadow of the April 1968 riots, SITP events brought together the fractured community through a series of art, music, and recreational events. The research project culturally documented African American program participants’ post-riot memories of the city as well as their SITP experiences.

Dr. Garland-Jackson’s thesis research documented the ambitions and obstacles of enlisted military wives in pursuing their educational and employment objectives. In-depth interviews with wives from each service branch, representing all rank categories, illuminated wives’ challenges that are inherent to a military lifestyle as they seek to utilize education and employment to improve their life course trajectories. She continues her public sociology work advocating for Marines and their families as a Social Scientist for Marine Corps Headquarters, Marine and Family Programs in Quantico, Virginia.