Jessica Leveto

Jessica A. Leveto

Department of Sociology and Criminology
Associate Professor
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Jessica A. Leveto, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Sociology. She is a sociological social psychologist with expertise in family, motherhood, identity, mental health, neurodiversity, emotion, scholarship of teaching and learning, and higher education.

Dr. Leveto is currently examining the impact of COVID19 on mothers in academia and policies that will make higher education more accessible for caregiving faculty and students. Dr. Leveto works within the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, where she explores how career readiness competencies can be integrated throughout the sociology curriculum. Dr. Leveto has experience in quantitative, qualitative, and mix-method research, including analysis using SPSS, STATA, AMOS, and MAXQDA. She has been published in various outlets, including Sociology Compass, Current Psychology, Advances in Group Processes: Biosociology and Neurosciology, and New Directions in Identity Theory and Research (Oxford University Press).

She is engaged in creating equitable, accessible opportunities for faculty and students in higher education. She teaches a wide range of courses in sociology, including; Introduction to Sociology, Childhood in Society, Adolescence in Society, Aging in Society, Sociology of Families, Sociology of Gender, Sociology of Sexualities, Minorities in the United States, Sociological Theories, Data Analysis, Researching Society, and Career Pathways in Sociology, Criminology & Justice Studies.

Dr. Leveto is the founder and administrator of Ph.D. Mamas. Ph.D. Mamas is an online support community of over 14k mothers in academia worldwide. She is a proud first-generation college graduate committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion of historically underrepresented and marginalized groups. She is the mother of three, Liam (22), Ryleigh (8), and Lillian (6).

Teaching Areas/Courses
Introduction to Sociology
Sociological Analysis
Adolescence in Society
Sociology of Gender
Data Analysis & Data Analysis Lab
Sociology of Health & Health Care
Sociology of Mental Health
Aging in Society
Career Pathways in Sociology, Criminology, and Justice Studies
Researching Society
Sociological Theories
Sociology of Families
Sociology of Work
Internship in Sociology
Individualized Investigation (Independent Research)

Research Areas

Motherhood and Higher Education 
Sociology of Work and Family
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Social Psychology: Identity & Emotion
Sociology of Mental Health
Sociology of Autism & Neurodiversity



2012 Ph.D., Sociology, Kent State University, 2005 M.A., Social Sciences, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, 2021 Online and Blended Teaching and Learning Postgraduate Certificate, Kent State University


Motherhood, Mothering, Neurodiversity, Identity, Emotion, Sociology, Autism, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning. Women's Studies: Teaching, higher education equity, college access and first generation college students, Family/Parents, Online education


  • CohenMiller, A and J. A. Leveto, (forthcoming) "Centering voices of motherscholars during the COVID-19 pandemic shows overwhelming responsibilities, ingrained gender roles, and blurred boundaries." Leading Change in Gender and Diversity in Higher Ed.
  • Leveto, Jessica A., (in production) Invited Review, “Living on the Spectrum,” Contemporary Sociology.
  • Leveto, Jessica A. 2021. "Embedding Career Readiness Throughout the Curriculum: A Case for Explicit, Transparent Connections." Teaching Learning Matters, American Sociological Association Teaching and Learning Section.
  • Leveto, Jessica A. 2020. “Exploring the Relationships Between Discrepancies in Perceptions of Emotional Performance Among College Students on Self-Esteem and Psychological Distress” Current Psychology. Springer.
  • Leveto, Jessica A. 2018 “Toward a Sociology of Autism and Neurodiversity” Sociology Compass. Wiley.
  • Leveto, Jessica A. 2016. “Happiness and Identity Theory” New Directions in Identity Theory and Research. Volume 1. Volume Editors Jan E. Stets and Richard T. Serpe. Oxford University Press.
  • Leveto, Jessica A. and Will Kalkhoff. 2012. "Biosocial Interaction Rituals of Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Research Agenda for Neurosociology." Advances in Group Processes, Biosociology and Neurosociology Vol. 29. Volume Editor Will Kalkhoff.
  • Leveto, Jessica A. (in progress) “A Little Compassion Would Go a Long Way” Examining Inequities Exasperated by the COVID19 Pandemic Among Graduate Student Mothers: A Pathway Forward to Creating More Equitable Spaces in Higher Education.”


  • Platinum Teaching Recognition Award, “Career Pathways in Sociology, Criminology and Justice Studies” Kent State University Center for Teaching and Learning (2022)
  • University Research Council Grant, “The Impact of COVID19 on Mothers in Academia.” (2022)
  • Summer Teaching Development Grant, University Teaching Council, Center for Teaching and Learning, Kent State University, “Embedding Support of Career Readiness Competency Throughout the Sociology Curriculum” (2020)
  • Honoree, “Mothers, Mentors & Muses” Kent State University Women’s Center (2014)

Research Institutes and Initiatives

Brain Health Research Institute, Healthy Communities Research Initiative