I am a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Baldy Center for Law and Social Policy at the University at Buffalo School of Law. In summer 2023, I will join the Department of Sociology at Indiana University Bloomington as an Assistant Professor. My research and teaching interests include law and organizations, gender and sexuality, and education. Before joining the Baldy Center, I was a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University in the Department of Organizational Behavior at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. I received my PhD in Sociology from Yale University in 2019.

My current research centers on understanding gender inequality in organizations and the laws designed to reduce it. My book (forthcoming at Princeton University Press) examines the case of Title IX, the 1972 US civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in schools. Today, Title IX is well-known for outlawing sexual harassment on college campuses. But Title IX was not created to confront sexual harassment, nor does the statute even mention sexual harassment. Drawing on new data and multiple methods, I explain this striking change. I argue that interactions between feminist students and feminist lawyers produced a new use for the law as well as a broader shift in the meaning of equal educational opportunity. The project clarifies how people within the organizations regulated by law not only creatively define the meaning of compliance. They also introduce innovative interpretations of law that stimulate cultural changes in norms of behavior and material shifts in the balance of rights and powers in society at large.

My work appears in the American Journal of Sociology, Organization, Qualitative Sociology, Social ProblemsSocial Science Research, and Socius.

In 2018-19, I was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow. My research has also received support from the National Science Foundation and the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy and recently won the ASA Sex and Gender Section Sally Hacker Graduate Student Paper Award as well as the ASA Sociology of Law Graduate Student Paper Award.

Prior to graduate school, I worked in philanthropic management consulting and, before that, as a wilderness guide in New Mexico. I received my B.A. in Sociology from Wellesley College and M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.

I can be reached via email at celenere@buffalo.edu