Elena G. van Stee

Elena van Stee

2019 Cohort

McNeil 216

I am a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania and a 2020-2021 Institute of Education Sciences (IES) Predoctoral Fellow. In 2021, I was honored as one of the top 10 graduate student teachers across the university with the Penn Prize for Excellence in Teaching by Graduate Students

My research addresses the intersections of social stratification, higher education, religion, and the transition to adulthood. My current project examines social class differences in the parent/young adult relationship through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic. A second ongoing project (with Melissa Wilde and Tessa Huttenlocher) employs previously untapped census data to identify how the American religious field has been stratified historically by wealth, education, race, and geography. In previous work, I studied multifaith chaplaincy on college campuses and interfaith dialogue in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. Findings from these collaborative projects appear in the Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion and the Journal of College and Character.

Research Interests

Social stratification, higher education, transition to adulthood, family, race and ethnicity, religion.

Courses Taught

S100: Sociological Research Methods (TA)

Selected Publications

van Stee, Elena G. Forthcoming 2022. “Parenting Young Adults Across Social Class: A Review and Synthesis.” Sociology Compass.

van Stee, Elena G., Taylor Paige Winfield, Wendy Cadge, John Schmalzbauer, Tiffany Steinwert, Shelly Rambo, and Elizabeth Clifford. 2021. “Assessing Student Engagement with Campus Chaplains: A Pilot Study from a Residential Liberal Arts College.” Journal of College and Character 23(3).

van Stee, Elena G., Wendy Cadge, and Rebecca Barton. 2021. “How Do Colleges and Universities Support Multifaith Chaplaincy? The Causes and Effects of Different Institutional Approaches.” Journal of College and Character 23(2).

Barton, Rebecca, Wendy Cadge, and Elena G. van Stee. 2020. “Caring for the Whole Student: How Do Chaplains Contribute to Campus Life?Journal of College and Character 21(2):67-85.


Research Fellow, Office of Institutional Research and Analysis, University of Pennsylvania (2022-Present)

Predoctoral Fellow, Institute of Education Sciences Predoctoral Training Program, University of Pennsylvania (2021-Present)

Research Associate, Chaplaincy Innovation Lab, Brandeis University (2018-Present)

Graduate Research Fellow, Center for the Study of Ethnicity, Race, and Immigration, University of Pennsylvania (2020-2021)

CV (file)