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I've seen some work recently where I am (Pittsburgh). One of my colleagues who just finished from the University of Pittsburgh might have relevant work, 
Kehoe, S. S. (2017). Bridging the college completion gap with comprehensive support systems: A mixed-methods impact evaluation of the Dell scholars program (Order No. 10692530). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (2026720214). Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/2026720214?accountid=9902

For statistical modeling, Brian Junker, a statistics professor at CMU, has some students who have done their dissertations with a data set of networks among teachers,
Sweet, T. M. (2012). Statistical network models for replications and experimental interventions (Order No. 3573622). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1443840133). Retrieved from https://search.proquest.com/docview/1443840133?accountid=9902
(see also http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.3102/1076998612458702)

Another student, Sam Adhikari, doesn't seem to have her thesis online but her work is at http://samrachana.com/research-related/.

Around religion, it's not contemporary but you of course must cite Samuel Samson's dissertation, A Novitiate in a Period of Change: An Experimental and Case Study of Social Relationships (popularly known as the "Samson monastery"). Not only is it religion, but technically the people studied were students…

Not dissertation work as far as I can tell, but one of the key works introducing SIENA (a statistical model for the co-evolution of behavior and networks) was done with 50 sociology graduate students in Groningen. See van Duijn et al., 2003, Evolution of sociology freshmen into a friendship network, and van de Bunt, van Duijn, and Snijders, 1999, Friendship networks through time: An actor-oriented dynamic statistical network model

Good luck! 

On Tue, Apr 24, 2018 at 6:46 PM, Samin Aref <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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Hi Sara,

I have been in a similar situation when I started my PhD on a completely different topic, but involving networks. I read two books which helped me a lot in terms of getting ideas and understanding basic theoretical frameworks. 

The two books:
Easley, David, and Jon Kleinberg. Networks, crowds, and markets: Reasoning about a highly connected world. Cambridge University Press, 2010.
Jackson, Matthew O. Social and economic networks. Princeton university press, 2010.

My thesis:
Thesis chapter 1> (link: arxiv.org/abs/1509.04037
Thesis chapter 2> (link: arxiv.org/abs/1710.09876)
Thesis chapter 3> (link: arxiv.org/abs/1611.09030)
Thesis chapter 4> (link: arxiv.org/abs/1712.04628)

Kind Regards,
Samin


On 25 April 2018 at 09:56, Sara Shapiro-Plevan <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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Hello all! I'm working on a dissertation at the intersection of social network analysis and education. I wonder if you might recommend some dissertations (perhaps your own) to look at for inspiration, example and theoretical frameworks that could offer me some thoughtful direction. I'd be very grateful for your recommendations!

For a bit more information:   I’m specifically looking at the social and professional networks of religious (here, Jewish) educators. I’ve completed an SNA of a cohort of 5 years of students at a small graduate program in religious education (between 9-12 years post graduation), and am looking to understand their relationships. (For what it’s worth, my research is well outside the scope of my advisor’s area of expertise and the focus of my department’s overall work)

--
Sara Shapiro-Plevan

917.562.6213 
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