Anthony Urena

Anthony Urena


From Risk to Reality: Race, Class, and HIV in an Age of Uncertainty

Dissertation Review Committee

Biographical Notes:

Anthony Urena is a Ph.D candidate in Sociology at Columbia University. A Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow, Anthony’s research interests lie at the intersections of Health Inequality, Race & Ethnicity, Gender & Sexuality, and Risk. His scholarship concerns itself with analyzing the fundamental social roots of disease risk perceptions among members of hard-hit communities.

His dissertation specifically examines how young Black and Latino men who have sex with men are making sense of the contemporary HIV/AIDS epidemic in the United States. Through semi-structured in-depth interviews and participant observation, this project elucidates how an individual’s racial identity, socioeconomic class, and sexuality intersect at the individual, relational, and institutional level to both shape and challenge notions of HIV risk in their everyday life. This research has been supported by generous scholarships and grants from the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, The Social Science Research Council, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

Anthony was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York by parents from the Dominican Republic. He holds a B.A. in both Sociology and Human Biology from Brown University. As a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow, he volunteered at several HIV/AIDS NGOs in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to produce a comparative ethnography detailing the persistence of the epidemic in the city’s metropolitan and slum neighborhoods. At Columbia, Anthony has complimented his scholarship with a deep commitment to teaching and mentorship through his service as a Graduate Student Mentor and Instructor for the Columbia Summer Research Program, Preceptor for the “Modes of Inquiry - Senior Project Seminar” year-long course at the Center for the Study of Ethnicity and Race, as well as Teaching Fellow for various introductory and advanced courses in Sociology.

He currently serves as a Kluge Fellowship graduate student mentor in conjunction with the Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program.


  • MPhil Sociology, Columbia University, 2017
  • MA Sociology, Columbia University, 2014
  • BA Sociology & Human Biology, Brown University, 2012



  • Columbia Journal Seminar 
  • Research Seminar for the Social Sciences: Classical Theory & Contemporary Methodology
  • Senior Project Seminar 
  • Modes of Inquiry 
  • The Social World
  • Organizing Innovation 
  • Immigration and the Transformation of American Society
  • Global Urbanism 
  • Sociology of Work & Gender 
  • Power and Influence in Organizations