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Jessica Herling

Jessica Herling

Name, Title
Jessica Herling

Degree: Ph.D
Previous Education: MS in Sociology, Virginia Tech, 2016
BA in Sociology and BA in Women’s and Gender Studies, West Chester University, 2014

Research Interests: Feminist Science Studies, LGBTQ Health, Media, Medical Education, Medical Sociology, Women’s and Gender Studies

Courses Taught: SOC 2004 Social Problems, WGS 1824 Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies


Jessica Herling is a PhD candidate in Sociology with a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies. During the summer of 2019, she completed a graduate student residency at the National Humanities Center and currently serves as a Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences Digital Humanities Graduate Assistant. She is currently working on her dissertation research, which is an ethnography of how medical schools incorporate LGBTQ health into their curriculum as an attempt to alleviate health care disparities for LGBTQ populations. This dissertation investigates whether and how gender and sexual inequality are reproduced in medical and technological spaces. To that end, she examines the factors that both facilitate and impede inclusionary initiatives and how these initiatives translate with varying levels of success into equitable institutional practices. She is committed to serving her discipline, the university, and wider public communities. She has served on the program committee for Virginia Tech’s international Gender, Bodies & Technology conference, as well as for the regional Southern Sociological Society annual conference. In her wider public communities, she has worked as a Graduate Intern for the Nashville Pride Community Visioning Project and as the Sex and Health editor for Virginia Tech’s LGBTQ+ magazine.


Virginia Tech Women’s and Gender Studies Program. 2020. Graduate Student Research Grant, $800. “Enactment of LGBTQ Health in Medical Education.”

Virginia Tech Sociology Department. 2020. Graduate Student Research Grant, $3,350, “Enactment of LGBTQ Health in Medical Education.” *Award money not dispersed due to COVID-19.

Carol A. Bailey Graduate Student Paper Award. 2018. $100, “Under the Ageist Microscope: The Biomedicalization of Successful Aging” (With Sadie Giles).

Barbara Ellen Smith Outstanding Essay Award. 2017. $350, “Not Biological? A Feminist Science Studies Analysis of Biomedical Reporting on Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation”


Herling, Jessica. 2020. “The Integration of Sexual and Gender Minority Health into Medical School Curriculum.” Presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Conference held virtually due to COVID-19.

Herling, Jessica. 2020. “Oh you should talk to…: Examining the Implementation of LGBTQ Health Curricula in Medical Education” Presented at the Eastern Sociological Society Conference in Philadelphia, PA.

Herling, Jessica. 2020. “Medical Curricula on Sexual and Gender Minority Health.” Presented at the Sociologists for Women in Society Conference in San Diego, CA.

Herling, Jessica. 2019. “Enactment of LGBTQ Health in Medical Curriculum” Presented at the Society for the Study of Social Problems in New York, NY.

Herling, Jessica. 2019. “Hidden Curriculum in Medical Education on LGBTQ Health” Presented at the Gender, Bodies & Technology Conference in Roanoke, VA.

Herling, Jessica. 2019. “Hidden Curriculum in Medical Education on LGBTQ Health” Presented at the Southern Sociological Society Conference in Atlanta, GA.

Publications: Herling, Jessica. 2021. “‘Oh you should talk to…’: The Implementation of LGBTQ Health Curricula in Medical Education.” Advances in Medical Sociology, Vol 21: 277-298.

King, Neal, Rayanne Streeter, Jessica Herling, and Talitha Rose. 2018. Gender in Film and Media. New York: Routledge.

Twitter: @jessica_herling
Personal Website: