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Sociology alum publishes first paper in Sociology of Sport Journal

by Public Relations and Marketing | Published Apr 27, 2020

College of Lake County alum Justen Hamilton ‘08 recently published his first academic paper in the Sociology of Sport Journal, “Undoing Gender or Overdoing Gender? Women MMA Athletes’ Intimate Partnering and the Relational Maintenance of Femininity.”  

The paper is based on interviews with 40 professional women’s mixed martial arts athletes, conducted over the course of a year. Hamilton (pictured) is a former mixed martial arts athlete and the owner and head instructor of Photo of CLC alum Justen HamiltonModern Martial Arts and Fitness in Pasadena, Calif.. His research suggests that while professional women’s mixed martial arts athletes may in some ways “undo gender” in their professional careers, these women actually overdo gender in their intimate relationships to compensate for feelings of feminine insecurity. 

Although he was not a star student in high school, Hamilton became interested in sociology while taking a range of intro classes at CLC. “Fortunately, one of my classes was Introduction to Sociology with Professor John Tenuto,” Hamilton explains. “Although I had no prior interest in sociology, almost immediately I could tell this was a course like no other. This was the first time I watched one of my instructors teach and thought it looked fun.” 

Once teaching and sociology piqued Hamilton’s interest, Professor Tenuto continued to mentor him through his career. After earning his associate degree at CLC, Hamilton studied sociology at DePaul University for both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of California, Riverside. 

“My time at CLC was absolutely critical to my development as a student,” said Hamilton. “The college exposed me to a wide range of disciplines at an affordable price, in a comfortable environment where I could find my place.” Like many community college students, Hamilton was the first in his family to attend college. 

“Starting a CLC was really a wonderful experience and I will always be grateful I took this path.” 

About College of Lake County:

The College of Lake County is a comprehensive community college committed to equitable high-quality education, cultural enrichment and partnerships to advance the diverse communities it serves in northeastern Illinois. Offered at three campuses in Grayslake, Vernon Hills and Waukegan or online, college classes are affordable and accessible to help each student achieve academic, career and personal goals. More than 70,000 students graduated with degrees and certificates since the college opened in 1969. The College of Lake County is the only higher-education institution ranked among the top 15 best places to work in Illinois by Forbes and is a national leader in many areas, including sustainability and conservation.





College of Lake County alum Justen Hamilton ‘08 recently published his first academic paper in the Sociology of Sport Journal,