Kenneth Gourlay is a PhD student in Sociology at Wayne State University. His focus is on public discourse around sex, sexuality, and gender.

Would you like to help support my academic journey? Take a look at this list of books and materials that will aid my research!

Curriculum Vitae


Wayne State University
Doctor of Philosophy, Sociology (expected 2026)
Master of Arts, Sociology (2022)
Detroit, Michigan
University of Michigan
Bachelor of Science, Education (2000)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Chelsea High School
Diploma (1996)
Chelsea, Michigan

Honors, Awards, and Certifications

Graduate Professional Scholarship
Wayne State University
2020, 2021, 2022
Women of Wayne Scholarship
Wayne State University
2020, 2021, 2022
Shirley Falconer Slayman Scholarship
Wayne State University
2020, 2021
Mediation Training Certification
Chance For Life Organization
Leader and Facilitator Development Certification
Chance For Life Organization
University Honors
University of Michigan
National Merit Scholar
National Merit Scholarship Corporation

Volunteer and Organizations

MindMeditate WSU
Vice President (2022–2023)
Detroit, Michigan
Voting Access for All Coalition
Webmaster (May 2021–present)
American Sociological Association
Student Member (2020–present)
Washington, D. C.
Friends of Restorative Justice
Member (March 2020–present)
Washtenaw County, Michigan
North Central Sociological Association
Student Member (February 2020–present)
Westerville, Ohio
Still Mountain Buddhist Meditation Center
Member (2018–present)
Board Member (2020–2023)
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Teaching Experience

Curriculum Designer and Instructor
Trade Skill Math Course (2017–2018)
Jackson, Michigan
Secular Organization for Sobriety (2016–2018)
Jackson, Michigan
GED Program Tutor
Michigan Department of Corrections (2009–2018)
Jackson, Michigan
Student Teacher
Greenhills School (2000)
Ann Arbor, Michigan


Editorial Assistant
Sociological Focus, North Central Sociological Association, through Wayne State University (2022–2025)
Detroit, Michigan
Web Developer, Designer, and Consultant
Self Employed (2020–present)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Social Media Marketing Consultant
Art & Element (2018–present)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Assistant Manager
Zingerman’s Bakehouse (2018–2020)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Assistant Carpenter
Integral Works (2006–2007)
Detroit, Michigan
Project Manager
Chimes, Inc. (2005–2006)
Troy, Michigan
Software Development Lead
Chimes, Inc. (2003–2005)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Information Technology Consultant
Saline Area Schools (2000–2002)
Saline, Michigan
Productions Coordinator
Access Productions, Inc. (1998–2001)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Owner and Chief Technology Officer
Chain Communications, Inc. (1997–2003)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
The Millennium Project, University of Michigan (1997–1998)
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Macintosh and Web User Services
Computer Aided Engineering Network, University of Michigan (1996–1999)
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Academic Publications

Gourlay, Kenneth, & Brewster, Zachary. 2023. “Seeing Red: Color Effects on Restaurant Tipping May Not Be as Significant as Thought.” Journal of Foodservice Business Research. doi: 10.1080/15378020.2023.2260276 (complimentary free access)

Gourlay, Kenneth. 2023. “Talking to Friends About Sex, and Why We Don’t.” Sexuality & Culture. doi: 10.1007/s12119-023-10116-9

Brewster, Zachary, & Gourlay, Kenneth. 2021. “The ‘Mask Effect’ on the Tips that Customers Leave Restaurant Servers.” International Journal of Hospitality Management. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhm.2021.103068

Brewster, Zachary; Gourlay, Kenneth; & Nowak III, Gerald. 2021. “Are Black Restaurant Servers Tipped Less Than White Servers? Three Experimental Tests of Server Race Effects on Customers’ Tipping Behaviors.” Cornell Hospitality Quarterly. doi: 10.1177/1938965521103665


Gourlay, Kenneth. 2024. “Machine Learning for Qualitative Social Science Research.” Presented at North Central Sociological Association Annual Meeting, March 30, 2024, Columbus, Ohio.

Gourlay, Kenneth. 2023. “Healthy Survivors: Do Parents Play a Role in Resilience to Childhood Sexual Victimization?” Presented at North Central Sociological Association Annual Meeting, March 24, 2023, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Gourlay, Kenneth. 2022. “Correlates of Barriers to Communication with Friends.” Presented at Michigan Sociological Association Annual Meeting, November 5, 2022, East Lansing, Michigan.

Gourlay, Kenneth. 2022. “Talking With Friends About Sex: Barriers to Sexual Communication Among Peers.” Presented at North Central Sociological Association Annual Meeting, April 2, 2022, Indianapolis, Indiana.

Gourlay, Kenneth. 2022. “Seeing Red During COVID-19: Lipstick and Mask Color Effects on Tipping.” Presented at Wayne State University Graduate Research Symposium, March 8, 2022, Detroit, Michigan.

Brewster, Zachary, & Gourlay, Kenneth. 2021. “Face Masks and the Color Red: Restaurant Tipping Behaviors During the Pandemic.” Presented at Wayne State University Humanities Center Brown Bag Colloquium Series, October 13, 2021, Detroit, Michigan.

Gourlay, Kenneth. 2021. “Queerness and Mental Health.” Presented at NCSA Annual Meeting, April 10, 2021, online.

Gourlay, Kenneth, & Sammons, Kyle. 2020. “Tweeting About Sex: A Content Analysis of Sex-Related Communication on Twitter.” Accepted for presentation at NCSA Annual Meeting (canceled due to COVID-19). 

Other Publications

Gourlay, Kenneth. 2020. Lessons Learned: Life-Altering Experiences of Incarceration. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Author.

Gourlay, Kenneth, ed. 2018. Save Our Selves Participant Handbook. Jackson, Michigan: Save Our Selves.