Welcome and thanks for your interest in my scholarship and related endeavors.
As an assistant professor of Sociology and Social Studies at Harvard University, I draw on both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze institutional processes of inequality. I particularly focus on the role of organizations in shaping the opportunity structures and outcomes available to individuals; my primary case is the U.S. higher education sector. This research implicates several major areas of sociological study, including inequality, stratification, mobility, organizations, race/ethnicity/gender, and culture, in addition to education.
My dissertation, which I completed at Columbia University, analyzed “Organizational Effects on Bachelor’s Degree Completion for the New Majority.” The work brings together key themes and ideas from the stratification and organizations literatures to investigate how colleges and universities impact individual student outcomes, particularly emphasizing the production of inequality by student race and social class. It is grounded in a study of public, broad-access, four-year colleges and universities, which enroll the majority of four-year college-goers and are an important context for students from traditionally underrepresented and non-dominant backgrounds. Through this work, I seek to reorient scholarly attention towards such college contexts, which enroll the numerical majority of college-goers but only recently have become incorporated into mainstream narratives of “the college experience.” I currently am submitting my dissertation papers for review while also beginning a related book project.
Outside of my dissertation work, I have studied other topics in higher education including the black/white race gap in degree completion (this paper, “The Paradox of Persistence: Explaining the Black-White Gap in Bachelor’s Degree Completion,” appears in the American Sociological Review) and the relationship between social class, college course-taking, and labor market outcomes. I also have written a widely circulated report on the specific opportunities and challenges facing two-to-four-year transfer students. Additionally, I have been involved in projects studying school-to-work transitions in comparative international contexts, including collaborative work published in the American Journal of Sociology and the American Sociological Review, as well as work-in-progress focused on the labor market outcomes of black and white college graduates in Brazil. I received an NAEd/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship to pursue this work.
At Harvard, I teach courses on sociological research methods, inequality, and race and ethnicity. My undergraduate teaching takes place in Social Studies while my graduate teaching occurs in the Sociology department.
Before entering academia, I served as the Director of Speechwriting and Communications in the Office of the President at Georgetown University. I also earned my BA at Georgetown and completed related Master’s work at St. Cross College at the University of Oxford. Outside of the University, I am an avid runner, yoga enthusiast, chef of my family’s Italian specialties, partner to educator and writer, Benjamin Eller, and mom to two small children.