Current Position: Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies, Department of Sociology, Louisiana State University
Brief Bio: My scholarly interests are in the areas of social stratification and social demography, with emphasis on forms of economic and spatial inequality. My scholarship has been published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes, and I have received funding to support my research program from a range of sources, including the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Department of the Interior. Recent and ongoing research projects include studies of working poverty and other forms of underemployment; household livelihood strategies, including participation in the informal economy (i.e., unrecorded work for cash, barter, and self-provisioning); and various aspects of regional/geographic inequality (e.g., place-based poverty dynamics, food stamp program participation, disaster vulnerability and resilience, etc.). In 2011, I was awarded the LSU Rainmaker Award for Research and Creative Activity in the emerging scholar category, which is the leading university award for outstanding early career research productivity.
Penn State’s Demography Program: Penn State’s Demography Program is rightly viewed as among the very best in the U.S. Not only are the faculty and infrastructural resources top of the line, the dual-degree format allows students a special opportunity to be trained in a truly interdisciplinary environment. Comfort with interdisciplinary research efforts has proven to be an important asset in my career.