Professor and Chair
I joined the Department in 1992 with a Ph.D. from Penn State. Although I started as a mathematical demographer, I later acquired an interest in crime and deviance in order to understand the tangle of social problems and despair in Black inner cities. In seeking that understanding, I examine macro-level factors such as racial segregation, concentrations of poverty, and labor market composition. This segued into my focus on Latinos and crime–and the conceptual framework that Latino communities in the U.S. are split into two separate social worlds; old immigrants living in organized communities with low crimes rates, and new immigrants in disorganized places with high crime rates and other social problems. Understanding this duality in the Latino experience helps resolve the so-called “Latino paradox”, that apparent conundrum that Latino crime rates are far lower than expected given their high rates of poverty. Extending my findings beyond the academy, my research on race and ethnicity issues is extensively reported in media editorials (e.g., Philadelphia Enquirer, the BB, San Bernardino Sun). I am also committed to teaching and mentorship, having earned 10 teaching awards and placing numerous graduate students in tenure track positions. I also believe in service. I created the interdisciplinary Crime and Policy Evaluation Research Group at LSU and, at the pleasure of the Vice-Chancellor, I lead the recruitment and retention analysis effort that increased LSU's incoming class by 15.3% in 2011. Currently, I head the LSU data analysis team (and am special advisor to the District Attorney) for the Baton Rouge crime reduction effort known as BRAVE. After receiving approximately $4,000,000 in funding, we have successfully reduced violence in Baton Rouge by approximately 35% over the last year.
Courses recently taught at LSU
(Syllabi provided below are only for illustrative purposes and are subject to change every semester)
- Sociology 4461: Criminology
- Sociology 7201: Research Methods in Sociology
- Sociology 7203: Advanced Research Methods in Social Science
- Sociology 7491: Macro Criminology