I joined the LSU Department of Sociology in 2004, after completing my Ph.D. at Penn State. 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 inequality (e.g., place-based poverty dynamics, food stamp program participation, disaster vulnerability and resilience, etc.). I believe in the importance of extending scholarly knowledge beyond the academy, and thus have contributed to research briefs aimed at lay and policy audiences as well as stories produced by popular media outlets, including The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. In recognition of my early career research contributions, I was recently awarded the LSU Rainmaker Award for Research and Creative Activity in the emerging scholar category. This is the leading award at LSU for outstanding early career research productivity and only two such awards are granted by the university annually. In addition to my research program, I teach a variety of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, ranging from introductory sociology to a specialized graduate seminar on the sociology of poverty. I have had the pleasure of working with thousands of LSU students in the classroom, and have won a number of teaching awards in recognition of my commitment to student learning. Sample syllabi from some of my courses are linked below for illustrative purposes.
Courses recently taught at LSU
(Syllabi provided below are only for illustrative purposes and are subject to change every semester)