profile_editedI am an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology at Pepperdine University, where I started after receiving my Ph.D. in the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. My community-engaged research focuses on the different ways that communities collectively organize and how their organizations shape, and are shaped by, structural inequality.

Specifically, I analyze the effects of two forms of organization: neighborhood development organizations and community organizing coalitions. To date, many social scientists have argued that civic organizations have homogeneous effects, presenting them either as foundations of well-functioning democracy or as exclusionary forces that divide society. But I argue that it is not an either/or situation. Instead, I show that the effect that civic organizations have differs, depending on their organizational form. I also show these effects vary by level of analysis. My results indicate that place-based organizations can lower poverty in their neighborhood, but do not influence city-level structural inequalities in the way that identity-based organizations do, largely because of identity-based organizations’ ability to build cross-cutting coalitions.

Areas of Research and Teaching Interest

Social change, urban sociology, civil society, inequality, social movements, organizations, immigration, and research methods