“Education has its limits — even a Harvard degree cannot make DaQuan as enticing as Charlie to employers.”
I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of California – Los Angeles, a Faculty Fellow with the California Center for Population Research, and a Faculty Affiliate with the Center for Social Statistics. I received a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. I was previously a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan and an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Demography at Penn State University.
My research interests include race and ethnicity, inequality, sociology of education, education policy, higher education, mental health, discrimination, stigma, and experimental methods. In general, my research focuses on three key areas: racial discrimination, educational inequality, and mental health. I often use experiments to examine levels of discrimination in employment and housing as well as the conditions under which racial discrimination occurs. My work in educational inequality explores how education policy, social capital, and cultural capital influence academic achievement and attainment. In other research, I investigate differences in mental health conditions, stigma, and the use of mental health treatment services on college campuses. Overall, my research provides evidence of inequality in the U.S. related to race, social class, and education.
In 2018, I published a book on the experimental method used to investigate discrimination titled Audit Studies: Behind the Scenes with Theory, Method, and Nuance. My research has been published in top journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Social Forces, Social Science & Medicine, and Sociological Science and has been funded by the National Academy of Education, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, and the Spencer Foundation. In 2020, I was named Honorable Mention for the Distinguished Early Career Award by the American Sociological Association’s Section on Racial and Ethnic Minorities.
I have been quoted/interviewed by and/or my work has been covered by The Boston Globe, The Economist, Education Week, Fortune, The Guardian, Harvard Business Review, Inside Higher Ed, The Los Angeles Times, NBC LX, PBS NewsHour, Psychology Today, and Times Higher Education. I have written op-eds for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Hill, and Times Higher Education. I also write on Medium.