“Education has its limits — even a Harvard degree cannot make DaQuan as enticing as Charlie to employers.”
I am a Senior Research Scientist at NWEA and a consultant for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. I was previously an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of California – Los Angeles, an Assistant Professor of Sociology and Demography at Penn State University, and a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan. I received a Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
My research interests include inequality, race & ethnicity, discrimination, labor markets, sociology of education, higher education, correspondence audits, and experimental methods. I use field and survey experiments to examine levels of discrimination in employment, housing, and other contexts, 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. Overall, my research provides evidence of inequality in the U.S. related to race/ethnicity, social class, and education.
In early 2022, my research and legal consulting directly led to an experimental change on the Airbnb platform in an effort to reduce discrimination. I currently consult for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division on methodological issues related to racial discrimination.
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 numerous journals such as the American Journal of Sociology, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 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 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.