Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology
University of Michigan
I am a quantitative sociologist and methodologist working at the intersection of stratification and demography. My research agenda is driven by the overarching questions: how do social policies influence the choices available to individuals, and how those choices aggregate to shape inequality? I am a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Michigan and I expect to complete my degree in May 2023.
My research agenda focuses on two major areas. First, I study how the structural link between schools and neighborhoods created by school district policies shapes racial segregation dynamics.
My primary research to date explores how school policies shape parents’ decisions about where to live and where to send their children to school, and identifies the implications of those decisions for neighborhood and school segregation. School district attendance policies assign students to schools based on where they live, tying school segregation to neighborhood segregation. However, while both parents and scholars have long understood the importance of these school district policies, scholarship has not fully considered their implications for individual preferences, mobility decisions, and population dynamics. My work informs sociological theory on population dynamics and reveals how social policies can create spillover effects across domains.
My second area of research focuses on economic inequality. In an article published in Demography, I examine how poverty and material hardship spill over to affect women’s contraceptive use. I find that the material deprivations of poverty, such as utility shutoffs or food insecurity, are associated with less effective contraception among young women. I also find that these effects are mediated by both cognitive burden and access to contraception, speaking to the impacts that social policies around healthcare and government assistance can have for young women. In another co-authored project with a fellow graduate student, I use novel decomposition methods to estimate the effects of deindustrialization and deunionization on workers’ wages. I disentangle the impacts of these two macro-economic forces to understand how each has separately contributed to workers’ risks of poverty, bringing in the role of industry changes into the sociological conversation around unionization.
My research has been supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development Graduate Fellowship, and the American Sociological Association/NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant.