Born and raised in Chicago, I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I am also a Graduate Research Fellow in the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) and Graduate Fellow in the Justice Lab at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Since Fall 2020, I have been Visiting Scholar at Alabama State University while completing dissertation data collection.
I have three lines of interconnected research at the intersection of race, organizations, inequality, poverty, and health. First, I study the experiences of organizations led by people of color, governing bodies, and funding agencies within the nonprofit sector. In doing so, I theorize the sector as constituting a racialized nonprofit industrial complex (RNIC) with significant implications for all stakeholders. Second, I am interested in Black neighborhoods and community based organizations, particularly in terms of how individuals develop and leverage collective efficacy in pursuing neighborhood change. Third, I am interested in social epidemiology and how structures such as the RNIC and mass incarceration impact the health of communities.
In conducting research, I allow questions to determine a particular method. To that end, my work utilizes both qualitative and quantitative methods with a preference for the former while recognizing that each approach can (and should) inform the other as part of a dialectical relationship with the aim of gaining a deeper understanding of social phenomena. This view of methods reflects extensive methodological training and deep passion for teaching students how to answer research questions.
Prior to pursuing the PhD, I was a first-generation college student and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and English and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I also earned a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago.
Outside of academia, I enjoy binge watching sports, especially college football. I also enjoy exercising, trying new foods, and traveling!
I invite you to read more about my dissertation, research, teaching, and experience with funded projects. You may also access my vita here.