My upbringing in the Washington DC metropolitan area during the Marion Barry era nurtured my sociological imagination and fed my curiosity about the economic and political life of cities. I have been fortunate to build and reflect on my experiences--and discover new societal challenges--while earning a BA and MA in Sociology at Hampton University (in Hampton, VA) and George Mason University (in Fairfax, VA), respectively. In June 2016, I received a PhD in Sociology from Northwestern University, where I was also a Legal Studies Fellow.

My approach to sociological research and teaching is rooted in the conviction that sociologists can be both critical and constructive. We can keep honing our critical ability to identify and theorize the patterns and assumptions that structure the vast inequalities of American society. But we can also speak meaningfully to the many audiences who are also seeking and devising answers to the problems that vex us. I try to carry this principle into everything I do professionally.