I am a sociologist at Colorado State University. My research broadly explores the mechanisms and processes through which economic inequalities become social inequalities. I am interested in understanding how macro-level economic and political contexts come together with local-level characteristics of neighborhoods, schools, and housing markets to shape the beliefs, behaviors, opportunities, and well-being of individuals and families, as well as how these mechanisms and outcomes vary based on differences in income, education, race, religiosity, and family structure. I teach graduate and undergraduate courses on research design and quantitative methods.
PhD in Sociology, 2017
University of California, Berkeley
MA in Sociology, 2013
University of California, Berkeley
BS in Physics, 2007
BA in Mathematics, 2007
My new article “Happiness in Hard Times: Does Religion Buffer the Negative Effect of Unemployment on Happiness?” with Kassandra Roeser has now been published in Social Forces. (Nov 2020)
The Urban Institute’s Housing Matters posted a summary of my recently published research with Adam Goldstein on how school quality shapes how much parent’s are willing to spend on housing. (Jan 2020)
A new essay in The Conversation summarizes my recent work with Daniel Schneider on family structure and parenting. (Sept 2019)
“Income Inequality and Class Divides in Parental Investments in Children” published in the American Sociological Review has been awarded the ASA Family Section Article of the Year. (June 2019)
In higher inequality places, it costs more to live in areas with good schools. Adam Goldstein and I show this (and more) in our new paper “Buying In: Positional Competition, Schools, Income Inequality, and Housing Consumption in Sociological Science. (May 2019)
My new paper “Who Feels It? Income Inequality, Relative Deprivation, and Financial Satisfaction in U.S. States, 1973–2012” has now been published in Research in Social Stratification and Mobility. (Feb 2019)
Research from “Income Inequality and Class Divides in Parental Investments in Children” was described in a New York Times article on “The Relentlessness of Modern Parenting”. (Dec 2018)
I am a winner of the Tobin Project 2018 Prize for Exemplary Work on Inequality and Decision Making. This prize recognizes research with Daniel Schneider and Joe LaBriola on “Income Inequality and Class Divides in Parental Investments in Children” recently published in the American Sociological Review. (Oct 2018)
My work with Daniel Schneider is being supported with a US 2050 Grant from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation and Ford Foundation to explore how family structure and class shape parental investments in children. (Aug 2018)
My new paper “Less Equal, Less Trusting? Longitudinal and Cross-sectional Effects of Income Inequality on Trust in U.S. States, 1973–2012” is now available at Social Science Research. (June 2018)
I grew up near Austin, TX, and then studied physics and math as an undergraduate at Rice University. My research interests shifted from the natural world to the social, and I earned my PhD in sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. I am now at Colorado State University where I do research and teach as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology.
Before becoming a sociologist, I served as a campus minister, tuned lasers on an atomic clock, and worked at Home Depot in a bright orange apron. I am married to Michelle and we have three boys. I enjoy running (sometimes really, really far) and climbing (sport, trad, alpine… everything but bouldering). I sporadically document these adventures on Instagram and Strava.