Welcome!

 

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Thanks for visiting and for your interest in my research and related endeavors — many of which involve studying and addressing inequality in the United States, especially within the context of higher education.

As a doctoral candidate and Paul F. Lazarsfeld Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Columbia University, I draw on both quantitative and qualitative methods to analyze the role of higher education institutions in shaping the opportunity structures and outcomes available to students. This topic implicates several major areas of study within the discipline, including inequality, stratification, mobility, organizations, race, immigration, and neighborhoods, in addition to education.

My dissertation research brings together key themes and ideas from the stratification and organizations literatures to investigate postsecondary degree completion. I focus on the interactional space between students and colleges, analyzing how and why students are able to persist given organizational priorities and constraints. I am particularly interested in public, broad-access, four-year colleges and universities, which enroll the majority of four-year college-goers and are an important context for students from traditionally underrepresented and non-dominant backgrounds. Lessening inequality in the higher education system — and in the country, more broadly — requires an intensive focus on such students, who are the numerical majority but who often are not part of mainstream narratives of “the college experience.” My work seeks to understand the experiences and outcomes of such students by studying both their individual trajectories and the organizations and institutional contexts that serve them in higher education.

Outside of my dissertation work, I have studied other topics in higher education including the black/white race gap in degree completion and the relationship between social class and college course-taking.  I also have written a widely circulated report on the specific opportunities and challenges facing two-to-four-year transfer students.  Additionally, I have been involved in projects studying school-to-work transitions in comparative international contexts, including this collaborative work recently published in the American Journal of Sociology and a work-in-progress focused on the labor market outcomes of black and white college graduates in Brazil.  In May 2017, I was named an NAEd/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow.

Before coming to Columbia, I served as the Director of Speechwriting and Communications within the Office of the President at Georgetown University. I also received my BA from Georgetown, where I was Valedictorian of the College, and where I received the Healy Scholarship, which enabled two years of graduate study at the University of Oxford. Now back on more familiar turf — I mainly grew up in the NYC tri-state area —  I am an avid runner, yoga enthusiast, chef of our family’s Italian specialties, and mom to a little one, Oliver.