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Research Interests

Higher education, stratification, social class, gender, race/class/gender, family, civic engagement/ volunteering, social psychology, social justice, teaching and learning, mixed methods (qualitative and statistics)

The Covid-19 Pandemic's Impact on Inequality of College Student Trajectories at Two Universities

  • Research questions: 

    • How do institutional policies in response to the Covid-19 pandemic differentially impact students? 

    • How does the timing of the pandemic in a student's college experience differentially impact their trajectory?

    • How does the pandemic generally, and university structures in particular, differentially impact students based on race, social class, and gender? 

  • Design: Yearly longitudinal in-depth interviews with 50 students at UNC-Chapel Hill (started Fall 2018) and 30 students at St Lawrence University (started Fall 2020)

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Pre-Health Professions & STEM Study Abroad Benefits and Inequalities

  • Research questions: 

    • How do health related international study abroad programs contribute to inequality among pre-health professions students?

    • What pathways lead students into participating in these types of study abroad programs? What different barriers made applying to and participating in the program easier or harder for some students than others?

    • How do students’ experiences within these study abroad programs differ by social characteristics, such as race, class, or gender?

  • Design: European Study Abroad case study

    • 31 interviews with students ​

    • 14 interviews with faculty/staff 

    • 23 observation hours in classrooms, labs, and student downtime

Image by Febiyan

Breaking Down Barriers (& Confronting New Ones): A Nonbinary Student's Experience in a Sorority

  • Research questions: 

    • What barriers prevent nonbinary student participation in Greek life?

    • How did a nonbinary student successfully join a sorority despite those barriers?

    • How did the local chapter react to the national decision to revoke the nonbinary student's membership?

  • Case study involves interviews with students in Greek life, campus staff, policy documents, and media analysis

Image by Katie Rainbow 🏳️‍🌈

Major Questions: Reproducing Inequality through College Major Decisions

  • Research questions: How do students choose their college majors? How does this process reproduce inequality by race, class, and gender? 
  • Design: Longitudinal surveys (n=1,1,00) and in-depth interviews (n=50) with first-year college students at UNC-Chapel Hill 
  • Major findings: 
    • Student orientations to choosing a major differ by race, class, and gender and these orientations change over time as students learn new schemas for choosing a major (i.e. based on career, intellectual interests, or match with student skillset)
    • Students often get stuck in ill-fitting majors because ​they feel compelled to choose a major before they have much (correct) knowledge about what that major means and entails
    • Students feel uncertainty during parts of the major choosing process, and these times of uncertainty are critical junctures for inequality reproduction 
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2010 - present

2010 - present

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