Research

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)

Current Project: 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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Other Project: 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