I am a joint PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology and the Graduate School of Education at the University of Pennsylvania. My research examines how organizations transform and reproduce social inequality. My specific areas of interest include economic elites and philanthropy, education and social mobility, social networks, and emotions. My work, which has received rewards from several sections of the American Sociological Association (Organizations, Occupations and Work; Sociology of Education; and Emotions), is published in Sociology of Education, Sociological Forum, Symbolic Interaction, and is forthcoming in Du Bois Review. I have co-authored pieces with Annette Lareau (University of Pennsylvania) and Elliot Weininger (SUNY Brockport) that appear in Teachers College Record, The New York Times, and The Hechinger Report.
My prior work includes an ethnographic study of the summer session of a program that prepares low-income students of color to attend elite boarding schools.
My current work includes an ethnographic study of two organizations attempting to redistribute power across institutional roles—a family foundation seeking to transfer control over a portion of its grant-making to a community-based board, and a democratic school in which students and teachers have equal voice (one vote per person) in decisions.
I am also collaborating on a project with Rand Quinn (University of Pennsylvania) and Amy Steinbugler (Dickinson College) that investigates the school- and neighborhood-based social networks of parents sending their children to a school of choice.
Before beginning graduate school, I worked as a community organizer and a high-school Latin teacher. I hold an M.A. in Sociology of Education from Stanford University, an M.S.Ed. in Education, Culture, and Society from the University of Pennsylvania, and a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Classical Civilizations from Wellesley College.