I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Washington and Lee University. Previously I was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Colby College. I received my PhD from the University of Texas at Austin, where I was a Graduate Fellow in the Urban Ethnography Lab. My main areas of interest are political sociology, social movements, urban sociology, social inequality, and qualitative methods. I have done research on the experiences of grassroots organizers in both the United States and Latin America.
I am currently working on a book exploring the ways in which people become activists. Based on life history interviews with current and former participants in the Unemployed Workers’ Movement in Argentina, as well as participant observation of the daily routines in their organizations, I seek to understand why some people sustain their involvement, while others in a similar situation leave. My findings suggest the need for a more nuanced and complex theory of political participation, one that focuses not only on the worldviews of activists but also on their practices, paying attention to their experiences inside and outside the movement, and incorporating insights from other areas of sociology. I presented some preliminary findings in articles at the Latin American Research Review, Mobilization, and Qualitative Sociology.
I have also conducted research on the lives and struggles of undocumented students in the United States. Insights from that work have been published in the book Invisible in Austin (University of Texas Press), coauthored with other members of the Urban Ethnography Lab at UT.
My research has been supported by various grants from the University of Texas, as well as a Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation. In addition, in 2014 I received the Graduate Excellence Award from the Department of Sociology at the University of Texas, and in 2016 I won the Mayer Zald Outstanding Graduate Student Paper Award from the Collective Behavior and Social Movements Section of the American Sociological Association.