My research focuses primarily on under-explored sources of educational inequality, particularly at the intersection of adolescent students' racial identities, gender identities, academic identities, emotionality, and future orientation.


My dissertation research investigates the experiences of Black adolescent boys who have lost friends to gun violence. I seek to understand these young people's everyday grief-related rituals and interactions, the resources and supports they draw on, and how they are imagining their own futures after loss -- all within the context of their single-sex college preparatory high school. I employ ethnographic, narrative, and visual methods.

An article from this project was published in School Psychology Quarterly. The work was also recently written up in Omnia, Penn Arts & Sciences Magazine.

Other ongoing projects:

  • A co-edited methodological book about the role of care in school-based ethnographic research relationships with youth.

  • A study of white students’ views of the political climate at their elite private high schools.

Previous research projects include:

  • A content analysis of the photographs Black youth posted under the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown hashtag after the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown (published in Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture, and Society).

  • An ethnography on the processes of masculinity production among third graders at an all-boys private school.

  • A youth participatory action research (YPAR) project with teenagers at an all-boys private high school about the meanings and consequences of "brotherhood" at their school.

  • A Listening Guide case study of a Black queer teenage boy at a turning point in his educational trajectory.

  • A comprehensive review of the interdisciplinary empirical and theoretical literature around the social construction of the categories of "good student" and "bad student."

  • An ethnographic case study of two high school boys of color on the moments of convergence of their in- and out-of-school learning and literacy practices.

research organizations

Below are research centers and groups at the University of Pennsylvania with which I am affiliated:

CAMRA @ Penn

CAMRA @ Penn

School Participatory Action Research Collaborative

School Participatory Action Research Collaborative