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.

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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