sociologist. EDUCATOR.thought leader.
I am dedicated to conducting timely, policy relevant research that is responsive to contemporary questions or problems. As an indicator of my success in achieving this, I have been invited to present my work at places like Mathematica, an influential policy research organization; USAID, the US government’s bilateral development and humanitarian aid agency; and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the largest public health system in the country. Several of my papers are available as short 1-page policy briefs or are summarized in op-ed publications for nonacademic audiences.
My work frequently examines the effects of a discrete policy change on marginalized individuals and communities, especially LGBT people, families, and communities. I've found it imperative to understand as fully as possible the historical context in which this policy change came about. This lands me deep in the archive more often than not. I also strive to understand an issue from as many perspectives as possible. To this end, I have interviewed global policymakers, representatives at the UN and UNAIDS, national government officials, HIV/AIDS organization representatives, and African LGBT activists in several African countries.
There are many social problems that we think about as the consequences of individual behaviors, ideas, or choices but that have broader social underpinnings. I seek out these social underpinnings across an array of topics, from homophobia to substance use, and clinical trial participation to getting along with your neighbors.
I am a sociologist and assistant professor of Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. Before joining the faculty at Vanderbilt, I was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley. I am a co-parent to twin boys; an enthusiastic if not very speedy cyclist, runner, and captain of Team On Your Left; and a proud Timmermaniac!