3. Make IT count

who i Am

My approach

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 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.

1. rE-EXAMINE issues that have been narrowly conceived at the individual-level FROM A SOCIOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE

2. Get some (historical) perspective

sociologist. EDUCATOR.thought leader.

I am committed 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 USAID, the US government’s bilateral development and humanitarian aid agency; the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the largest public health system in the country; the Nashville-Davidson County Mayor's Office; and private sector policy research organizations like Mathematica. Several of my papers are available as short one-page policy briefs, community research summaries, or are summarized in op-ed and other newsmedia publications for nonacademic audiences.

I am a sociologist and assistant professor of Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. 


I currently serve as an Associate Director of the Vanderbilt LGBT Policy Lab.


I have a secondary appointment in the Department of Health Policy, and I am affiliated faculty in the Departments of Sociology and Gender and Sexuality Studies, and in the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health.

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Before joining Vanderbilt, I was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley and University of California, San Francisco.


Out of the office, I am a parent to two-year old twins; an enthusiastic if not very speedy cyclist, middle distance runner, and two-time captain of the AIDS/LifeCycle Team On Your Left; and a proud Timmermaniac!


You can find my CV here.