I’m a lot of things, and simply stating my professional activities before anything else seems odd. So, before entering that arena, let me introduce a broader picture of me. First, I’m married to the love of my life. Second, I’m enthusiastic about the great outdoors and spend every minute I can hiking, trail running, climbing, mountaineering, and simply enjoying nature with my wonderful partner and our dogs. I’m trying my hand at gardening, and hope to learn how to grow more of the food that I eat. Finally, I’m curious about a multitude of topics, including: different cultures and languages, physics, computers (both hardware and software), philosophy, art, music, and ancient societies. But, now in the years of graduate studies and the all encompassing task that is, I normally spend my time researching…. Luckily my research often coincides with my other curiosities; or at least provides opportunities to indulge in them a little.
Now to the formal, or professional picture: I’m a Doctoral student in the Sociology department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a pre-doctoral trainee at the Carolina Population Center with interests in social stratification, inequality, education, race, and advanced quantitative methodologies. While these topics often lend themselves to mutual inclusion in a single study through their intersectionality, I also find each of them interesting in their own rights. Consequently, my research often spans multiple areas of my interests. Prior to starting my doctorate studies at UNC, I worked as a statistical consultant at Brigham Young University and am currently trying to leverage the skills I developed during that time toward research projects on structural equation models with latent variables (SEMs), instrumental variable use in SEMs (also know as model-implied instrumental variables, or MIIVs), and the finite sampling characteristics of various tests of overidentifying restrictions. In more substantively oriented research, I have a series of papers that explore the origins and consequences of social stratification in educational outcomes based on socially constructed resources such as social capital. Additionally, I’m in the early stages of a new series of projects which investigate gene/environment correlations and interactions as part of traditional social stratification models of health and education. As part of that new research agenda, I'm actively engaged in formalizing my dissertation proposal. But, until then, and let’s be honest even after formalizing my dissertation, I will continue to engage in various research projects both through my own work and in collaboration with colleagues near and far.