I am an Assistant Professor of Sociology at UC Merced. My research investigates the role of organizations in the interplay between economic elites and disadvantaged social groups. What forms of organization strengthen elite efforts to consolidate power in politics and the economy? What are effective organizational strategies by which non-elites can achieve more equitable distributions of power, wealth, and status?
My primary current research project investigates relationships between financialization and growing inequalities in U.S. higher education. This research has been covered in New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed.
- how organizations representing colleges and universities came together with consumer banks to support a radical government-backed expansion of student loans at the beginning of the 1990s;
- how private equity financed large scale efforts by for-profit colleges to rake in federally backed student loan revenue at the expense of students who gained little educational benefit;
- how donations from Wall Street and hedge fund investment strategies fueled increasingly lavish spending at elite private universities
- how community colleges and state universities were increasingly squeezed by the diversion of public support to for-profit colleges and tax expenditures in support of private endowments.