Welcome & Introduction

I am an Assistant Professor in the Education Policy and Leadership department at Southern Methodist University (SMU).  I hold a PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MSc. in Social Policy & Planning from the London School of Economics and Political Science, an MSc. in Teaching from Pace University through New York City Teaching Fellows Program, and a B.A. in History from Brown University.

My research agenda addresses the social contexts of education.  In particular, I examine how student and families’ broader life contexts intersect with educational institutions, actors, policies, and practices to shape their schooling experiences.  My work, which is often qualitative, falls into three distinct but overlapping research strands: 1) educational leadership, 2) family-school-community relations, and, 3) social and education policy.

Across all three strands, I primarily focus on the contexts of poverty, homelessness, and high mobility.


Educational leadership: In this strand, I examine leadership in the context of community change such as rising poverty, homelessness, and racial/ethnic shifts.  Here my work is situated in both urban and suburban geographic places and focuses on both preparation and practice.  I define leadership broadly–encompassing not only principals but also wide-ranging school and community actors.  This scholarship has implications for both aspiring and current school leaders.

Family-school-community relations:  In this strand of work, I explore how schools, district, and educators work with families and various community organizations.  This strand often foregrounds the voices and perspectives of families and students who are traditionally marginalized by mainstream schooling and embraces an asset-based approach to parent engagement and community involvement.  My work in this strand is often focused on ensuring its relevance to practice.

Social and education policy:  My final strand focuses on the sociocultural contexts of policy.  Much of this work foregrounds the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento)–a federal law which provides a range of supports to students experiencing homelessness–or examines how various social policies interact with education policy.  This body of work emphasizes the value of connecting research, policy, and practice.

If you would like to learn more about my work, please explore my website.  My contact information can be found at the bottom of this page.


My research interests are rooted in my early professional experiences as a high school social studies teacher in Brooklyn, NY.   My students taught me to critically consider how diverse out of school factors, such as the needs and assets of their neighborhoods, seeped into our classroom.  Faced with bright and resourceful students, but also an … Continue reading Background


My work can be found in Educational Researcher, Teachers College Record, Urban Education, The Urban Review, and other venues. I commonly attend and present at the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), but I am always looking for new spaces to learn from colleagues, share work, and collaborate. Please see below for … Continue reading Publications

Teaching & Mentoring

My teaching is guided by two overarching pedagogical goals.  My first goal is to create a safe and inclusive environment for critical thinking.  My second goal is to foster meaningful student engagement through clear expectations, wide-ranging pedagogical tools, and personalized learning. At SMU, I teach Collaborative Leadership on our Accelerated School Leadership Program, Qualitative Methods … Continue reading Teaching & Mentoring


  Please see my cv for more information about my commitment to service.  

Research & Policy

  Please see my cv for more information about my research and policy experience.

CV & Links

Download my cv here and find other relevant links.