Olin/Rice Halls of Science, Room 249
1600 Grand Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55105
Minority and ethnic group segregation, social welfare policy, local governance, and city planning
As an urban social geographer, I am particularly interested in ways that social, political, legal and economic processes influence city life and landscapes, as well as the ways that people and organizations create meaningful places and landscapes through participation in such processes. I am also a qualitative researcher. I pursue this interest through interview and observation research that captures the constructed and contested nature of city life in North America. I developed an interest in qualitative methods while completing my undergraduate degree in Anthropology. And I later honed these interests in my graduate work, pursuing advanced degrees in geography (MA at SUNY Buffalo and PhD at University of Colorado at Boulder).
My scholarship focuses on socio-spatial processes of exclusion and inclusion. How does the way societies shape and use space contribute to the marginalization of particular social groups? How can spaces be produced in ways that serve goals of social justice and equity? My scholarship engages these questions through two different thematic research projects that address: (1) citizenship formation under welfare state restructuring and (2) geographies of marginalization. I have begin to integrate these interests in a new project on urban design and social equity, which I am pursuing through research on the New Urbanism, an urban design movement that advocates the creation of compact, mixed-use, and mixed-income neighborhoods.
My scholarship and teaching are deeply intertwined. My scholarship directly informs the courses that I teach. And I make a point of bringing my research into relevant courses. This helps me stay current, relevant, and enthusiastic about what I teach. Furthermore, I am always keen to involve students directly in research through course-based civic engagement and action research projects, hiring students to assist me in collecting data for my own scholarship, and advising students in independent projects.