I am a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at Cornell University with research and teaching interests in social change, law and organizations, and gender and sexualities. I am also an affiliate of the Center for the Study of Inequality and a Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Organizational Behavior, both at Cornell. I received my PhD in Sociology from Yale University in 2019.
My current research centers on understanding how antidiscrimination law comes to be used and interpreted differently in organizations over time, despite the fact that the statute itself remains the same. My book manuscript (under contract with Princeton University Press) examines this question using the case of Title IX, the 1972 US civil rights law that prohibits sex discrimination in education. For decades, Title IX was known as the law that encouraged women’s participation in athletics. More recently, it has become one of the most powerful and prevalent tools in the fight against sexual harassment and assault on campus. Drawing on new data and multiple methods, I explain this striking change. I take a comprehensive approach that traces how the law has been used across the three key organizational settings where implementation takes place: the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, the courts, and colleges and universities. The three leading explanations for why the same law comes to be used differently over time—social structural and cultural change, social movements, and organizational representatives working within the institutions regulated by the law—cannot on their own explain the case of Title IX. My argument highlights another factor: the politically productive relationship between people protected by the law and legal professionals advocating on their behalf. This relationship transformed Title IX and the meaning of gender inequality in American schools.
I was a 2018-2019 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellow. In summer 2018, I participated in the Summer Institute on Organizations and Their Effectiveness at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. My research is also supported by the National Science Foundation and the Horowitz Foundation for Social Policy and recently won the ASA Sex and Gender Section Sally Hacker Graduate Student Paper Award as well as the ASA Sociology of Law Graduate Student Paper Award. I have published in Social Problems, Organization, Qualitative Sociology, and Socius.
Prior to my graduate work at Yale, I worked in philanthropic management consulting and, before that, as a wilderness guide in New Mexico. I received my B.A. in Sociology from Wellesley College and M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago.