I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. My research focuses on how inequality structures democratic life in the United States. My other interests include political psychology, experimental methods, program evaluation, children's political development, education policy, and voter turnout.
My first book, The Economic Other: Inequality in the American Political Imagination (joint with Amber Wichowsky, Marquette University) is the winner of the 2021 Juliette and Alexander George Book Award given by the International Society of Political Psychology for the best book published in the field of political psychology during the previous calendar year and the Runner Up for the 2022 American Political Science Association Best Book on Class and Inequality published during the past two years. It is available with The University of Chicago Press.
My research also appears in The Journal of Politics, Political Behavior, Political Psychology, Policy Studies Journal, and other academic journals. My work has been supported by the National Science Foundation Time Sharing Experiments in the Social Sciences (TESS) program, The Teagle Foundation, and the Department of Education Institute for Education Sciences (IES).
I am founder and Co-Director of Loyola's Speak Up Democracy pre-college program for Chicago Public Schools rising seniors from groups underrepresented in higher education. The program is funded by The Teagle Foundation. Applications for the 2023 cohort are closed. Applications for the 2024 cohort will open in the spring.
I received my Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Summaries of my research:
"Why Rising Inequality Doesn't Stimulate Political Action." The Science of Politics Podcast.
"Social Comparison, American Politics, and The Redistribution of Wealth." Loyola University Expert Video Series
Part 1 (What is social comparison?)
Part 2 (How does social comparison affect opinion?)
Part 3 (Why don't Americans support redistribution?)
“Improving Verbal Learning in Schools Can Increase Political Engagement and Encourage Voting Later in Life.” United States Policy and Politics Blog. London School of Economics.
"Excluding Latino Immigrant Families from the Social Safety Net Hurts Their Children’s Educational Outcomes.” United States Policy and Politics Blog. London School of Economics.
“20 Years on, Here’s How Welfare Reform Held Back Immigrants’ Children – In Some States.” Washington Post, The Monkey Cage.