About Me

I am a sociology professor at Saint Louis University specializing in urban health issues, work, and research methods (though I prefer the term data science!). You can find out more about my work by reading my bio or by scrolling down to my research portfolio, teaching details, and blog. Contact details are found at the bottom of this page along with links to my Twitter and Github profiles.


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Current Research

My research program straddles the sociology of health and illness, mental illness, urban sociology, and the sociology of work. I am continuing my dissertation research on neighborhoods and EMS work with marginalized populations, collaborating on two studies that investigate the impact of literacy on mental illness, and beginning a new project analyzing the effects of street barriers in St. Louis.

Dissertation Details


Software and Design

I rely on software tools heavily throughout my research. These include mobile apps for collecting and scoring interview data, tools for capturing spatial data, databases for managing complex datasets, and scripts for automating data management and analysis. I also design maps, data visualizations, and other graphics from time to time.

Data Design Lab 



Intro to Sociology

I teach a special section of Introduction to Sociology that focuses on health issues – the best possible way (I think!) to learn about sociology, particularly for students who are on a pre-med track and are preparing for the MCAT exam. The course covers many of the same topics that a standard intro course would (race, class, gender, etc.) but also takes a brief look at how these constructs matter for health outcomes. For example, the idea of ‘culture’ is introduced along with a discussion of the Latino health paradox as a way to introduce acculturation.



Research Methods

I teach two graduate-level research methods courses at Saint Louis University. The first is Applied Inferential Statistics, which combines an introduction to statistical techniques with a substantial focus on using Stata programmatically for data management and analysis. The second is Introduction to Geographic Information Science, which covers the basic theories and techniques for managing and visualizing spaital data using ArcGIS. The course also covers basic data cleaning using Stata. I also offer a concurrent, senior-level undergraduate section of Intro to GIS.

GIS Syllabus 

Statistics Syllabus 


Urban Sociology

I teach an undergraduate, junior-level seminar called “Urban Sociology and The Wire.” The course uses the first three seasons of the HBO series to illustrate and interrogate the complexities of urban social problems in America. Weekly episode viewings are paired with sociological readings that describe life in West Baltimore as well as the structural roots of urban inequalities not just in Baltimore but in many rust belt cities including St. Louis. The course culminates in a discussion of partcipatory democracy and the prospects for change in Baltimore, St. Louis, and America.



adventures with bibTeX


Last spring, I started learning LaTeX. On the whole, it has been a super positive experience. I really appreciate the professional appearance of my teaching documents, the ease of creating and embedding equations when I teach statistics, and all of the ways that LaTeX can take care of little details like a table of contents, an index, and footnotes.

Since I use LaTeX largely for teaching, I have not had to confront BibTeX. When I sat down today to start learning how to cite references using LaTeX, it took me quite awhile to piece together the process.

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sequoia keynote template

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As I settled into my new position at Saint Louis University last semester, I was asked to give a short presentation to the new graduate students on giving presentations (a presentation on presentations!). One of my pieces of advice was to take some time to set up templates in their presentation app of choice. Templates are great because they make creating a conference presentation or lecture that much easier. They can take some of the tedius design choices and distractions out of the mix, giving you space to focus on content rather than design tweaks.
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m Mail:
1900 Morrissey Hall
Saint Louis University
3700 Lindell Boulevard
St. Louis, MO 63108
, Office:
1918 Morrissey Hall