Name Image

Princeton University
Home Page Image


Associate Professor
Department of Sociology
Princeton University
114 Wallace Hall
Princeton, NJ 08544

Phone: 609-258-8741
Fax: 609-258-2180




"Kids Don't Want to Fail" (Harvard University Press)


"The Broken Compass" (Harvard University Press)







Home Page

I am an Associate Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Princeton University. I am also a Faculty Associate of the Office of Population Research, the Center for Research on Child Wellbeing, and Center for Migration and Development at Princeton University.

My research interests include social inequality, policy, and education.  My work focuses on the social psychological determinants of the racial achievement gap. Specifically, I examine the factors that contribute to differences in academic investment among African Americans, Latino/as, Asian Americans, and Whites. I also study the impact that adolescents' perceptions of opportunities for upward socio-economic mobility have for their academic investment, and the long-term effects of youths' occupational aspirations both within the United States and Europe. Links to my studies can be found on this website (Scroll to the right to view Menu options).

I earned a Bachelor's Degree from Grambling State University, a Master's degree from Kansas State University, and a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Sociology from the University of Michigan. Prior to joining the faculty at Princeton, I was an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. I was recently a fellow of the National Forum on the Future of Liberal (Arts) Education, (



Extended Bio


Courses Taught

Abridged Web CV

Full CV / Resume



Media or Special Appearances:

Talk of the Nation, National Public Radio (NPR): (or click here)

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart: (or click here)

Q & A on Race, Culture, and Education with the Washington Post


Martha's Vineyard Event

Link to Webcast of Martha's Vineyard Panel:

VINEYARD GAZETTE: "Poverty and Failure of Education System Weigh on Black Students"


My books "Kids Don't Want to Fail" and "The Broken Compass" are available at: