Why does homelessness persist in American neighborhoods despite so many attempts to eradicate it? This is the question that drives most of my current work. By taking a transdisciplinary approach, I study the systems that surround unhoused individuals- leading them into homelessness and keeping them stuck in that condition. My research is active, participatory, and ethnographic taking me from shelters to streets to offices and archives to unpack this social welfare concern and tackle it head on.
Local Governance and Social Sustainability
How can local governments produce socially sustainable communities? In this line of research, I focus on access, acquisition, and attachment/accountability to determine the ways that local public institutions succeed, fail, struggle, and advance in institutional efforts focused on urban design, the unique needs of different demographic groups, and the value of dissenting voices.
Social Equity, Social Justice, and Sub-National Governance
Generally, my research is motivated by a view that centers social equity/social justice in public administration. My co-authored article on the role of equity in governmental process improvement trainings is forthcoming at Public Integrity. Additionally, several other pieces on social equity and social justice within public processes are under review at various public administration journals.
Interdisciplinary and Engaged Public Scholarship
Public scholarship is not only an important vehicle to publicize the work of an academic institution, it is an opportunity for a scholar to embed themselves within the public sphere, provide expert analysis and commentary and generate community engaged research and service projects. In a forthcoming piece at the Journal of Public and Nonprofit Affairs, my co-author and I created a framework to use service-learning to cultivate a democratic and social justice-oriented mindset in MPA students.
In addition to my core areas listed above, I am working on several projects related to city-state relations; qualitative research in social science research; and civic engagement and representation.
Aside from academic journal publications, my public scholarship efforts have resulted in increased attention to social issues as well as monetary support, and additional research opportunities.