I am a sociologist with primary interests in the sociology of religion, and Catholicism in particular. My work also intersects organizations, social change, social movements, immigration, race, culture, and applied research.
My books include Faithful Revolution: How Voice of the Faithful Is Changing the Church (Oxford University Press), Polarization in the U.S. Catholic Church (coedited with Mary Ellen Konieczny and Charles Camosy, Liturgical Press), and Parish and Place: Making Room for Diversity in the American Catholic Church (Oxford University Press). A book on American Parishes (coedited with Gary Adler and Brian Starks) is forthcoming with Fordham University Press. I have also authored several articles and chapters in the realm of the sociology of religion and the sociology of Catholicism.
I co-lead The American Parish Project (TAPP) with Drs. Gary Adler and Brian Starks (http://tapp.ifacs.com/), aimed at revitalizing the sociology of the Catholic parish.
I was also the lead researcher, with Drs. Jerry Park and Stephen Cherry, of a national study of Asian and Pacific Islander American Catholics. We are currently collaborating on a book to share key findings from this project, originally commissioned by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) (www.nsapicus.com).
I am a frequent television and radio commentator on contemporary sociological issues (gender, family, religion, Catholicism, etc.), and can be reached quickly via email for media inquiries.
I am an Associate Professor of Sociology at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee, a small liberal arts college between Knoxville and the Great Smoky Mountains. I coordinate the Sociology major and teach courses including the sociology of religion, social movements, social theory, research methods, introductory sociology, disaster, social stratification, and immigration. View my college profile here.
I also hold an appointment as an Adjunct (Research) Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and serve as an academic writing coach for the Academic Writing Club. I previously held an appointment as Research Assistant Professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA).
I hold a BA in Sociology and Communication from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX and an MA and PhD in Sociology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. I am originally from San Antonio, Texas, but now call Knoxville, TN home with my spouse Brandon & kiddos Sonoma and Carson. My hobbies include playing the guitar, mandolin, and piano in the folk/singer-songwriter genre, walking, wine tasting, and adventuring with my family. I am also a trained weather spotter and member of my local American Red Cross Disaster Action Team.