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. View my full C.V. here.
My books include Parish and Place: Making Room for Diversity in the American Catholic Church (2017, Oxford University Press); Faithful Revolution: How Voice of the Faithful Is Changing the Church (2011/2014, Oxford University Press); Polarization in the US Catholic Church (co-edited with Mary Ellen Konieczny and Charles Camosy, 2016, Liturgical Press); and American Parishes: Remaking Local Catholicism (coedited with Gary Adler and Brian Starks, forthcoming 2019, Fordham University Press).
I am also the author of several articles and chapters in the sociology of religion and sociology of Catholicism.
I co-led The American Parish Project (TAPP) with Gary Adler and Brian Starks, 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 that led to the US Catholic Bishops’ pastoral response letter, Encountering Christ in Harmony. We are now collaborating on a book to share key findings from this project.
I am a frequent television and radio commentator on contemporary sociological issues (religion, Catholicism, social trends, family, gender, etc.), and can be reached quickly via email for media inquiries. I am the media liaison for the American Sociological Association’s Section on the Sociology of Religion (journalists may contact me here) and treasurer of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (SSSR).
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, sociology of disaster, social stratification, and immigration. View my college profile here.
I also hold a co-appointment as an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Texas at San Antonio (Non-Residential/Adjunct), and serve as an academic writing coach for the Academic Writing Club. I was previously a Research Assistant Professor at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA), and continue to engage in select contract work (contact me).
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 & children 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 an engaged community advocate in the city of Knoxville.