I am a sociologist who uses a mixed-method approach to study institutional decision-making. My research interests focus on social stratification processes and racial and ethnic disparities. I investigate how contact with varying institutions (educational, juvenile and criminal justice and economic) impact individuals' life chances. Frequently, my work combines data types in order to illustrate both the macro context of the problem at hand, and at the same time investigate the micro processes leading to outcomes. Using participant observation, interview, and statistical methods my work has investigated how institutional actors assess, label, and process individuals and groups, and how those processed respond. My aim is to produce research that is theoretically informed and empirically rich, and research that is of value in local, state, and national policy arenas.