Prior to joining LSU, I served as provost and executive vice president of academic
affairs at the University of South Carolina and held the UofSC Education Foundation
Distinguished Professorship with appointments in Sociology and Family and Preventive
Medicine (secondary appointment). Before joining the University of South Carolina
faculty, I served as dean and vice provost for graduate education at Washington University
in St. Louis, where I held the Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professorship
in Arts & Sciences. During my tenure at Washington University, I served on the leadership
team that reestablished the Department of Sociology at the institution. My academic
and research appointments included Education, Sociology, Public Health, Applied Statistics
and Computation, Urban Studies, and American Culture Studies. Before serving at Washington
University in St. Louis, I held the William and Betty Adams Chair at TCU and served
on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
My research program has focused on the social determinants of STEM attainment. My co-edited book project titled, Research and Practice Pathways in Mathematics Education: Disrupting Tradition captures my interest in connecting researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to improve opportunity to learn in mathematics education. Ongoing research projects include understanding the distal and social factors that predict STEM doctoral degree attainment defined broadly to include highly quantitative social sciences disciplines (e.g., economics). My co-edited book titled, Beyond Stock Stories and Folktales: African Americans’ Paths to STEM Fields captures the direction of this research program.
For over a decade, my research has focused on the development of epidemiological and geospatial models to explain the social determinants of educational attainment as well as health and developmental outcomes. I served as a member of For the Sake of All research team, a multi-disciplinary group that studied the health, development, and well-being of African Americans in the St. Louis region. My book project titled, Research on Schools, Neighborhoods, and Communities: Toward Civic Responsibility reflects my interest in the geography of opportunity in metropolitan America.
I am a past president of the American Educational Research Association (AERA). My research fellowships include serving as the Anna Julia Cooper Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Patricia Roberts Harris Fellow at the University of Maryland at College Park, a Ford Foundation Fellow at the University of Ghana. In 2010, I received a Presidential Citation from AERA for “his expansive vision of conceptual and methodological tools that can be recruited to address inequities in opportunities to learn.” In 2011, I was awarded fellow status in the Association. In 2015, I received the Distinguished Contributions to Social Contexts in Education Research-Lifetime Achievement Award (AERA-Division G). In 2016, I was elected to the National Academy of Education. In 2017, Insight Into Diversity Magazine presented me with its Inspiring Leader in STEM Award. In 2020, I was listed as one of the top 10 sociologists in the RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings reported in Education Next. In 2021, I received the SIG-Research Focus on Mathematics Education (AERA) Distinguished Scholar Award.
Currently, I serve as president of Louisiana State University.
PhD: University of Maryland, College Park
Courses recently taught at LSU
(Syllabi are for illustrative purposes and subject to change)