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LSU Today Flagship Faculty
What was your previous position and where?Prior to arriving at LSU, I was at Mississippi State University and served as an assistant professor in sociology and research fellow at the Social Science Research Center.
What brought you to LSU?The Department of Sociology is a solid fit for my research interests and surrounds me with a great group of colleagues. We also have a well-respected graduate program that attracts high quality students. This is important because graduate students provide invaluable assistance on my research projects. I am forever grateful to those who provided me with the opportunity to become a LSU faculty member.
What is your research interest?My general research interest is studying how the organizational infrastructure of a community, such as churches and businesses, impact the well-being of local residents. I study a variety of indicators of well-being that measure population health, migration, economic development and socioeconomic inequalities. Since arriving at LSU, I have expanded this perspective to understanding how the oil and gas industry impacts Gulf Coast communities.
What do you hope to accomplish at LSU?I hope to accomplish three objectives while at LSU. First, I seek to maintain a high level of productivity in my research. This involves publishing in quality journals and obtaining external funding for my research program. An equally important objective is pursuing excellence in the classroom. I enjoy teaching undergraduates and helping students achieve their goals. I also look forward to watching my graduate students succeed as professionals. A final objective is to engage in outreach activities to help Louisiana communities better understand the implications of demographic change on community sustainability.
What do you enjoy most about LSU?I enjoy working with my colleagues and students. The relaxed social environment of the campus and South Louisiana, in general, is attractive. I have always been a big fan of SEC sports and enjoy being part of a winning tradition.
What are your major accomplishments?My major professional accomplishment is receiving tenure at LSU. This was the result of years of hard work in terms of publishing articles and competing for external funding. More recently, I have worked with a number of colleagues to establish a research agenda in studying coastal communities and the socioeconomic impacts of the oil and gas industry. This effort has resulted in more than $1 million of external funding that supports graduate students and university infrastructure. My most important accomplishment is my family and the relationship I have with my wife and son.