I am the Melvin Simon Chair and an Associate Professor of Philanthropic Studies in the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI.
My research interests include social scientific investigations of charitable giving, youth and emerging adults, and religiosity. I am particularly interested in understanding motivations and social supports for voluntary participation in religious and charitable organizations, as well as generational changes in organizational values.
In my publications, I typically investigate the ways that organizational cultures shape and are shaped by people, often unintentionally reinforcing social inequalities. My future research interests involve youth philanthropy and mentoring relationships that foster giving.
Theoretically, I rely heavily on the canon of social theory, placing most emphasis on the theories of Émile Durkheim, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, and Pierre Bourdieu. I am also deeply influenced by the Chicago School of Sociology, especially the attention of Robert Park and Ernest Burgess to the ecological, urban, and organizational contexts of social action.
With recent technological advancements, and the rise of big data, I am passionate about updating college courses to better promote data literacy and guide students in making ethical decisions that are informed by quality data. In my classes, I am particularly interested in teaching students about the tools that the social sciences bring to the study and promotion of philanthropy.
Welcome to a bit more about my recent publications, active courses, and current sociological musings...