Core Research Area:

My work examines the intersections between higher education and occupations & work. Most often this means investigating issues around college-to-career transitions.

UCSD Extension Researcher & Sociology Lecturer:

I lecture in sociology (mostly at SDSU) and conduct research on the regional workforce at UC San Diego Extension. At UCSD Extension, we largely explore how to improve workforce development while striving to create a more inclusive economy.

Newest Project:

I am investigating the platform economy (think apps and websites like Uber, TaskRabbit, Upwork, Fiverr, Airbnb, Etsy, eBay, Amazon, Seeking Arrangement, etc.) and how these types of platforms are transforming the ways undergraduates come to desire, and prepare for, various types of careers. Or phrased as a research question:

Is the tech-enabled gig-economy helping and/or harming college-student career formation? How and why?

Select Past Work:

Some examples of my recent (and recent-ish) projects include:

Career Inequalities Between Private and Public University Grads (2019): How elite private universities maintain multiple layers of employment advantage for their graduates (using LinkedIn data of graduates’ early jobs). Socius (July 23, 2019)

Sociology Explains Entrepreneurial Identity (forthcoming): How sociological theory is helpful for understanding how people who start businesses construct various types of entrepreneurial identities. Journal of Enterprising Culture.

Giving Fosters Wealth Creation (2019): How large donors in San Diego believe philanthropy can help boost regional economies. The Nonprofit Quarterly.

Student Startups Can Harm Career Pathways (2018): My dissertation on how undergraduate entrepreneurship training programs do not equally benefit all students.

Poor Treatment of Adjuncts is Bad for Students (2017): How the mistreatment of adjunct faculty can lead to worse outcomes for students; and suggestions for how to make steps toward a fairer work environment. Stylus Press. Here’s a recent (2019) suggestion for a compromise! Inside Higher Ed.

Companies Can Buy Access to Students (2016): How the emergence of corporate partnership programs in university career services centers are changing the face of how some firms can recruit students. Research in Sociology of Organizations.

Top Firms Hack Recruiting at Top Campuses (2016): How elite universities like Harvard and Stanford let a handful of wealthy firms recruit massively outsized proportions of their students; students who are often ambivalent about working for these gilded employers. Sociology of Education. 



PDF of my CV: Davis- Curriculum Vitae