I am an associate professor of sociology and demography at Penn State University. During my time at Penn State I have worked to advance the fields of sociology, demography and population health through my research and service, which includes serving as associate and interim director of Penn State's Population Research Institute and a founding board member of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science.
For the last decade my main research agenda has investigated the predictors and consequences of obesity among children, adolescents and young adults. I have investigated the consequences of body weight for psychological distress, childbearing, and life expectancy. I have also investigated obesity among Hispanic children of immigrants, which has shown how families, schools, and other social contexts contribute to their risk of obesity. An underlying goal of my research is to better understand important U.S. population health problems, how they influence individuals lives, and social disparities in health outcomes.