University of Nebraska-Lincoln Sociology Department
Willa Cather Professor of Sociology
I was part of a team that created the two-wave National Survey of Fertility Barriers public use data set for studying fertility and infertility. Analyzing this data helped answer questions about psychosocial dimensions of fertility and infertility – including health disparities. Now we study fertility-related questions using the German longitudinal Pairfam dataset.
I combine my interests in social inequality and health to work on informal science education as a vehicle for engaging youth with science and meaningful careers. Our team conducted a four-wave Science Identity Study on middle-school youth. In addition to publications from this project, I was honored that the TEDxYouthLincoln team invited me to give a talk (“How do we find science kinds of people?”) at the 2017 youth event.
I lead a National Institutes of Health funded Science Education Partnership Award, Worlds of Connections, that engages youth with network science for health research. Through collaborations with UNL Undergraduates and the UNO NE STEM 4U team, we published informal activities for youth to explore network science for health. Our team also invited artists to create pro-vaccination posters that are available for free on the worlds of connections web page and the book "Vaccinate". Through Collaborations with colleagues in the Johnny Carson School of Emerging Media Arts at the University of Nebraska, we are creating an immersive Virtual Reality Experience for people to explore connections between animals, plants, and humans from a One Health/Network Science perspective.
In the 2021 “Nebraska Lecture” I make the case for why sociologists are valuable for any team seeking to tackle “Grand Challenges”.