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As an Urban Social Geographer my primary research and teaching interests revolve around the intersection of transitioning societies and restructuring cities. In addition to teaching courses such as Introduction to Urban Studies, Urban Social Geography, The Restructuring City, Cities and Immigrants, Qualitative Methods in Geography and the Geography Professional Development Seminar for our graduating seniors, I have an active research agenda in the areas of immigrant settlement and adjustment and urban revitalization and gentrification.
My immigration based research has focused on: 1) the dynamics of concentrated poverty and immigrant experience at the neighborhood scale in major Canadian cities and 2) explorations of the causes, processes and implications of Hispanic “hyper-growth” in Charlotte, NC and the broader US South. My Canadian work has been published in outlets such as Urban Studies, International Journal of Canadian Studies, and the Annals of the Association of American Geographers while my US-based work on Latino migration can be found in journals such as Southeastern Geographer, Geographical Review, Implementation Science and Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine as well as in edited volumes such as Suburban Immigrant Gateways: Immigration and Incorporation in New U.S. Metropolitan Destinations (Brookings, 2008), Taking Local Control: Immigration Policy Activism in U.S. Cities and States (Stanford, 2010 ) Immigrant Geographies of North American Cities (Oxford, 2011). With Owen J. Furuseth, I am co-editor of Latinos in the New South: Transformations of Place (Ashgate, 2006).
My revitalization and gentrification work has focused on processes of socio-spatial polarization in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie) and more recently on the unusual trajectory of corporate-led gentrification in Charlotte’s Fourth Ward and central city core. In collaboration with Dr. Bill Graves, this work has been published in Southeastern Geographer and Journal of Urban Affairs and forms the springboard upon which our co-edited book Charlotte NC: The Global Evolution of a New South City (Georgia, 2010) was based.
In addition to teaching and research, I serve as Director of the PhD in Geography and Urban Regional Analysis program (http://geoearth.uncc.edu/phd-programs/geography); and Coordinator of the Geography MA program (http://geoearth.uncc.edu/masters-programs/masters-geography). I am also Director of the College and Liberal Arts and Sciences’ Urban Studies Minor (http://geoearth.uncc.edu/Undergraduate/urban-studies-minor.html) which facilitates the interdisciplinary study of cities and urban dynamics through the lenses of sociology; anthropology; history; architecture; political science and geography.
Beyond my department, I am affiliate faculty with the PhD in Public Policy (http://publicpolicy.uncc.edu) and Latin American Studies programs (http://latinamericanstudies.uncc.edu) and am a Faculty Research Associate with UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute (http://ui.uncc.edu/) where I was one of the lead investigators involved in a comprehensive needs assessment for Mecklenburg County’s diverse and growing Latino communities.
Off campus, I have a long-standing partnership with the Levine Museum of the New South (http://www.museumofthenewsouth.org/) with whom I have worked on their Speaking of Change, Courage in the City and Latino New South and !NUEVOlution! projects. Additionally, I have served as a Senior Researcher with the Vancouver, Canada based Metropolis British Columbia Centre of Excellence for Research on Immigration and Diversity (http://mbc.metropolis.net/research_policy-housing.html)
Finally, I am one of the co-founders of the Mecklenburg Area Partnership for Primary Care Research (MAPPR) (http://www.mapprnc.org/). MAPPR is a trans-disciplinary research network with a commitment to community-based participatory research (CBPR) that yields interventions eliminating barriers to primary care access for Hispanic immigrants and improves overall community health and well-being. Our team’s research and interventions have received support from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Charlotte Research Institute.
In recognition of the manner in which my teaching, research and service embodies the University’s commitment to civic involvement and strengthens the relationship between UNC Charlotte and the larger community, I was awarded the 2014 UNC Charlotte Provost’s Faculty Award for Community Engagement.
Graduate Assistants are integral to the success and rigor of all my teaching, research and outreach endeavors and I welcome expressions of interest from current and future MA and Ph.D. students wishing to join one of my teams. Undergraduates interested in the Urban Studies Minor or Geography programs are encouraged to drop my office for further information and discussion.
For the 2015-2016 Academic Year, I will be based at the University of Kingston London serving as Resident Faculty Director for the University of North Carolina Charlotte/University of Kingston London Exchange Program.