I have been at the University of Tennessee since 2014. I received my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Colorado in 2006 and I previously taught at New Mexico State University for eight years. My research focuses upon four areas: 1) gangs; 2) officer involved shootings; 3) disproportionate minority contact for juveniles; and 4) racial and ethnic inequalities shaped by neighborhood segregation. As a criminologist and urban ethnographer, I have concentrated my research on institutions of social control in Mexican American barrios of the Southwest and individual and group efforts to resist unequal treatment. I have since begun comparing these experiences with Blacks and Whites in the Southeast. My overall devotion to my academic career is towards bringing empowerment to marginalized communities by using research to change policies and institutional practices.