I am a linguistic, cultural, and psychological anthropologist with a broad range of interests in linguistic diversity and change, migration and climate change migration, children’s languages and cultures, racialization, socialization and education, and Pacific Islanders. I am broadly interested in the sociolinguistic construction of difference—be it age, race, or gender. My current work focuses on climate change migration and migration to the New South particularly among Marshallese communities. I am working on several projects including the reasons for climate change migration, processes of racialization that take place in rapidly changing multiethnic and multilingual schools, sociolinguistic reasons for educational inequity, English Learner status assignments in schools and their implications, linguistic change and the analysis of an emerging variety of American English among Marshallese children, and neocolonialism as well as changing definitions of indigeneity. My past research focused on child cultures and language use in the Marshall Islands itself, as well as the production of immaturity, children’s roles as economic agents, corporal discipline, and adoption. I have also done some work on Marshallese experiences of remote learning during Covid-19.
My work has been supported by the National Geographic Foundation, National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Society for Psychological Anthropology, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, the University of Chicago, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Students: I am interested in working with students on any of the following topics: migration (including climate change migration), anthropology of education, any area of linguistic anthropology including, children’s cultures, cultural influences on human development. I am also interested in MA/MPH students interested in child health.