Jennifer L. Nelson

I am an IES Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Vanderbilt University. I recently received my PhD in Sociology from Emory University (Spring 2018). I specialize in social inequality (race, class, gender) in the workplace, using field research methods to investigate how organizational resources, practices, and policies shape worker behavior, attitudes, and social interactions.

To date, my research focuses on teachers’ work processes and outcomes, especially interracial relations, coworker support, job satisfaction, and turnover. My dissertation project is a workplace ethnography that contributes to the literature on organizational demography, social support, and social inequality in the workplace. My other research examines urban teachers’ job reward bundles as predictors of turnover, early childhood teachers’ identity strategies for safeguarding dignity at work, the role of organizational justice in predicting teacher trust, and determinants of state-level adoption of alternative teacher certification laws.

At Vanderbilt, I am working with Jason Grissom on projects concerning gender pay gaps among principals and principal attitudes about their evaluation systems.

Prior to graduate school, I taught in a public, urban high school for three years, and have written for one state-wide and three campus newspapers.