Currently, she is Vice President of the American Sociological Association.
She studies race, ethnicity, and immigration as they collectively relate to education and relationships among young people. She also has interests in the effects of migration on young people and has written papers on these topics in Mexico, China, and Spain. Currently, she is one of a team of researchers (led by Hyunjoon Park) that is examining the transition to adulthood among Korean Millennials. Her work has been published in the American Sociological Review, Annual Review of Sociology, Social Science Research, Social Science Quarterly, American Education Research Journal, Teachers College Record, Child Development, Early Childcare Research Quarterly, Population Research and Policy Review, Population and Development Review, among others. Her research has been supported by NICHD, The Spencer Foundation, The Russell Sage Foundation, and the Academy of Korean Studies.
Formerly, she was Professor of Sociology, Education, and Asian American Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she taught for 20 years. She is the Co-Editor (with Hyunjoon Park) of Research in the Sociology of Education. She has served on the Boards of the Population Association of American and the Association for Asian American Studies. For the American Sociological Association, she has served as Council member for the Sections of Asia/Asian America and Education, and she has served as Chair of the Section of Children and Youth, and served on ASA’s Nominations Committee. She has also served on the Editorial Boards of the American Sociological Review, Social Science Quarterly, Social Science Research, Social Psychology Quarterly, Sociological Forum, Sociological Perspectives, and Social Problems.
According to Google Scholar, her work has been cited over 9,000 times. She has a forthcoming book (co-authored with Kara Joyner and Kelly Stamper-Balistreri) on interracial romance and friendship from adolescence to young adulthood.