Ellen Whitehead joined the Department of Sociology at Ball State in 2019 after receiving her PhD from Rice University.
Her research and teaching expertise revolve around race and ethnicity, family, social stratification, and urban sociology. Her interests include how material resource transfers between family members —such as the informal sharing of housing and cash assistance—contribute to racial and economic inequality. Dr. Whitehead uses quantitative methods to better understand how this “private safety net” shapes exposure to poverty and residential outcomes.
Her recent publications have examined how living in a multigenerational household can shape individuals’ housing and neighborhood outcomes. Dr. Whitehead believes in bridging the divide between scholarly research, applied sociology, and teaching, and she is particularly interested in supporting immersive learning and research opportunities among students. In her free time, she enjoys camping, hiking, crafting, and showing people pictures of her cats.