Guest Speaker Bio – Dr. Kris Marsh

Dr. Kris Marsh is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Maryland, College Park, and affiliate faculty of the Maryland Population Research Center, Department of Women’s Studies, and African American Studies Department. Previously, she was a postdoctoral scholar at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Marsh has combined her interests of the black middle class, demography, racial residential segregation, and education to develop a research agenda. This agenda is divided into three broad areas: the black middle class, the intersection of educational attainment and racial identification, and intra-racial health disparities. The common theme in her work is decomposing what it means to be black in America by focusing on intra-group variability in regards to class, space, identity and educational achievement.

Some of Dr. Marsh’s recent research investigates how studies on the black middle class have focused mainly on married couples with children and highlights that never-married singles who live alone make up a rapidly growing part of the black middle class, a development that requires rethinking how the black middle class is defined and studied. Her work raises questions on what might be some of the long-term health and wealth consequences of the demographic shifts in the black middle class.

Dr. Marsh has published work on the demographic shift in the black middle class with the emergence of single and living alone (SALA) households. She has also published work on the residential segregation patterns and trends of black and white SALA households. Dr. Marsh teaches undergraduate courses in research methods, race relations, and the black middle class and graduate seminars on racial residential segregation. She served as a blogger and contributor to CNN in America, and has published nearly a dozen articles in academic journals. Dr. Marsh received a doctoral degree from the University of Southern California.