Heather A. O'Connell

Areas of Interest: 
Racial inequalities, space and place, demography


O’Connell joins the Kinder Institute for Urban Research as a postdoctoral research fellow after graduating with a PhD in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  Before enrolling in graduate school she earned a BA in Sociology, and a BS in Psychology at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  Broadly, her interests revolve around the role of place in shaping social processes, and differences across places.  Her research focuses on issues related to racial inequalities, and poverty in the United States.  In addition, her work has led her to think about extensions to spatially-informed methods, such as the combination of multilevel modeling and spatial regression analysis.  During her time at the Kinder Institute, O’Connell is building on her previous work by studying the distribution of resources across Houston neighborhoods.    


Heather A. O’Connell. “Where there’s Smoke: Cigarette Use, Social Acceptability, and Spatial Approaches to Hierarchical Linear Modeling.” Forthcoming at Social Science & Medicine    

Robert L. Reece and Heather A. O’Connell. “How the Legacy of Slavery and Racial Composition Shape Public School Enrollment in the American South.” Forthcoming at Sociology of Race and Ethnicity    

Heather A. O’Connell and Carla Shoff. 2014. “Spatial Variation in the Relationship between Hispanic Concentration and County Poverty: A Migration Perspective.” Spatial Demography 2: 30-54.    

Katherine J. Curtis, Perla Reyes, Heather A. O’Connell, and Jun Zhu. 2013. “Disentangling the Spatial Concentration and Temporal Persistence of Poverty: Industrial Structure, Racial/Ethnic Composition, and the Complex Links to Poverty.” Spatial Demography 1: 178-194.    

Heather A. O’Connell. 2012. “The Impact of Slavery on Racial Inequality in Poverty in the Contemporary US South.” Social Forces 90: 713-734.



Heather A. O'Connell
Postdoctoral Fellow - Kinder Institute for Urban Research University of Wisconsin at Madison

1030A BRC
713 348-2986