His teaching and research interests are in political sociology and American politics. He has published extensively on Latinos and American politics; his research has focused on Mexican American social movement organizations. He is currently the Director of the Chicano/Latino Studies Program. He published research on political mobilization in South El Paso, Texas, Albuquerque, Los Angeles, Phoenix and several communities in Texas. His latest book, Democratizing Texas Politics: Race, Identity, and Mexican American Empowerment, 1945-2002, was published by the University of Texas Press in 2014. His current project is a book on the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).
Race, Ethnicity, and Indigeneity Faculty Fellow, 2014-15, UW-Madison Institute for Research in the Humanities
Alpha Phi Professor Recognition Award, UW-Madison chapter