Dr. McDonald joined the faculty of Johns Hopkins in 1994 as she was completing her doctoral study at the University of California, Davis. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Written Communication from Mills College in 1983 (Oakland, CA); a Master of Arts degree in Applied Communication Research from Stanford University in 1984 (Palo Alto, CA); a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of California, Davis in 1990; and a Ph.D. in Sociology from UC Davis in 1995. She now holds the title of Associate Professor of Sociology and became tenured in the spring of 2006, the second black female ever to be awarded tenure in the School of Arts and Sciences or the School of Engineering at Hopkins. In addition to serving on the Sociology faculty, she served as the Associate Dean of Multicultural Affairs from 2008-2010. At Hopkins, she teaches courses on The African-American Family, Gender, Introduction to African-American Studies, Contemporary Race Relations, Qualitative Research Methods, and Introductory Social Statistics. She also serves on the board of the Center for Africana Studies. She is a member of the American Sociological Association, the Hopkins Black Faculty and Staff Association, the Maryland Humanities Council, the Hopkins Population Center, and the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Her research and teaching interest is in explicating how life is lived at the margins of society for disadvantaged race, gender, and class groups. She began her academic career by examining maternal activism among middle-class black women, a long tradition steeped in “normative empathy,” motivation derived from a conjunction of empathy for other black women and of African-American norms of solidarity, responsibility, and accountability. Since then, her research has covered a number topics including: potential barriers to women-centered kin support for present-day urban black teen mothers; differences in life outcome among black and white children in the inner city and the extent to which urban disadvantage differentiates young adult educational outcomes by race and gender under such conditions; how contemporary black women’s ideas of black womanhood and sisterhood merge with social class status to shape certain attachments and detachments among them; contemporary marriage among young native blacks, black Africans immigrants, and black Caribbeans in the United States, comparatively; military service as a potential pathway to early socioeconomic achievement for disadvantaged groups; the paradox of institutional racism for minority teachers at elite, private K-12 schools; and the experience of downward residential mobility among disadvantaged black mothers.