About Me

I am a staff scientist and methodologist at the National Human Genome Research Institute. Previously, I was a postdoctoral fellow of the National Institute on Aging at the RAND Corporation in beautiful Santa Monica, California. I hold a doctoral degree in sociology from the University of California, Irvine. My research interests include aging and the life course, social interaction, network dynamics, and health. My dissertation research focused on health and structural explanations of age differences in day-to-day social interaction. At Genome, my work is primarily focused on the network dynamics of health communication and social behavior within families challenged with heritable disease. In addition, I have a lively program of research in network science methodology.

I am an alumnus of Professor Carter Butts's Networks, Computation, and Social Dynamics Lab (ncasd.org) where my work focused on organizational responses to disasters, improvisation in disaster response, and relational event modeling of social interaction. This lab research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research. I also taught urban demography as an adjunct lecturer at the University of Southern California. I have received several prestigious professional accolades including: the Matilda White Riley Early Stage Investigator honor from OBSSR for my paper with Laura Koehly titled Inter-generational Contact from a Network Perspective ; an NHGRI GREAT Award for mentorship; a best plain language poster from NHGRI (with my trainee Allie Rosen) ; a best paper award for Age Differences in Daily Social Activities by the American Sociological Association Section on Aging and the Life Course; selected as a finalist for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholars program; received an Honorable Mention Public Impact Fellowship for my dissertation research from the University of California - Irvine; and, awarded the Order of Merit Award from the UCI School of Social Sciences for outstanding service to Graduate students as a health policy advocate. I am also a research fellow of Grantmakers in Aging and the Social Science Research Council.

In addition to my academic career, I am an avid photographer and enthusiastic amateur naturalist. My photographs have been featured in galleries in Arizona, California, and Washington, D.C.. I still do a some contract work in this area, which was recently featured in my article for Country Music Pride Magazine. Before attending graduate school I worked as a Curatorial Assistant at the Arizona Historical Society in Arizona, where I curated exhibits, developed educational programs, and managed a photography archive. In the past, I've worked in a number of jobs including: nordic ski-instructor & nordic ski-patrol at The Balsams, trail crew leader for the US Fish and Wildlife Service, lumbersmith at Paul Vallee Lumber Co, and demographic consultant for Citadel Law Firms.

A few years back, my father and I built a restaurant in Whitefield, New Hampshire called the Woodburn House (now closed) together. The tale of the restaurant was featured in Dick Gordon's interview with me on NPR's The Story.

Education


My current CV can be found here.

General

I live in Rockville, Maryland with my wife, Kate Leah Marcum, and my son, Grafton Elliott Marcum. Kate works in the psychological counselling and clinical research fields. We have two dogs, Tanner and Nancy. We recently lost our last dog, Max, whom we loved dearly and cared for during his geriatric days. Kate is originally from Tuolumne, County, California and I am from Coos, County, New Hampshire. We used to own a white 1990 GMC Vandura converted into a SportsMobile pop-top camper called Beluga, which is pretty much the most awesome thing in the world; sadly, we had to sell the van.
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