Prof. Brand completed her undergraduate education in sociology and philosophy at UC-San Diego in 1997. In 1998, she began graduate study at University of Wisconsin - Madison, completed her Master's in 2000, and completed her Ph.D. in 2004. She was thereafter a Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Prof. Brand moved to Chapel Hill in 2006 with a Carolina Population Center post-doctoral fellowship and a position as Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Policy at UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2007, she joined the sociology department at UCLA as Assistant Professor. She was promoted to Associate Professor in 2010, and promoted to Professor in 2016. She served as Associate Director of the California Center for Population Research (CCPR) from 2011 through 2016, and resumed that post in 2017. She received an appointment as Professor of Statistics in 2017, and is also currently Co-Director of the Center for Social Statistics.
Prof. Brand's publications have appeared in leading sociological journals, including American Sociological Review (ASR), American Journal of Sociology (AJS), Social Forces, Annual Review of Sociology, and Demography. Her 2010 ASR article on college benefits was named the “Sage Most Downloaded Article” (of all articles published in ASR in 2009 and 2010), received the American Sociological Association (ASA) Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility section Distinguished Article Award for 2011, and the ASA Sociology of Education section James Coleman Award for 2012. Her 2014 AJS article on job displacement among single mothers was a finalist for the International Rosabeth Moss Kanter Award. Prof. Brand received honorable mention for the ASA Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility William Julius Wilson Early Career Award in 2014. She received the ASA Methodology Leo Goodman Award in 2016. She was awarded a National Institute for Health (NIH) R01 UCLA subaward for 2013-18. She was elected to three American Sociological Association (ASA) section councils in recent years, Inequality, Poverty, and Mobility (2015-18), Sociology of Education (2013-16), and Methodology (2012-15). She was elected Chair of the Methodology section for 2019-21. Prof. Brand has also served on editorial boards of ASA’s flagship journal, American Sociological Review, and the Population Association of America’s (PAA) flagship journal, Demography, as well as several other leading journals. She is on the Board of Overseers for the General Social Survey (GSS) (2016-20).
Prof. Brand supervises and co-author papers with a large number of graduate students (six recent publications have been co-authored with UCLA graduate students, and several more are ongoing), and she has served on or chaired over a dozen master’s committees and over two dozen doctoral committees.
Prof. Brand grew up in Los Angeles. She met her husband, Stephen Brand, in high school in 1994. They were married in 1997. Her daughter, Sarah, was born in 1998, during her first year of graduate school at University of Wisconsin - Madison. Sarah is currently a sociology major at University of California, Berkeley. Her son, Joshua, was born in 2005, during her second year of post-doctoral work at University of Michigan.