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Faculty Spotlight: Professor Colleen Heflin

Professor Heflin brings an important sociological lens to the pressing social policy issues impacting poor communities

Faculty Spotlight:  Professor Colleen Heflin

Guest Post:  Written by Ashley Etienne.

The Maxwell School is honored to have Colleen Heflin as Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs. Heflin joined us from the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri.  She is a Ph.D graduate of the University of Michigan in the field of Sociology. Heflin’s research examines the social welfare policy and food insecurity of the most vulnerable populations.  When asked about what has inspired her field of research Heflin states,

“Ever since graduate school, I have been very interested in how low-income households prioritize meeting basic needs when they lack financial resources necessary to cover all essential expenses and the role that social policy plays out in their lives.  I believe that poor households experience poverty differently and that social policies that are intended to help poor families often create more instability and hassles instead.”

Professor Heflin is also a Senior Researcher in the Maxwell School’s Center for Policy Research. Heflin says that her most rewarding moment as a Professor, is to hear back from students whom are using the topics discussed in her classes in their current jobs. When asked about what she hopes to accomplish at Maxwell, Heflin states,

“I am excited to help train the outstanding students that come to the Maxwell School. The future policy issues facing our country and world are large and require motivated and creative, critical-thinkers to address. I am happy to be able to add to the analytic toolkit of our graduates.”

We are very fortunate to have Professor Colleen Heflin as part of our Maxwell community!

Heflin’s achievements include but are not limited to; a Congressional Briefing on the War on Poverty as well as a recent a grant from the University of Kentucky/U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue her research entitled “Understanding SNAP and Food Security Among Low-Income Households.”  This year, Professor Heflin is teaching the core (MPA) course in Quantitative Analysis.

Ashley Etienne, MPA Candidate and Admissions GA

Ashley Etienne is a current MPA student and serves as the PAIA Admissions Graduate Assistant. She is focusing her studies in social welfare policy.  She is currently enrolled in Professor Heflin’s Quantitative Analysis course.

She has also taken courses in Social Welfare Policy, The Federal Budget: Entitlement Program Reform, Local Government and Politics, and Education Policy.  

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