Colleen Heflin

Professor, Public Administration and International Affairs

Colleen Heflin

Contact Information

426 Eggers Hall
Office Hours:
By Appointment Only

Staff Support
Laura Walsh
(315) 443-9929

Curriculum Vitae
Colleen Heflin CV


Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2002


Social policy, poverty policy, child and family policy


Colleen Heflin is a Professor of Public Administration and International Affairs, and a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Policy Research. Dr. Heflin conducts policy-relevant research that sits at the boundaries of sociology, economics, public health, public administration, and women’s studies. The broad aim of her research is to understand the processes that create systems and patterns of social stratification and, more specifically, to examine welfare policy and the well-being of vulnerable populations, with a particular emphasis on the causes and consequences of material hardship. In a recent project, Dr. Heflin analyzed how specific shocks to family stability, such as unemployment or becoming disabled, lead to particular kinds of material hardship, such as medical or housing hardship. Other recent projects have examined how the population using food stamps and unemployment insurance has changed with the Great Recession; how the experience of material hardship affects couples’ decisions to marry; how children’s participation in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) affects their households’ overall food insecurity; and how veterans’ well-being and social program participation compares to that of other groups. Collen Received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Michigan in 2002.

Research Grants and Awards

Principal Investigator. "SNAP and Child Health: Evidence from Missouri Administrative Data." Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. 8/25/2016–8/1/2018, with Peter Mueser and Irma Arteaga, Co-Investigators.

Co-Principal Investigator. "Understanding SNAP and Food Security among Low-Income Households." University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research; Economic Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture. 4/30/2015–6/30/2018, with James P. Ziliak, Co-Principal Investigator.  

Principal Investigator. "Family Self-Sufficiency and Stability and Material Hardship: The Role for Public Policy after the Great Recession." US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families. 9/30/13–9/29/18.

Principal Investigator. "Community Eligibility and Child Well-Being." Research Innovation and Development Grants in Economics (RIDGE) Center for Targeted Studies at the Southern Rural Development Center, Mississippi State University. 8/1/2015–12/31/2016, with Daniel P. Miller, Co-Principal Investigator.

Co-Principal Investigator. "Design Flaws: The Effect of the Coverage Gap in Food Assistance Programs on Child’s Well-Being." University of Wisconsin–Madison, Institute for Research on Poverty, RIDGE Center for National Food and Nutrition Assistance Research. 7/1/2015–12/31/2016,  with Irma Arteaga, Co-Principal Investigator.