Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion

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Associate Professor of Practice, University of Kansas School of Social Welfare

Melinda Lewis, LMSW, received her Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She worked as a nonprofit policy advocate, grassroots organizer, and community researcher for several years and is now an Associate Professor of the Practice in the School of Social Welfare, teaching social policy and community practice courses at the University of Kansas. She is the Assistant Director for the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion, advancing policy based on research into the role of assets in addressing educational inequities. She can be found on Twitter @melindaklewis. Her areas of scholarly interest and practice include poverty and economic inequality, asset-based financial aid, social change, strategies for effective policy advocacy by nonprofit organizations, advocacy evaluation, and advocacy capacity-building for individuals and social service organizations.

Assistant Director responsibilities:

  • Assist in research (particularly distilling policy implications of findings), writing, editing, and promotion of AEDI’s body of work, to advance the organization’s strategic aim of securing wealth transfers to catalyze the economic mobility of disadvantaged children and families, through the vehicle of Children’s Savings Accounts
  • Communicate AEDI’s research and its policy implications in media outlets, social media, presentations (webinars, monographs, conference presentations, public addresses, and peer-reviewed publications), and direct communication with policymakers
  • Work alongside AEDI’s Director/Founder to pursue strategic opportunities to build relationships and explore research with a potential to make significant contributions to the field of children’s asset-building/wealth creation
  • Supervise students assisting with AEDI communications efforts
  • Oversee the communications efforts of all AEDI associates
  • Assist in the management of AEDI activities to advance the Center’s vision, including grants, projects, research, publications, and communications
  • Represent AEDI in University, community, field, and policy venues

Faculty Directors assist the Director with developing the intellectual and research agenda for their particular project area. Currently Dr. William Elliott is the acting Faculty Director for AEDI's CSA Project and the College Debt Project.


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