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I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a researcher in the Wisconsin HOPE Lab, a translational research lab focused on issues of college affordability and aimed at improving equitable outcomes in higher education.



Current Research

My current research includes a multi-method study of students’ experiences of material hardship during college; how higher education institutions makes sense of and respond to students who lack basic needs; and policy perspectives on this growing subgroup of college students. This work has been featured in several media outlets.

A second line of research examines the experimental impact of need-based financial aid on undergraduates’ work behaviors as well as their educational goals.

Research Interests and Training

My research interests in education, inequality, and poverty have been strengthened by participation in two interdisciplinary pre-doctoral fellowship programs: the Institute of Education Science’s Interdisciplinary Training Program (ITP) in Education Sciences at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research and the Graduate Research Fellows Program at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin.

My work is funded by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, Institute for Research on Poverty Dissertation Fellowship, and a Phi Kappa Phi Dissertation Award.

Prior to Graduate School

In addition to my academic scholarship, I have worked as an Education Evaluator for a health and human services non-profit organization.  I also worked with ambitious middle- and high-school students from low-income families as they prepared for college.

I have a M.S. in Sociology and a B.S. in Sociology and Afro-American Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ways to Connect

Follow me on Twitter @kmbroton

Connect with me on LinkedIn