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I am an Assistant Professor of Higher Education in the Department of Educational Policy & Leadership Studies and Sociology (by courtesy) at the University of Iowa.




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, field of study, and educational goals.

Research Interests and Background

My research interests in education, inequality, poverty, and policy were strengthened by my graduate training at the University Wisconsin-Madison where I participated in two interdisciplinary 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.

In addition to my academic scholarship, I have worked as an education evaluator for a community-based research organization and with ambitious middle- and high-school students from low-income families as they prepared for college.

I have a Ph.D. in Sociology, 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