J. Michael Collins, Faculty Director of the Center for Financial Security and Associate Professor in Consumer Science, was awarded the H.I. Romnes Faculty Fellowships Award. This program, funded by WARF in recognition of the leadership of the late WARF Trustee President H. I. Romnes, is designed to bridge the gap between the Research Committee’s initial research support for new faculty and the Mid-Career Award for Faculty Research. Dr. Collins research on consumer behavior insights focus primarily on the role of information in consumer decision making, especially for low-income and vulnerable households. Dr. Collins serves UW Cooperative Extension as a state specialist in family economics and household finance.
With over 30 faculty affiliates across departments at UW-Madison, as well as more than 30 fellows at other institutions throughout the nation, The Center for Financial Security is pleased to provide a platform for sharing some of the most exciting and innovative early stage research in the household finance realm. Join us every Thursday in Rm 1199 of Nancy Nicholas Hall from 3:45-5pm for this multi-disciplinary exploration of household finance research.
As Financial Capability Specialist, I hold a joint appointment with SoHE’s Center for Financial Security and with UW-Extension Cooperative Extension Family Living Programs. Prior to joining UW-Madison, I worked with UW-Extension providing community-based education, with a focus on financial coaching, counseling, and education for individuals and community partners. I have also worked as a therapist, home visitor, and collaborative services coordinator. In all of my previous positions, I’ve been privileged to talk with hundreds of people about their money – goals, fears, hopes, challenges. While my academic focus is to translate research from household finance and learning theories into financial education programs on the UW-Madison campus and statewide in partnership with UW-Extension, my purpose is to help people align their money with their values. I graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a Bachelor of Science in Social Welfare and a Master’s in Social Work, and hold a Professional Life Coaching Certificate from UW-Madison.
My background in community development planning and housing allowed me to work directly with families facing foreclosure and economic difficulties. This work inspired me to seek an area of
engagement that would connect low-income and vulnerable populations to financial capability tools and techniques that are empowering, inspiring, and well-researched. The Center for Financial Security in the School of Human Ecology takes this mission seriously and brings innovative thinking and research to a field that requires ongoing development and dynamic solutions.
Collin O’Rourke focuses on evaluating financial education, counseling, and coaching programs. He recently completed the U.S. Treasury-funded evaluation of the My Classroom Economy financial education program, and he supports the Center’s research on emergency savings. He previously served as the youngest member of the Lake County and Lake County, IL Forest Preserve District Boards, and worked as the case study manager for 80,000 Hours at the University of Oxford. O’Rourke earned a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he also completed his undergraduate studies.