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Assoc Prof. J Michael Collins wins Vilas Young Investigator Award

Congratulations Dr. J. Michael Collins, Associate Professor in Consumer Science and faculty director of the Center for Financial Security (CFS), for receiving the Vilas Young Investigator and Mid-Career Award. Dr. Collins studies on consumer behavior insights focus primarily on the role of information in consumer decision making, especially for low-income and vulnerable households and serves UW Cooperative Extension as a state specialist in family economics and household finance.

With more than five years of consecutive financial support from the Annie E Casey Foundation, Dr. Collins has developed a national reputation in the field of financial coaching. His articles and presentations are often cited to inform and shape new programs in this emerging area of practice and research. With concerns growing over student loans, Dr. Collins has reacted with a new field study on student borrowing and is often sought out to be part of national dialogues regarding strategies to respond to student loan defaults.

Dr. Collins’ work earned two prestigious research awards from the United States Department of the Treasury’s Financial Empowerment Innovation Fund, was recently asked to present to the President’s Council on Financial Capability and appointed to the national Jump$tart Board in Washington, D.C.

The award, funded by the William F. Vilas Trust Estate, recognizes exceptional scholarly accomplishments and provides flexible research funding.