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Five SoHE Faculty Earn Promotions

Headshot portrait of Dr. Sarah Halpern-Meekin, Dr. Sigan Hartley, Dr. Heather Kirkorian, Dr. Cliff Robb, and Dr. Jung-hye Shin

Drs. Halpern-Meekin, Hartley, Kirkorian, Robb and Shin return to campus with added distinction.

Five faculty in the School of Human Ecology have earned promotions and will return to campus this fall with added distinction:

Dr. Sarah Halpern-Meekin has been promoted to professor. Author of two books, “Social poverty: Low-income parents and the struggle for family and community ties” [NYU Press 2019] and “It’s not like I’m poor: How working families make ends meet in a post-welfare world” [University of California Press 2015], Halpern-Meekin describes herself as “…a sociologist who uses qualitative and quantitative methods to study romantic relationships and low-income families’ finances…” her work is aimed at examining how social poverty shapes individual and family wellbeing.

Dr. Sigan Hartley, of the Human Development and Family Studies department, holds the 100 Women Distinguished Chair in Human Ecology. She is the Director of Human Ecology Graduate Studies and has been promoted to professor. Hartley’s research focuses on developmental disabilities such as autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome and fragile X syndrome. Hartley is co-researcher on a five-year effort funded by NIH to better understand Alzheimer’s disease in adults with Down syndrome.

Dr. Heather Kirkorian, chair of the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) department and Faculty Director of the Child Development Lab, has been promoted to professor. Kirkorian is the inaugural recipient of the Laura M. Secord Chair in Early Childhood Development, and runs the Cognitive Development & Media Lab. With funding from NSF, Spencer Foundation and more, the Lab’s research themes include how children learn when in-person vs. video, whether there are age differences in visual selective attention to video (e.g., as measured by eye movements) and whether such differences predict learning and more.

Dr. Cliff Robb, chair of Consumer Science has been promoted to professor. Dr. Robb is faculty director of the Consumer Finance and Financial Planning program, and is an affiliate of the Center for Financial Security and the Institute for Research on Poverty. A highly sought after expert, Robb has appeared in MarketWatch, Salon.com and penned an op-ed for Capital Times as well as a myriad of regional and national outlets. In 2021 he was one of only 13 faculty members at UW-Madison to receive the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Dr. Jung-hye Shin, Chair of the Design Studies department has been promoted to professor. Dr. Shin is the Interior Architecture program coordinator and a program faculty director in the Center for Design and Material Culture. Shin is co-leading a research study [supported by a grant from RRF Foundation for Aging] focusing on the development of a novel home assessment tool to aid in modifying homes for people with disabilities.