Emma FlanaganGraduate Student


Emma is a MS/PhD student in the Human Development and Family Studies program. She is interested in resiliency and social support in the context of family housing instability. Specifically, she seeks to understand how social services can better serve the needs of low-income families given the barriers to housing that exist. She is currently working with Dr. Sarah Halpern-Meekin on the Baby’s First Years project, which seeks to understand the relationship between family financial situations and children’s well-being. Emma is also interested in how policy affects families’ housing situations, and she hopes to conduct research that will inform policymakers on decisions related to these topics.

Emma attended Saint Louis University and received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with minors in Biology, Public Health, and Urban Poverty Studies. During her time at SLU, she worked as a lab assistant with the Readers 2 Leaders program, a peer-mentoring, reading partnership designed to create connections and empower students. Emma’s experience with data collection and interpretation in the Readers 2 Leaders program has provided a base of research skills she is looking forward to further developing at UW.

Prior to beginning her PhD at SoHE, Emma served as an AmeriCorps member in Missoula, Montana with Family Promise – Missoula Interfaith Collaborative. She worked as a housing navigator, developing relationships with families and finding ways to empower them. She is passionate about using the skills and knowledge she gained in this experience to shape her research approach in graduate school.

Education and Relevant Experience

BS, Psychology, Saint Louis University

Teaching Experience

Teaching Assistant, HDFS 535, A Family Perspective in Policymaking

Portrait of Emma Flanagan, a white woman smiling with curly dark blonde hair, wearing silver earrings and a green top.


  • Human Development & Family Studies

Degree Program

  • PhD Human Ecology: Human Development & Family Studies