Center for Financial Security Entering 2015 with a Bang!

Picture of CFS lecture

The Center for Financial Security (CFS) and its Faculty Director, J. Michael Collins, concluded 2014 and commenced 2015 with several exciting and significant developments.

Closing out 2015 with the announcement of not one, but two awards from the United States Department of the Treasury’s Financial Empowerment Innovation Fund was cause for much celebration and pride among CFS faculty, staff, and students. As the only recipient of multiple awards in this round of Treasury-funded opportunities, CFS will be moving forward on the projects, which address the development, testing and evaluation of new ways to empower Americans in dealing with their finances. For more information please see the Financial Empowerment Innovation Fund’s website.

The expertise of CFS Faculty Director J. Michael Collins was sought by multiple national media sources in early 2015, underscoring the importance and relevance of his scholarship and outreach work, and that of CFS. Seeking expert commentary on the subject of savings, income disparity, and youth financial education among other issues, The New York Times, public radio’s Marketplace, Time, and U.S. News and World Report were just some of the media outlets featuring Collins’ expert opinion in the early months of 2015.

Another noteworthy event for CFS and Dr. Collins in early 2015 was the announcement that Dr. Collins had been selected as a recipient of the William F. Vilas Trust Estate Young Investigator and Mid-Career Award. Recognizing Collins’s exceptional scholarly work in the area of consumer behavior research and his outstanding record of externally funded research awards, the distinction cast a well-deserved spotlight on Collins’s career accomplishments and provides support for Dr. Collins to continue in this trajectory.

The CFS team is exceedingly proud of Michael’s achievements and grateful for his leadership of CFS through its lifetime.  The commitment of Collins and CFS faculty, staff and students have established CFS as the pre-eminent research center focused on strategies for building financial capability and security over the life course.

For seven (7) years, CFS has worked with dozens of UW and off-campus affiliates to advance research on financial well-being and has supported and imparted valuable experiences to just shy of 100 UW graduate and undergraduate students from a variety of departments.  CFS is a frequent resource for expertise on financial security for policy-makers from influential entities such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, The Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Department of Treasury. CFS has reached thousands of families and individuals through its accessible webinar series and other outreach-based activities on relevant topics critical to individual, family, and community well-being, including emergency savings, youth financial literacy, and financial coaching.

In the latter half of 2014 and early part of 2015, our staff has expanded to include five (5) dedicated staff members, in addition to contributing graduate and undergraduate students and SoHE Centers for Excellence staff.  An interest in expanding CFS research in international contexts has emerged through the involvement with CFS of a visiting scholar and other developing collaborations.  In early 2015, CFS will gather affiliates to celebrate and acknowledge our recent successes, and explore ways that affiliates and new partnerships can move the exciting work of CFS forward for the years to come! For more information about this event and to register, please visit the event website.

To learn more about the Center for Financial Security, please visit our website cfs.wisc.edu. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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