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Trina R. Shanks

Director, School of Social Work Community Engagement, Harold R. Johnson Collegiate Professor of Social Work and Faculty Associate, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research

Trina R. Shanks

Dr. Shanks’ research interests include the impact of poverty and wealth on child well-being; asset-building policy and practice across the life cycle; and community and economic development. As Director of the Center for Equitable Family and Community Well-Being, she continues ongoing research and intentionally seeks and responds to new opportunities that will empower families and communities to thrive.

Since 2018, she has overseen the School’s strategic goal of community engagement and leads the evolving ENGAGE team that promotes, coordinates and facilitates greater impact in community and social justice. Shanks also serves as faculty advisor to the New Leaders in African-Centered Social Work Program. She has also been a research investigator for the Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) demonstration program and consults with several other child savings account initiatives, including one started in Lansing Public Schools.

As a faculty affiliated with the Technical Assistance Center funded by the Skillman Foundation, over a ten-year period Trina Shanks was actively engaged in six Detroit communities as part of the Good Neighborhoods program. She also has conducted multiple evaluations of Detroit’s Summer Youth Employment Program—Grow Detroit’s Young Talent.

From 2010 to 2012 Shanks was appointed by Michigan Governor Granholm to serve two years on the State Commission on Community Action and Economic Opportunity. She is currently one of the national network co-leads for the Social Work Grand Challenge: Reversing Extreme Economic Inequality and a non-resident fellow at the Urban Institute.

Shanks earned a PhD in Social Work from Washington University and an M.S. in Comparative Social Research from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Research Interests/Focus

Child well-being, asset building, 529 college education plans, SEED, Rhodes scholar, economic development

Education

Year Degree   School
2003 PhD Social Work Washington University, St. Louis, MO
2000 MSW Social Work Washington University, St. Louis, MO
1996 MPh Comparative Social Research University of Oxford, Oxford, England
1992 BS Business Administration John M. Olin School of Business, St. Louis, MO

Websites

Social Work Grand Challenges
Reducing Extreme Economic Inequality
Center for Equitable Family & Community Well-Being

Shanks, T. R., Moss, L., & Blumenthal, A. (in press). Financial education among school-aged youth. In J. Frey & C. Callahan (Eds.), Financial Capability and Social Work. Taylor and Francis.

Ng, I. Y. H. & Shanks, T. R. (in press). Financial challenges and mental health. In R. Ow & A. Poon (Eds.), Social Work and Mental Health. Springer.

Blumenthal, A. & Shanks, T. R. W. (2019). Communication matters: A long-term follow-up study of child savings account program participation. Children and Youth Services Review.

Sherraden, M., Lough, B. J., Sherraden, M. S., Williams Shanks, T. R., & Huang, J. (2019). Applied social research: Aiming for impacts. Journal of the Society for Social Work and Research, 10(4), 545-570.

McKernan, S., Ratcliffe, C., & Shanks, T. (2019). Wealth and the credit health of young millennials. In R. Cramer (Ed.), The Emerging Millennial Wealth Gap: Divergent Trajectories, Weak Balance Sheets, and Implications for Social Policy. New America: Washington, DC.

Shanks, T. R. (2018). Can economic interventions for children reduce economic inequality in adulthood? Generations-Journal of the American Society on Aging, 42(2), 68-72.

Henly, J. Jones, R., Lein, L., Romich, J. Shanks, T. Sherraden, M., & Tillotson, A. (2018). Reduce extreme economic inequality. In R. Fong, J. E. Lubben, & R. P. Barth (Eds.), Grand Challenges for Social Work and Society (pp. 204-226). Oxford University Press.

Sherraden, M., Johnson, L., Clancy, M., Beverly, S., Sherraden, M., Schreiner, M., Williams Shanks, T. …& Han, C. K. (2018). Asset building: Toward inclusive policy. Encyclopedia of Social Work. Oxford University Press.

Allen-Meares, P. G., Shanks, T. R., Gant, L. M., Hollingsworth, L., & Miller, P. L. (2017). A Twenty-First Century Approach to Community Change: Partnering to Improve Life Outcomes for Youth and Families in Under-Served Neighborhoods. Oxford University Press.

Kwarteng, J. L., Schulz, A. J., Mentz, G. B., Israel, B. A., Shanks, T. R., & White Perkins, D. (2017). Does perceived safety modify the effectiveness of a walking-group intervention designed to promote physical activity? American Journal of Health Promotion.

Shanks, T. R., Harb, S. & Savas, S. A. (2017). Measurable results of good neighborhoods: What was accomplished? In Allen-Meares, P., Shanks, T., Gant, L., Hollingsworth, L., & Miller, P. (Eds.), A Twenty-First Century Approach to Community Change: Partnering to Improve Life Outcomes for Youth and Families in Under-Served Neighborhoods 131-144. Oxford University Press.

Shanks, T. R., & Miller, P. L. (2017). Building and maintaining community capacity: How the TAC supported neighborhood residents. In Allen-Meares, P., Shanks, T., Gant, L., Hollingsworth, L., & Miller, P. (Eds.), A Twenty-First Century Approach to Community Change: Partnering to Improve Life Outcomes for Youth and Families in Under-Served Neighborhoods 131-144. Oxford University Press.

Shanks, T. R. (2017). Introducing the six good neighborhoods communities. In Allen-Meares, P., Shanks, T., Gant, L., Hollingsworth, L., & Miller, P. (Eds.), A Twenty-First Century Approach to Community Change: Partnering to Improve Life Outcomes for Youth and Families in Under-Served Neighborhoods 58-79. Oxford University Press.

Shanks, T. & Danziger, S. K. (2016). Antipoverty policies and programs for families and children. In J. Jenson & M. Fraser (Eds.), Social Policy for Children and Families: A Risk and Resilience Perspective (3rd ed.).

Sherraden, M., Clancy, M., Nam, Y., Huang, J., Kim, Y., Beverly, S., Reyes Mason, L., Williams Shanks, T. R., Wikoff, N. E., Schreiner, M., & Purnell, J. Q. (2016). Universal and progressive child development accounts: A policy innovation to reduce educational disparity. Urban Education.

Kwarteng, J. L., Schulz, A. J., Mentz, G. B., Israel, B. A., Shanks, T. R., & White Perkins, D. (2016). Neighbourhood poverty, perceived discrimination, and central adiposity: Independent associations in a repeated measures analysis. Journal of Biosocial Science.

Williams, Shanks, T. R. (2014). The promise of child development accounts: Current evidence and future directions. Community Investments, 26(2), 12-15.

Williams Shanks, T., Nicoll, K., & Johnson, T. (2014). Assets and African Americans: Attempting to capitalize on hopes for children through college savings accounts. Review of Black Political Economy, 41(3), 337-356.

Hollingsworth, L. D., Sanchez, N., Gant, L. M., Williams-Shanks, T. R., Allen-Meares, P,, & Miller, P. L. (2014). In E. Zambone & L Gonzalez (Eds.), Providing Technical Assistance to Urban Communities: A Guide of Case Studies and Advice for Community Members. Michigan Publishing, University of Michigan Library.

Cramer, R. & Williams Shanks, T. R. (Eds.). (2014). The Assets Perspective: The Rise of Asset Building and its Impact on Social Policy. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Williams Shanks, T. R., & Beverly, S. (2014). Family assets and child outcomes: Evidence and directions. Future of Children, 24(1), 147-170.

Williams Shanks, T. R., Boddie, S., & Wynn, R. (2014). Wealth building in communities of color. In R. Bangs & L. Davis (Eds.), Race and Social Problems: Restructuring Inequality 63-78. Springer Publishing.

Williams Shanks, T. R. (2014). The evolution of anti-poverty policies and programs. In R. Cramer and T. R. Williams Shanks (Eds.), The Assets Perspective: The Rise of Asset Building and its Impact on Social Policy Chapter 2. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Cramer, R. & Williams Shanks, T. R. (2014). The rise of asset building and its impact on social policy. In R. Cramer & T. R. Williams Shanks (Eds.), The Assets Perspective: The Rise of Asset Building and its Impact on Social Policy Chapter 1. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.

Shanks, T. R. (2014). Detroit Summer Youth Employment Program: Results Of 2013 Youth Employee Exit Surveys. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan School of Social Work Technical Assistance Center.

Shaefer, H. L., Song, X., & Williams Shanks, T. R. (2013). Do single mothers use the Earned Income Tax Credit to reduce unsecured debt? Review of Economics of the Household, 11(4), 659-680.

Shanks, T. R., & Robinson, C. (2013). Assets, economic opportunity and toxic stress: a framework for understanding child and educational outcomes. Economics and Education Review, 33, 154-170.

Williams Shanks, T. (2013). In M. E. Benson (Ed.), Habits of Achievement: Lessons for a Life Well-Lived. St. Louis: Washington University in St. Louis.

Shanks, T. R., Mandell, L., & Adams, D. (2013). Financial education and financial access: lessons learned from child development account research. Innovations: Youth Economic Opportunities, Special Issue for the 2013 Global Youth Economic Opportunities Conference, 167-183.

Han, Y, Shanks, T., & Grogan-Kaylor, A. (2013). Parenting, family and neighborhood socioeconomic status, and children's academic performance. Journal of The Asian Regional Association for Home Economics, 20(4), 182-190.

Shanks, T. R., Allen-Meares, P., Gant, L., & Williams, R. (2013). Take a second look at Detroit. Posted on the CEOS for Cities weblog.

Mandell, L., Sherraden, M. S., Despard, M., Masa, R., Adams, D., Elliott, W., Ansong, D., Lucey, T., Hira, T., Ssewamala, F., Prabhakar, R., & Williams Shanks, T. (2012). Children and youth as economic citizens: Reviewof research on financial capability, financial inclusion, and financial education. Child and Youth Finance International Research Working Group Report.

Williams Shanks, T. R. (2012). Helping low-income families obtain economic security: The value of local partnerships. In E. F. Hoffler & E. Clark (Eds.), Social Work Matters 209-215. Washington, DC: NASW Press.

McKernan, S., Ratcliffe, C., & Williams Shanks, T. R. (2012). Is poverty incompatible with asset accumulation? In P. N. Jefferson (Ed.), Oxford Handbook on the Economics of Poverty. Oxford University Press.

Allen-Meares, P., Gant, L., Shanks, T., & Hollingsworth, L. (2011). Embedded foundations: Advancing community change and empowerment. Foundation Review, 2(3), 61-78.

Okech, D., Little, R. D., & Williams Shanks, T. R. (2011). Early savings for children's higher education: A comparison between savers and non-savers in a Child Development Account program. Children and Youth Services Review, 33(9), 1592-1598.

Williams Shanks, T. R., Boddie, S. C., & Rice, S. (2010). Family-centered, community-based asset building: A strategic use of individual development accounts. Journal of Community Practice, 18(1), 94-117.

Williams Shanks, T., Kim, Y., Loke, V., & Destin, M. (2010). Assets and child well-being in developed countries. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(11), 1488-1496.

Adams, D., Nam, Y., Williams Shanks, T., Hicks, S., & Robinson, C. (2010). Research on assets for children and youth: Reflections on the past and prospects for the future. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(11), 1617-1621.

Cooney, K., & Shanks, T. (2010). New approaches to old problems: Market-based strategies for poverty alleviation. Social Service Review, 29(5), 29-55.

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Williams Shanks, T., Manturuk, K. M., Key, C. C., Paik, J. & Greeson, J. K. P. (2010). Homeownership and parenting practices: Evidence from the Community Advantage Panel. Children and Youth Services Review, 32(5), 774-782.

Williams Shanks, T., & Danziger, S. K. (2010). Antipoverty policies and programs for families and children. In J. Jenson & M. Fraser (Eds.) , Social Policy for Children and Families: A Risk and Resilience Perspective (2nd ed.). 25-56. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Okech, D., Little, T. D. & Williams Shanks, T. R. , & Adams, D. (2010). Parental self-efficacy and joining a savings program for children’s education. Research on Social Work Practice, 21(4), 442-451.

Sherraden, M., & Williams Shanks, T. (2009). The influence of research on policy and practice: Lessons from studies of asset building and low-income families. In A. Stiffman (Ed.), The Field Research Survival Guide. Oxford University Press.

Williams Shanks, T. R., & Destin, M. (2009). Parental expectations and educational outcomes for young African American adults: Do household assets matter? Race and Social Problems, 1(1), 27-35.

Hollingsworth, L. D., Allen-Meares, P., Shanks, T., & Gant, L. M. (2009). Using the miracle question in community engagement and planning. Families in Society, 90(3), 332-335.

Gant, L. M., Shimshock, K., Allen-Meares, P., Miller, P., Hollingsworth, L., & Shanks, T. (2009). Effects of Photovoice: Civic engagement among older youth in urban communities. Journal of Community Practice, 17(4), 358-376.

Davis, L. E., Wallace, J. M., & Williams Shanks, T. R. (2008). African Americans - Overview. In T. Mizrahi & L. E. Davis (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social Work (20th ed.). Oxford University Press.

Beverly, S., Sherraden, M., Zhan, M., Williams Shanks, T., Nam, Y., & Cramer, R. (2008). Determinants of asset building. A Report in the Series Poor Finances: Assests and Low-Income Households. Washington, DC: Urban Institute.

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