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The Society for Social Work Research has selected UNC Center for Community Capital Research Fellow Michal Grinstein-Weiss for its 2011 Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award.

The Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes cumulative career accomplishments in advancing state-of-the-art of social work research and its utilization that set the award recipient apart from other leaders in social work research. Grinstein-Weiss will be honored at the society’s annual conference in Tampa, Fla., Jan. 14.

Grinstein-Weiss is an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Social Work. An expert on public policy promoting economic equality and social development, Grinstein-Weiss contributes to the Center for Community Capital’s research in the areas of affordable home ownership and consumer financial services.

Before joining the UNC faculty, Grinstein-Weiss was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. During her postdoctoral work, she was heavily involved with the American Dream Demonstration research, which was the first large-scale test of Individual Development Accounts for the working poor.

She serves as a faculty fellow for the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill, a faculty fellow for the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis, and a member of the advisory board of the UNC Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity. In addition, Grinstein-Weiss serves on the North Carolina Assets Alliance.

Grinstein-Weiss has written numerous scholarly research articles that have appeared in a broad range of publications, including Social Service ReviewJournal of Marriage and the FamilyChildren and Youth Services ReviewJournal of Income Distribution, as well as other prominent research journals and government publications. Her research has been supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the research centers of several universities, and several philanthropic foundations.

Grinstein-Weiss is the principal investigator on a large research project, “Testing Long-term Impacts of Individual Development Account and Asset Building on Social and Economic Well-being,” which is primarily funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, with additional funding support from other foundations.

The UNC Center for Community Capital is the leading center for research and policy analysis on the transformative power of capital on households and communities in the United States. Part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the center offers data and analysis that helps policymakers, advocates and the private sector find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people more effectively. For more information, visit or call (919) 843-2140.

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