RWJF Health & Society Scholar:
Social Epidemiology, Maternal and Child Health
Area(s) of Expertise:
Policy Evaluation, Health Disparities, Tobacco Use, Breastfeeding, Childhood Obesity
Assistant Professor Summer Sherburne Hawkins, PhD, joined the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) faculty in 2012. She is a social epidemiologist with an interest in addressing policy-relevant research questions in maternal and child health. Her research examines the impact of policies on health disparities in parents and children, particularly using methodology that integrates epidemiology and economics. Dr. Hawkins has published on the topics of parental smoking, infant feeding practices, and childhood obesity as well as the impact of state- and local-level policies on disparities in these health behaviors and outcomes.
In 2011, Dr. Hawkins was awarded a K99/R00 grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. This 4-year program of research will address racial/ethnic and socioeconomic differences in perinatal and postnatal risk factors for childhood obesity and identify policy drivers for behavior change.
Dr. Hawkins is currently on the editorial board of Maternal and Child Nutrition and an active member of the University Research Council at Boston College. Prior to joining GSSW, Dr. Hawkins was a Cohort 7 Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at the Harvard School of Public Health from 2009-2011.