PhD Program Director, Associate Professor
Office location: 2109
Phone number: 217-244-5252
Dr. Zhan received her bachelor’s degree in history from Peking University, China in 1991, and her PhD in social work from Washington University in St. Louis in 2001. She joined the School of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2001.
Dr. Zhan’s research centers on identifying social policies and other factors associated with the long-term economic well-being of low-income families with children. Specifically, her research examines the impact of educational approaches, specifically in the forms of postsecondary education and financial management training, on the long-term economic well-being of low-income families. She also examines the role of asset development, an approach that aims to develop human capital and to promote economic security for low-income families through facilitating their financial asset accumulation.
Research and Practice Interests
Dr. Zhan’s research interests include human capital development for low-income families; savings and asset building for low-income families; financial literacy and financial education; and program evaluation.
Dr. Zhan is currently working on or planning several projects, including: 1) evaluating the impact of financial management training for immigrants; 2) examining structural, household and individual factors that may influence asset accumulation among low-income families and 3) examining the dynamic relationship between financial capital and human capital development among low-income women with children.
Zhan, M., Anderson. S.G., & Scott, J. (in press). Banking Knowledge and Attitudes of Immigrants: Effects of a Financial Education Program. Social Development Issues.
Grinstein-Weiss, M., Yeo, Y. H., Irish, K., & Zhan, M. (in press). Parental assets: A pathway to positive child educational outcomes. Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, XXXVI (1), 61-84.
Grinstein-Weiss, M., Yeo, Y. H., Zhan, M., & Pajarita, C. (2008). Asset holding and net worth among households with children: Differences by household type. Children and Youth Services Review, 30, 62-78.
Schreiner, M., Sherraden, M., Clancy, M., Johnson, L., Curley, J., Zhan, M., Beverly, S., & Grinstein-Weiss, M. (in press). Assets and the poor: Evidence from Individual Development Accounts. In M. Sherraden & L. Morris (Eds.). Inclusion in the American dream: Assets, poverty, and public policy (pp. 185-215). New York: Oxford University Press.
Beverly, S., Sherraden, M., Cramer, R., Shanks, T. R. W., Nam, Y., & Zhan, M. (2008). Determinants of asset holdings. In Signe-mary McKernan & Michael Sherraden (Eds.). Asset building and low-income families (pp. 89-151). Washington, D.C.: Urbana Institution Press.
Ratcliffe, C., Chen, H., Shanks, T. R. W., Nam, Y., Schreiner, M., Zhan, M., & Sherraden, M. (2008) Assessing asset data. In Signe-Mary McKernan & Michael Sherraden (Eds.). Asset building and low-income families (pp. 238-270). Washington, D.C.: Urbana Institution Press.
Elliott, W., Zhan, M., & Jung, H. (2008). The human capital agenda: Asset holding and educational attainment. Invited presentation to the Child Development Accounts: Research and Policy Symposium, St. Louis, MO, November 12-14, 2008.