Melinda Lewis

Melinda Lewis
  • Associate Professor of Practice
  • Associate Director, Capacity-Building & Community Evaluation


Melinda Lewis, LMSW, received her Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She worked as a nonprofit policy advocate, grassroots organizer, and community researcher for several years and is now an Associate Professor of Practice in the School of Social Welfare, teaching social policy and community practice courses at the University of Kansas. She is the Assistant Director for the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion (AEDI), advancing policy based on research into the role of assets in addressing educational inequities and catalyzing upward mobility. At AEDI, Ms. Lewis contributes to reports on student debt, Children's Savings Accounts, and asset policy; assists with research around the country on CSAs; and translates AEDI's research into strategic communications with policymakers and other stakeholders. She recently coauthored (with KU's Dr. William Elliott) the book, The Real College Debt Crisis: How Student Borrowing Threatens Financial Well-Being and Erodes the American Dream. She can be found on Twitter @melindaklewis.


MSW, Washington University in St. Louis


Poverty and economic inequality, asset-based financial aid, social change, strategies for effective policy advocacy by nonprofit organizations, advocacy evaluation, and advocacy capacity-building for individuals and social service organizations.