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Kukla Acevedo, Sharon



Social safety net and public education policies should be designed to benefit Americans. My research explores how decision-makers' policy design choices can amplify or limit potential benefits to participating children and families. While my previous research looked at the effects of individual programs, such as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), my more recent research looks at how the entire bundle of social safety net programs/policies can affect children and family dynamics. 

I also study the detrimental effects of hunger and food insecurity on children and adolescents. These findings point to the importance of such policy designs as improved nutrition requirements and universal meal programs in schools.

I am a professor of Public Administration and the current Director of the MPA program. My work has been published in a number of academic outlets, including, Journal of Adolescent Health, Journal of School Health, Children and Youth Services Review, and American Review of Public Administration.

More about Sharon Kukla Acevedo

Grasse, N., Heidbreder, B., Kukla-Acevedo, S., & Lecy, J. (forthcoming.) Some good news, more bad news: Two decades of the gender pay gap for nonprofit Directors and Chief Financial Officers. Review of Public Personnel Administration.

Kukla-Acevedo, S., & Acevedo, I. (2023.) Beyond education dollars: Does social safety net spending affect high school graduation rates? Journal of Adolescent Health.

Kukla-Acevedo, S., Ernst, M., Sommer, E., Adams, L.E., & Barkin, S. (2023.) Diet quality and school attendance: Cost analysis informing absence-reduction strategies in schools with underserved students. Journal of School Health, 93(1), 44-52.

Heflin, C.M., Darolia, R., & Kukla-Acevedo, S. (2020.) Exposure to food insecurity during adolescence and educational attainment. Social Problems, 69(2), 453-469.

Heflin, C.M., Kukla-Acevedo, S., & Darolia, R. (2019.) Adolescent food insecurity and risky behaviors and mental health during the transition to adulthood. Children and Youth Services Review 105, 104416.

Jeon, S.H. & Kukla-Acevedo, S. (2019.) Attitudinal effects of ethical work climate: An organizational analysis. Public Administration Quarterly, 43(4), 456-488.

  • Ph.D., Public Administration, University of Kentucky, 2008
  • Master of Public Policy, University of Kentucky, 2006
  • B.A., Spanish, Aquinas College, 2000
  • Public Human Resources Management
  • School Finance
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Economics of Education