David Ansong, Ph.D., has been appointed a Wallace Kuralt Early Career Distinguished Scholar. This term professorship was established by the School of Social Work in 2016 and is designed to support the research and scholarly interests of junior faculty.
The professorship is available for five years or until the faculty member is promoted to full professor. The honor includes a combined stipend and research fund of $12,400, which is supported from private donations.
Dean Gary Bowen praised Ansong as a bright star on the School’s faculty.
“I appreciate and respect Dr. Ansong’s willingness to roll up his sleeves and be involved in every aspect of the School’s mission,” Bowen said. “He is a team player and a wonderful colleague and reflects the high standards of achievement and the likelihood of continued success associated with being named as a Wallace Kuralt Early Career Distinguished Scholar. We are most fortunate to have him on our faculty.”
Since joining the School of Social Work in 2013, Ansong’s research interests have continued to follow two paths: the economics of education, which addresses the links between household economic security and educational outcomes; and child welfare, which focuses on the connections between household economic security and the stability, quality of life, and well-being of children.
“This appointment further boosts my lasting commitment to the well-being of children, youth, and their families,” he said.
In addition to his current role within the School, Ansong is a faculty fellow of Global Social Development Innovations, a research center that works closely with university, state, national and international partners to improve the lives of marginalized people around the world. He also serves as a faculty director with the Global Asset Building program at the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis.
Over the years, Ansong has been involved with intervention research on asset development for low-income households and young people, including the YouthSave Ghana Experiment, which examined the viability and impacts of youth savings accounts for low-income youth in Ghana.
“The impetus to pursue interventions to address social and economic inequalities, particularly in resource-constrained communities, both in the U.S. and globally, remains urgent because of the widening inequality gap,” he noted.
Most recently, Ansong was among the School’s team of faculty awarded the 2017 C. Felix Harvey Award to Advance Institutional Priorities. The award recognizes exemplary faculty scholarship that addresses real-world challenges and reflects the University’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation. Ansong served as principal investigator for a project that aims to improve support for grandparents and other family caregivers fostering children who have been abused or neglected.
Ansong has published in a variety of peer-reviewed journals including, Children and Youth Services Review, Journal of Social Work Education, Economics of Education Review, Journal of Experimental Education, and Applied Geography.