Faculty Directory

Summer Sherburne Hawkins



Professor Summer Sherburne Hawkins, PhD, MS, joined the Boston College School of Social Work (BCSSW) faculty in 2012. She is a social epidemiologist with an interest in addressing policy-relevant research questions in women’s and children’s health. Her research examines the impact of policies on health disparities in parents and children, particularly using methodology that integrates epidemiology and economics. She uses applied econometric techniques to evaluate natural experiments created through policy changes within and between U.S. states, including substance use policies, reproductive health-related policies, breastfeeding policies, and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Professor Hawkins has published in prominent peer-reviewed public health journals on the topics of tobacco and cannabis use, maternal morbidity and mortality, infant feeding practices, and preventive health services, as well as the impact of state policies on disparities in these health behaviors and outcomes.

Professor Hawkins is currently the Assistant Director of the Institute of Early Childhood Policy at Boston College. She is also on the editorial boards for BMC Public Health and Maternal and Child Nutrition.

Prior to joining BCSSW, Professor Hawkins was a Cohort 7 Robert Wood Johnson Health & Society Scholar at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health from 2009-2011.

Select Grants

09/2023-08/2024 Grodman Family Foundation – titled, Evaluating the health impacts of disasters on youth
Role: Co-PI (with Betty Lai)

09/2021-08/2023 National Cancer Institute & FDA Center for Tobacco Products (R21CA268199) – titled, Impact analysis of flavor restrictions and tobacco 21 policies on youth tobacco use 
Role: PI 

07/2019-12/2021 American Lung Association Public Policy Research Award (PP- 625245) - titled, Impact of tobacco control and air quality policies on disparities in prenatal smoking and birth outcomes
Role: PI

Select Appointments & Awards

Visiting Associate Professor, Department of Global Health & Social Medicine, King’s College London, England (09/18-08/19)

K99/R00 recipient – National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, 5-year career development award (R00HD068506) (2011-2016)