Megan Gilster

Professor Megan Gilster
Associate Professor; PhD Program Director
PhD, 2010, University of Michigan; MSW, 2003, University of Michigan; BA Anthropology & Music, 1999, Lawrence University
352 NH
Curriculum Vitae: 
Research Interests: 
Neighborhoods; housing; community social organization; community participation; social determinants of mental and physical health; racial disparities in mental and physical health


Megan E Gilster is an Assistant Professor at the University of Iowa School of Social Work and Research Fellow in the Social and Education Policy Research Program in the University of Iowa Public Policy Center. Her research addresses how community and neighborhood conditions matter for the well-being of residents. Her current projects include a community-engaged research project in a nearby community to understand networks among programs, the spatial location of programs, and perceptions of barriers and solutions to community inequality. In another project, she is collaborating with researchers in Public Health and Sociology to examine housing insecurity. They are investigating how local residents and students experience Iowa City’s tight housing market.

Before coming to the University of Iowa, she was a NICHD-funded Postdoctoral Scholar in the Health Disparities Research Scholars Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she researched the link between neighborhoods and disparities in health and mental health.

Teaching Areas: 

Organization and Community Practice, Research

Work Experience : 

Non-profit management, community building, program evaluation, research