Melinda Gushwa

Adjunct & Research Affiliate

Dr. Melinda Gushwa is a Visiting Professor at the Simmons School of Social Work. She has more than 25 years of practice experience in the areas of juvenile justice, residential treatment, child protection, employee assistance, crisis intervention counseling, pediatric medical social work, child welfare training, clinical practice (individual, couples, children and families), and clinical supervision. In addition to Simmons, Dr. Gushwa has taught in the social work programs at Washington University in St. Louis, University of Wisconsin Green Bay, University of Nevada Las Vegas and Rhode Island College. As a Visiting Professor, Dr. Gushwa is the PI on several workforce development grants through the CIBER center.


  • BA, University of Redlands
  • MSW California State University San Bernardino
  • PhD, Washington University in St. Louis


  • Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (RI)


  • Crisis Intervention with Children & Adolescents

Research/Creative Activities

Dr. Gushwa’s research is connected to her practice experience as a child welfare worker and pediatric medical/ER social worker. Her research examines child maltreatment fatalities, child sexual abuse, trauma, organizational issues in child welfare and innovation in social work education.


Douglas, E. & Gushwa, M. (2019). Child welfare workers’ knowledge of risk factors for child maltreatment fatalities: A second multi-state assessment. Journal of Public Child Welfare. DOI: 10.1080/15548732.2019.1612816

Douglas, E. & Gushwa, M. (2019). An exploratory analysis of seven child welfare workers who confused SIDS with child maltreatment fatalities: A brief research report. Journal of Social Service Research. DOI: 10.1080/01488376.2018.1542374

Douglas, E., Mohn, M. & Gushwa, M. (2014). The presence of maltreatment fatality-related content in pre-service child welfare training curricula: A brief report of 20 states. Child & Adolescent Social Work Journal, 32(3), 213-218. DOI: 10.1007/s10560-014-0369-x

Glantz, T. & Gushwa, M. (2013). Reflections on foster youth and education: Finding common ground. Reflections: Narratives of Professional Helping, 19(4), 15-23.

Gushwa, M., Bernier, J. & Robinson, D. (2018). Advancing child sexual abuse prevention in schools: An exploration of the effectiveness of the Enough! online training program for K-12 teachers. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse. DOI: 10.1080/10538712.2018.1477000

Gushwa, M. & Chance, T. (2008). Ethical dilemmas for mental health practitioners: Navigating mandated child maltreatment reporting decisions. Families in Society, 89(1), 78-83. DOI: 10.1606%2F1044-3894.3712

Gushwa, M., Chance, T. & Mennes, C. (2009). What is our ethical duty? Social work education and plagiarism. Journal of Social Work Values & Ethics, 6(3). [online]

Gushwa, M. & Harriman, K. (2018). Paddling against the tide: Contemporary challenges in field 
education. Journal of Clinical Social Work, 47(1), 17-22. DOI: 10.1007/s10615-018-0668-3

Kozak, R.S., Gushwa, M. & Cadet, T.J. (2018). Victimization and violence: An exploration of the relationship between child sexual abuse, violence & delinquency. Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, 27(6), 699-717, DOI: 10.1080/10538712.2018.1474412

Melinda Gushwa in the News

Simmons University Cupola

Simmons School of Social Work Begins Formative Partnership with Tufts University School of Dental Medicine

The Tufts University School of Dental Medicine has received funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for a predoctoral dental training program, which includes a partnership with Simmons School of Social Work (SSW). Over the next five years, Tufts dental students and on-the-ground Simmons MSW students will work together to address vulnerable and underserved populations with complex medical and mental health issues.

Director of the School of Social Work Melinda Gushwa

Director of the School of Social Work Melinda Gushwa Receives Funding from Boston Children’s Collaboration for Community Health

Gushwa to serve as Principal Investigator and Project Director for grant that will support children's mental health workforce and diversity Simmons University is proud to announce that the School of Social Work has received a grant of $298,393 from Boston...

Main College Building on Simmons' academic campus.

Simmons University Launches New Online Doctorate of Social Work Program

The online DSW program enables students to pursue diverse clinical social work careers through a unique focus on leadership, clinical practice and teaching.

The Simmons cupola against a blue sky

Simmons Releases Annual Report on Research for Fiscal Year 2019

Dear Friends of Simmons University, I am so pleased to have the opportunity to reflect on the role of research at Simmons University, and to offer this Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2019 that features the research accomplishments of faculty...

Shout-outs from Students and Alums

Kyle T. Ganson ’20PhD

Kyle Ganson ’20PhD Broadens the Gender Perspectives of Eating Disorders

Kyle T. Ganson is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. As part of his studies at Simmons, he created the course “Social Work Assessment and Treatment of Eating Disorders,” to be taught in Spring 2024. We spoke to Ganson about his doctoral experience at Simmons and the inspiration behind the course.