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Vithya Murugan, Ph.D., M.S.W.

Assistant Professor; Social Work
College for Public Health and Social Justice

Courses Taught

Human Behavior and the Social Environment (SWRK 5725), Introduction to Social Work (SWRK 1000), Intimate Partner Violence: Culturally Relevant and Trauma Informed Approaches Professional Practice Institute (SWRK 5931)


  • Ph.D., Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis
  • M.S.W., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Research Interests

Intimate Partner Violence; Sexual Assault; Cultural Competency; Vulnerable Populations of Interpersonal Violence (e.g., Immigrant Survivors, Refugee Survivors; South Asian Survivors); Gender Empowerment; Prevention and Intervention Development

Publications and Media Placements

 (* denotes publications with student authors)

  1. Murugan, V., Holzer, K., Termos, M*., & Vaughn, M. (in press). IPV among Pregnant Women reporting to the Emergency Department: Findings from a Nationwide Sample. BMJ Sexual and Reproductive Health.
  2. Murugan, V., Khoo, Y. M*., & Termos, M*. (2020). Intimate Partner Violence Against Women in India: Is Empowerment a Protective Factor?. Global Social Welfare, 1-13.
  3. Bender, A. K., Koegler, E., Johnson, S. D., Murugan, V., & Wamser-Nanney, R. (2020). Guns and Intimate Partner Violence among Adolescents: a Scoping Review. Journal of Family Violence, 1-13.

Find Vithya Murugan on ResearchGate

Honors and Awards

  • Faculty Fellow, Faculty Success Program, National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity, Funded by: Saint Louis University
  • Faculty Fellow, Center for Health Equity Research (CHER) Institute, California State University, Long Beach, Funded by: National Institute of Health, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, Research Education Grant R25GM121266

Professional Organizations and Associations

  • Council for Social Work Education
  • Society for Social Work and Research

Community Work and Service

Dr. Murugan lives and works in St. Louis. Therefore, she believes it is both a privilege and a responsibility to serve her community. She served as a program evaluator for the Show Me Costa Rica Project from 2017-2019. The Show Me Costa Rica Project is a program based out of the St. Louis Public School (SLPS) system that seeks to bring equity to international learning experiences for high school students in under-resourced communities. Additionally, she has served as a panelist at community events related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and mental health among ethnic/minority women including at Washington University in St. Louis’s School of Medicine and the Jewish Federation. In the summer of 2019, she joined Washington University in St. Louis’s Campus Y Board. The Campus Y is the largest student-run organization dedicated to serving the St. Louis and Washington University community.