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

Associate Professor; Social Work
School of Social Work

B.S.S.W. Program Director

Office Hours

By appointment

Courses Taught

Introduction to Social Work (B.S.S.W.)


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

Practice Areas

Domestic violence/sexual assault

Research Interests

domestic violence, sexual assault, community-based participatory research

Publications and Media Placements

  1. Murugan, V. (2022). Intimate Partner Violence in an Orthodox Jewish Community in the United States: A Qualitative Exploration of Community Members’ Perspectives. Violence against women, 10778012221120444.
  2. Termos, M., Murugan, V., & Helton, J. J. (2022). IPV and Health Consequences Among CPS-Involved Caregivers: A Fixed Effects Analysis Stratified by Race and Ethnicity. Violence Against Women, 28(6-7), 1610-1630.
  3. Murugan, V., Mahapatra, N., Rai, A., & Rijhwani, L. (2022). South Asian Women’s Organizations: An Exploratory Study of Workers’ Perceptions on Intimate Partner Violence-Related Help-Seeking. Journal of Family Violence, 1-13.
Media Placements
  1. Ruff, C. (2021, September 8). Missouri businesses now must grant unpaid leave for survivors of domestic or sexual violence.
  2. Drake, K. (2021, March 7). Domestic abuse agency starts texting hotline in St. Louis area to help victims.

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
  • 2021-2022 The Terry Leet Award for Teaching Excellence, College for Public Health and Social Justice, Saint Louis University

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. Dr. Murugan is also a Board Member of the ALS Association of Saint Louis.