Mary E Gilfus, Simmons College, GSSW
Mary Gilfus Photo

Mary E. Gilfus, Professor
Chair of the HBSE Sequence
President of the Simmons College Faculty Senate

Simmons College
School of Social Work

300 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115
Office: Room: P-404C
Phone: 617/521-3922; FAX: 617/521-3980

Academic Degrees:

B.A.: St. Lawrence University
M.S.S.W.: Boston University, School of Social Work
Ph.D.: Brandeis University, Heller School

  • Curriculum Vita
  • Course(s):

    411: Human Behavior and the Social Environment
    494: Multiple Faces of Trauma
    610: Theorectical Approaches to Human Behavior and the Social Environment

    Personal Statement:

    I am proud to be a member of the Simmons College School of Social Work faculty and community. This is a school that combines the very best in clinical social work practice education with a vision of social justice and a commitment to academic excellence. I feel challenged every day in my work here to provide our students with the most up-to-date, carefully selected, and relevant educational experiences available. Our responsibilities extend far beyond educating today's students; we are responsible to their future clients and to the communities in which they live. As our communities increasingly become global communities we must be ready to understand and respond to social needs with the latest in technology, the most culturally sensitive approaches, and the depth of knowledge it takes to be a worldclass leader in solving large-scale social problems that affect individuals' daily lives.

    As I teach about human behavior, the social environment, research, and psychosocial trauma I am deeply engaged with my students in addressing some of the most difficult and important questions of our time. We explore the nature of human nature, the shifting structures of society, the origins of and solutions to violence, the inner world of the self and how that is shaped by the external world through culture, family, community, and larger social, political, and economic forces. We work with the big questions but we also work with the immediacy of direct practice--how do I give my clients the help they need now? And, how do I know if what I do is effective in helping my clients? I enjoy teaching and I have great respect and admiration for our students, the future leaders of a very proud and vital profession.

    My professional activities include research, scholarship, service and activism that evolve around some of the greatest injustices we face: the violence that permeates our lives and our world, fueled by racism and poverty and other oppressions, its victims left impoverished and harmed by inadequate social policies. I write about violence in intimate relationships and about the psychological trauma that results from violence. I work on women's issues, often with women in prisons and jails. I examine the connections between gender, race, and class as experienced in the lives of some of society's most outcast people-those who are incarcerated in the largest prison industry in the world. I work to infuse multicultural and empowerment perspectives into our approach to practice across diverse populations and settings. I work toward creating a world that counts every single human being as deserving of respect, safety, health, and hope. I feel fortunate to work in a profession and a school that value and encourage my contributions toward that vision.

    Recent Publications:

    Gilfus, M. , Trabold, N., O'Brien, P., & Fleck-Henderson, A. (in press). Gender and intimate partner violence: Evaluating the evidence. Journal of Social Work Education.

    Recent Presentations:

    Gilfus, M. & Lauby, M. "Massachusetts Domestic Homicide Tracking Project Leads to New Policy and Prevention Strategies." Presented at the Family Violence Prevention Fund National Conference on Health and Domestic Violence, New Orleans, LA. October 2009.

    Gilfus, M. Welcoming remarks given at the Multicultural Immigrant Coalition Against Violence, co-sponsored by Simmons Institute for Leadership and Change and the Massachusetts Office of Victim Assistance, Simmons College, Boston, MA. October 2009.

    "If you want social work, you want Simmons."

    Copyright: Simmons College
    Mail to:
    Last Revised: November 12, 2009