Deborah Gioia, PhD, LCSW-C – Honorary Faculty Marshal

Deborah GioiaDeborah Gioia began teaching at the University of Maryland School of Social Work (UMSSW) in 2006. During her tenure, she has taught and mentored social work students in the master’s and PhD programs, specializing in teaching qualitative research methods and clinical courses, and twice co-led an international course in India. 

In her research pursuits, she has studied the mental health outcomes of veterans returning from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and assessed Baltimore elementary school teachers involved in a wellness program. Her other research interests include schizophrenia and vocational identity, evidence-based practice adoption by mental health practitioners, adolescence and emerging adulthood, and first-episode psychosis.

Among her accomplishments, she is particularly proud of her work as a GLOBALtimore teaching fellow with the UMB Center for Global Engagement, recounting a 2019 trip to Kerala, India. 

“The Center for Global Engagement assisted us with a grant to reduce the cost for more than two weeks of travel for students, some of whom who had never been out of the country,” she said. “Seeing students flourish on this trip and navigate new spaces with their social work student peers in India was the ultimate gift.” 

Gioia received her bachelor’s degree from Northeastern University, her Master of Science in Social Work degree from Columbia University, and her PhD from the University of Southern California. She said her dissertation, “Meaning of Work for Young Adults with Schizophrenia: A Mixed-Methods Study,” enabled her to develop her own original research agenda.

Before joining UMSSW, she was an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work and an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Simmons College School of Social Work, and the UCLA School of Public Policy and Social Research. She has been a  licensed certified social worker since 2010 and is a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers and a Diplomate in Clinical Social Work through the National Association of Social Workers.

Gioia said she was honored to be chosen as an Honorary Faculty Marshal and is excited to hear from keynote speaker Anthony Fauci, MD.

“It stirs a feeling of pride to be part of the UMB family celebrating our graduates,” she said. “Dr. Fauci was such a constant presence during the peak COVID period that I began to feel that he was part of my coping mechanisms and support system. I am sure his speech will be inspirational.”

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