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Social Work Faculty and Staff

Jay Gabbard, Ph.D., MSW
Jay Gabbard, Ph.D., MSW
- Professor of Social Work

Dr. Jay Gabbard, a proud Samoan American, is a Professor of Social Work at Western Kentucky University. He holds a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Alabama, an MSW from the University of South Carolina, and a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Washington and Lee University. His research background is in the areas of homelessness, mental health, forensic social work, cultural competency, and diversity pedagogy. He is a Former SAMHSA Minority Research Fellow with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), a former member of the CSWE Council on Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity, and currently serves as Vice-Chair of the Board of Directors of Phi Alpha Social Work Honor Society International. He has published numerous articles in prestigious social science journals and both conducted and presented research in the United States, Bangladesh, Korea, Mexico, Uganda, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.


Research Areas

Effective Teaching Practices

Forensic Social Work


Diversity Pedagogy and Cultural Competency

Social Work with Samoan and Pacific Islander Clients


Teaching Areas

Cultural Competency & Diversity

Research Methods & Applied Research



Community Organization

Macro Social Work

Educational Background

B.A. Sociology and Anthropology

Washington and Lee University

MSW, University of South Carolina

Ph.D., University of Alabama

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 Last Modified 4/16/18