So`Nia Gilkey

Core Faculty
College of Social and Behavioral Health
Barbara Solomon School of Social Work
Doctor of Social Work (DSW)

Dr. Gilkey has a BA in Psychology, an MSW, and a PhD in social work. Dr. Gilkey has taught as a social work educator since 2004, and has been an active social work clinician/practitioner since 1992. She currently serves as Core Faculty in the PhD/DSW programs at Walden University School of Social work. She previously served as Contributing Faculty in the same programs. She is a former professor of Social Work at Tulane University, Sharjah Women’s College of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and adjunct Public Health and Women's studies faculty at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, Carlow University, and the University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh. Dr. Gilkey has been a licensed social work professional for more than 25 years specializing in the areas of child and family trauma, mental health and mental disorders, child welfare and family resiliency, homelessness, aging and caregiver strain, youth development programs, community capacity building, and community and program development in marginalized communities of color as well as international social work issues. She published her dissertation research on homelessness in the U.S. and the role of “sanctuary” as a protective mechanism as a monograph, and her ongoing publication record includes journal articles, book chapters, and technical reports on child welfare and child traumatic stress, research on issues related to child and family trauma and social welfare, international social work and trauma response methods, and child welfare international context. Dr. Gilkey has expertise in qualitative and mixed methods research, and conducts much of her research activities through the lens of community participatory and transformative emancipatory research methods. Dr. Gilkey has presented at numerous local, national and international conferences on social welfare and mental health issues that include research on disaster response and recovery and cultural context with vulnerable populations, child and family wellbeing and trauma reactions, university-community partnerships, and child welfare interventions in Sub-Sahara Africa. She has served as faculty mentor for student conference posters on topics like environmental justice and social policies affecting marginalized communities, and international trauma responses in low-income countries. She has conducted community workshops on issues related to leadership, culturally responsive interventions in child welfare, adolescent health and wellbeing, and mental health/mental disorders impacting communities of color. Finally, Dr. Gilkey has conducted research and taught and/or supervised student field practicums in countries like Belize, Jordan, South Africa, Israel, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Peru and the Island of Puerto Rico. She was appointed to the National Women's Taskforce on Trauma from 2010-2012, and served as Non-Commissioned Officer in the Public Health Service Corp from 2007 to 2012. She has served as a professional expert/consultant on projects for national and international organizations like the Oregon Center on Brain Injury and Research, USAID, and CARE International; and has been a contract consultant for the Department of Defense, U.S. Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S.


PhD, University of Pittsburgh

MSW, Clark Atlanta University

BA, Alcorn State University