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Jennifer Lewis

Associate Teaching Professor; Director, Master of Social Work Program and Director, Doctor of Social Work Program

Integrated health and mental health expert, focusing on HIV, suicide prevention, stress, trauma and resilience.

Media Contact
Jennifer Lewis
Email:  lewi573@usc.edu
Phone:  +1 602.451.5533
Rank:  Teaching Faculty

Jennifer Lewis

Associate Teaching Professor; Director, Master of Social Work Program and Director, Doctor of Social Work Program

Integrated health and mental health expert, focusing on HIV, suicide prevention, stress, trauma and resilience.

Media Contact


Jennifer Lewis, a 2022 Fulbright Specialist, is an experienced mental health clinician with a passion towards transdisciplinary care. She is adept at conducting and teaching neurobiologically-informed interventions related to improving well-being. With a specialization in mental health and addiction, Professor Lewis serves as a curriculum co- chair for the USC Institute for Addiction Science, a joint program with the Keck School of Medicine at USC, the USC School of Pharmacy and the school of social work.
For the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, Professor Lewis promotes integrated social work curriculum and has been a leader in the vertical and horizontal mapping of the school's curriculum as vice chair of Curriculum Council, chair of the Adult Mental Health and Wellness Department Curriculum Committee, University Task Force on Interdisciplinary Communities and a Center for Excellence in Teaching Fellow. Before entering academia, Professor Lewis was the chief of social work at the University of California, San Diego, Health System Department of Pediatrics Infectious Disease where she authored and implemented a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services grant for HIV-positive mothers abusing substances to prevent the abuse, neglect and abandonment of children.
Professor Lewis was program director at Southwest Center for HIV and AIDS, where she authored and oversaw Ryan White funding of programming for HIV-positive men, women and youth. She worked for the O’Connor House with Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the Avon Program for Women and Justice, addressing interpersonal violence. She was the director of mental health and social services at the Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, New York City's only LGBTQ+ health clinic. Professor Lewis is the owner of Mosaic Psychotherapy, LLC, providing consultation and counseling services for individuals and families. She is currently focused on developing structural interventions for suicide prevention, and recently co-published “Organizing for Suicide Prevention: A Case Study at the Golden Gate Bridge” which she promoted as an invited panelist at the 2022 LA Times Festival of Books.


New York University

PhD 2008

Boston University

MSW 1997

Boston University

BA 1994

Area of Expertise

  • Psychotherapy
  • Mental Health
  • Adults and Healthy Aging
  • Health

Industry Experience

  • Writing and Editing
  • Health Care - Services
  • Health Care - Facilities
  • Health and Wellness
  • Public Policy
  • Research
  • Program Development
  • Mental Health Care
  • Health Care - Providers
  • Education/Learning

Research Interest

Children & Families Mental Health

Grand Challenges

Close the Health Gap

Focused on reducing health disparities by through improving systems of integrated health and mental health care

Articles & Publications

Lewis, J. & Mueller, P. (2020). Suicide Prevention at the Golden Gate Bridge: A casebook for means restriction. Cognella, Inc.

Lewis, J., Harper, B., Grethel, Schoenberg, JSWE. (2020). Managing the At Risk Student: Techniques for teaching emotional self-regulation to MSW students in the classroom.

Maiden (2019). The Transformation of Social Work Education through Virtual Learning. Book Chapter by Lewis, J. 

Lewis, J., Pellecchia, K. Roeschlein, A. and Zuniga, M. (2017) Conjoint treatment” A novel approach to target the syndemic conditions of trauma, substance abuse among women living with HIV. Southern Medical Journal

Araque, J., Zalesky, K, Lewis, J. Haper, B. Sela-Amit M. (2006) The role of empathy in social work graduate students: An exploratory research study. Contemporary Behavioral Health Care.

Lewis, J. (2016). Ecosystemic Resilience Among Masculine Transgender Adults Who Identify as Genderqueer. Transgender Health.


Research Grants

2020 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA “Not Parent Expected” Qualitative Research Study, Co-PI

2019 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA University Interdisciplinary Teaching Grant, PI Keck


2016 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Submitted Proposals: SAMHSA SM-16-005, Co-Investigator OA LOI RFA15-10916; Co-Investigator National Foundation for Suicide Prevention, PI NIH R01 Transitional Youth, Co-Investigator

2015 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Submitted Proposals: NIH Adolescent Trials Network, Co-Investigator NIH R34 Transitional Youth, Co-Investigator CFAR Developmental Grant Dignity Therapy, Co-Principal Investigator AFSP Letter of Intent, Principal Investigator

2012-2016 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO Co-Investigator and Project Director Health and Human Services HRSA ACYF CB 2015-2016 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Cluster Research Pedagogy. Co-Principal Investigator

2014-2015 UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Pedagogy Research, Co-Investigator

2011- 2014 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY Principal Investigator Doctoral Dissertation: Eco-systemic resilience among individuals who identify as genderqueer

2001-2002 NEW YORK UNIVERSITY/ PENN STATE UNIVERSITY Research Interviewer NIMH funded gay youth and suicide

1999- 2000 NEW YORK STATE PSYCHIATRIC INSTITUTE Research Interviewer Suicide and youth

1999-2000 MEDICAL COLLEGE OF WISCONSIN Research Interviewer HIV and grief


Licensed Clinical Social Worker (CA)

National Association of Social Workers (NASW)

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

Society for Social Work Research (SSWR)


Courses Taught

SOWK 647: Advanced Clinical Practice (On Ground and VAC. Course Lead/ Contributed to Development) SOWK 643: Social Work Practice in Integrated Care Settings (On Ground and VAC. Course Lead/ Course Developer) SOWK: 635: Social Work Research Adults and Healthy Aging SOWK 546: Science of Social Work (Course Developer) SOWK 590: Directed Research SOWK 696: LGBT Psycho/Social/Political Issues (VAC; Contributed to Development) DSW Capstone Advisor (Course Lead/ Course Developer) DSW 722/ 724: Implementing Your Capstone SOWK 505 Human Behavior and the Social Environment SOWK 543 Social Work Practice with Individuals (Ground and VAC; Contributed to Development) SOWK 545 Social Work Practice with Families and Groups SOWK 546 Science of Social Work SOWK 544 Social Work Practice with Families and Groups (Contributed to Development) SOWK 590 Directed Research SOWK 600 Assessment the Social Work Practice (Ground and VAC) SOWK 605 Human Behavior and Mental Health SOWK 606 Neuropsychological Development SOWK 612 Assessment and Diagnosis of Mental Disorders SOWK 625 Evaluation and Evaluation of Research in Mental Health Settings (Ground and VAC) SOWK 635 Research in Adults and Healthy Aging SOWK 645 Clinical Practice in Mental Health Settings SOWK 643 Supervision in Social Service Agencies (Lead Instructor/ Course Developer) SOWK 621 Social Work Practice with Adolescents, Young Adults and their Families (Contributed to Development)