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Fall 2024 On-Campus MSW Application FINAL Deadline: July 16, 2024

Melissa Singh

Associate Teaching Professor, Practicum Education

Melissa Singh is an associate teaching professor of social work and a licensed clinical social worker.

Media Contact
Melissa Singh
Email:  singhmi@usc.edu
Phone:  213-764-3014
Rank:  Teaching Faculty

Melissa Singh

Associate Teaching Professor, Practicum Education

Melissa Singh is an associate teaching professor of social work and a licensed clinical social worker.

Media Contact


Melissa Singh, EdD, LCSW has over twenty years of online teaching experience at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She is an associate teaching profession in the Virtual Academic Center at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Dr. Singh is in the Social Change and Innovation Department and is the course lead for Design Laboratory for Social Innovation I & II. She earned her doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership from USC Rossier School of Education. She received her master’s in Health Services Administration in 2000 and her master’s in Social Work in 2006 both from the University of Central Florida. Dr. Singh’s research interests include building inclusive learning environments, trauma-informed education, environmental justice through disaster preparedness and response as well as creative disruption to induce innovation. Trained by The National SEED (seeking educational equity and diversity) Project as a SEED leader. She serves on the CSWE Council for Racial, Ethnic, and Cultural Diversity as well as the NASW National Committee on Nominations & Leadership Identification, Region VII Representative. Dr. Singh is an NASW Advanced Certified Hospice, Palliative Care Social Worker, and Board-Certified Pharmacy Technician. She is trained in EMDR and Field Traumatology. She has extensive healthcare knowledge in hospice, hospital, and private settings as well as disaster response experience. Dr. Singh serves on the board of directors at Central Florida Community Health Centers. A program that she co-led won the Award for Innovative Teaching in Social Work Education from SAGE/CSWE for Educating Social Work Students for Macro Practice. Dr. Singh was awarded the Hutto Patterson Distinguished Faculty Award for excellence in teaching; service to the university, the school, and the community; and accessibility to students.


USC Rossier School of Education

EdD 2017

University of Central Florida

MS 2006

University of Central Florida

MS 2000

University of South Florida

BA 1999

Valencia Community College

AA 1997

Area of Expertise

  • Online Pedagogy
  • Social Work
  • Field Instruction
  • Environmental Justice and Ecosocial Work
  • Social Justice and Equal Rights
  • Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace
  • Hospice and Palliative Care
  • Healthcare Administration
  • Innovation & Creativity
  • Equity
  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Mental Health Recovery
  • Social Work Education

Industry Experience

  • Social Services
  • Mental Health Care
  • Health Care - Services
  • Health Care - Providers
  • Health and Wellness
  • Corporate Leadership
  • Corporate Training
  • Human Resources
  • Education/Learning
  • Research


  • Cornerstone Hospice
  • Community Health Centers FL
  • The National SEED Project
  • Council on Social Work Education
  • National Association of Social Work
  • Association for Community Organization & Social Action
  • Council on Racial, Ethnic and Cultural Diversity, Co-Chair


Satcher Health Leadership Institute, Morehouse School of Medicine
Environmental Health and Climate Justice Leader

The Environmental Health and Climate Justice Leadership Academy (EHCJ) is designed to train policymakers and community leaders to identify the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) and Political Determinants of Health (PDoH) stressors equated with producing poor outcomes among marginalized populations.

This program is developed to close the gap between academic medicine or academic health centers and the communities of greatest need by connecting to people who are most affected by climate associated health disparities. The goal is to train and equip policymakers and community leaders with the necessary tools to motivate, mobilize, educate and lead community groups in improving climate change, environmental justice, health equity and influence policies to support positive outcomes for marginalized populations.

USC Center for Excellence in Teaching Faculty Fellow
The CET Faculty Fellow Leadership Institute is a program designed to assist senior faculty in becoming teacher leaders—developing practices, initiatives, and policies to further their school’s goals toward teaching excellence. Faculty Fellows will be trained to facilitate the CET-developed curriculum for School-Based Institutes for mid-career colleagues in their own schools, helping them apply best teaching practices to the unique learning environments and pedagogies of their discipline.
SEED Leader
The National SEED Project (Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity)SM partners with schools, organizations, and communities to develop leaders who guide their peers in conversational communities to drive personal, organizational, and societal change toward social justice. SEED New Leaders Week is a seven-day, residential workshop at which 50 to 60 educators, parents, community leaders, and professionals from different fields are immersed in multicultural SEED materials and methods.
Hutto Patterson Distinguished Faculty Award for excellence in teaching; service to the university, the school, and the community; and accessibility to students
Recognizes a faculty member for excellence in teaching who has demonstrated outstanding service to the university, the school, and the community.
SAGE/CSWE Award for Innovative Teaching in Social Work Education
The annual SAGE/CSWE Award for Innovative Teaching in Social Work Education is presented by SAGE, working in collaboration with the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE). The award's purpose is to promote innovative teaching in social work by highlighting it as it emerges, and recognize the individuals who have played significant roles in bringing it about. https://www.cswe.org/Events-Meetings/APM-Archives/2016-APM/About/Awards/SAGE-CSWE-2016-Award-for-Innovative-Teaching

Articles & Publications

Expanding Student Learning during COVID-19 in a Virtual Environment

Singh, M.I., Doyle, K., Wobbe-Veit, L., Caliboso-Soto, S., (2022) International Journal of Continuing Social Work Education, 25(1), 34-40

Social Work Field Education: Harnessing Technology to Connect Social Work Education and Practice during COVID-19

Singh, M. I., Doyle, K., Wobbe-Viet, L. (2021). International Journal of Digital Society, 12(1). 1695-1699.

Anti-Racism and Equity-Mindedness in Social Work Field Education: A Systematic Review

Beasley, C. C., Singh, M. I., & Dreschsler, K. (2021), Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 1-13.

Trauma-Informed Interview Coaching: An Innovative Approach to Achieve Equal Opportunity and Social Justice in Field Education

Danielle E. Brown, MSW University of Southern California; Susan L. Hess, MSW University of Southern California; Melissa Indera Singh, EdD University of Southern California

Leave Me Alone: Violence Against Women in Trinidad and Tobago

Prakash, N., Singh, M. I., Prevot, J., Gopie, S., Vorster, J., & Averkiou, P., Oxford University Press


When the past is present in the classroom: Utilizing a trauma-informed approach in the virtual setting. | Cambridge Scholars Publishing: London.

Brown, D., Baron, M.W., Cardinal, L, Hess, S., & Singh, M.I.
Editor: R. Paul Maiden In this chapter, the authors explore how students in social work bring their histories into their practice. Faculty members need to be aware especially in a virtual learning environment that students may be grappling with challenges from the past in addition to current stressors. Using a Trauma-informed teaching methodology based on SAMHSA's guiding principles of trauma-informed care educators can begin to create a safe, empowering, and supportive learning environment.


The Virtual Field Practicum: Building core competencies prior to agency placement. | Journal of Social Work Education.

Phillips, E. S., Wood, G. J., Yoo, J., Ward, K. J., Hsaio, S. C., Singh, M. I., & Morris B.
This article describes Virtual Field Practicum, an online skill-building experience, designed to prepare social work interns for the demands of clinical practice and compares it to a traditional internship model.


Training social workers to be inclusive practitioners: The role of faculty development | Proquest Dissertations Publishing

Singh, M. I.
As the landscape of America changes, it is critical for social workers to successfully engage, assess, intervene, and evaluate diverse client populations. As such, it is important for schools of social work to prepare graduate students to engage in “diversity and difference in practice” (Council on Social Work Education, 2015, p. 7). Virtual education holds unique challenges and opportunities for teaching social work students how to address diversity. In this exploratory qualitative study, faculty teaching in an online master of social work degree program participated in focus groups (N=23), one-on-one interviews (N=3), and an online survey (N=70) regarding their experiences teaching diversity. Using the Clark and Estes’ (2008) framework, the findings are categorized by knowledge, motivation, and organizational influences to teaching diversity.


Implementing a Collaborative Support Model for Educators Reporting Child Maltreatment | Children & Schools

Bell, M. & Singh, M. I.
Educators periodically encounter the need to report a suspicion of child abuse or neglect. Studies show that school professionals recognize more than half of maltreated children. Because of uncertainty with reporting policies, practices, and procedures, this experience may be difficult for the educator before, during, or after a report is made, which precipitates a variety of emotions and a need for support. Many educators often encounter challenges and barriers with reporting procedures within the school settings. Educators who lack support in their educational institution may fail to report their suspicion of child maltreatment. This article explores child maltreatment reporting practices from the point of view of an educator in a school setting and proposes strategies to address reporting practices effectively. Appropriate intervention and services are required to meet the needs of children when there is a suspicion of abuse and neglect and are built into a model that can shape training, policies, and procedures. Therefore, strategies that cultivate immediately and legally responsive environments are imperative in the educational setting to begin to reduce the number of maltreated child cases that are unreported.


Virtual Academic Challenges To Real-Time Trauma | Practice Digest

Susan Hess, MSW University of Southern California; Melissa Indera Singh, MSW University of Southern California; Mary Walker Baron, MSW University of Southern California
Helping graduate-level social work students address and process recent mass-casualty violence is a challenge to any classroom. We feel it is especially challenging when the classroom is virtual. While the virtual format allows for video and audio contact, students and instructors maybe thousands of miles apart and see each other, like the old Hollywood Squares television program, from only the shoulders to the top of the head. Our Virtual Academic Center (VAC), while in most ways a marvel of technology, does present special challenges when faculty is confronted with such sensitive issues as the killings in Orlando, the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the shooting of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge.




Design Laboratory for Social Innovation I

Integrates design thinking with a norms-driven approach for social innovation. Students will diagnose social norms and apply design-thinking techniques to develop design criteria.

Design Laboratory for Social Innovation II

Continues the exploration of design thinking and norms-driven innovation. Students design and test innovative solutions through the creation of prototypes and design labs.

Integrative Learning for Social Work Practice

Integrative learning organized as a small group educational environment that incorporates field experiences, case vignettes, and dialogical inquiry through a Problem Based Learning framework.

Applied Learning in Field Education

Supervised field education where students learn and apply evidence-based interventions and clinical skills in practice labs and social work settings.

Integrative Learning for Advanced Social Work Practice

Advanced integrative learning that incorporates field experiences, evidenced-based interventions, case vignettes and dialogical inquiry through a Problem Based Learning framework.

Advanced Applied Learning in Field Education

Advanced supervised field education where students practice social work skills and apply evidence-based interventions, including some that are specific to their academic department.

Residency II

Students will showcase the innovations they have developed during the program as the capstone projects and highlight their ongoing leadership roles. They will exhibit their solutions to social work Grand Challenges through exercises, speaking engagements, workshops, and key informant meetings. Students will share their ideas, engaging possible funders, innovators, policymakers, and stakeholders. To accomplish this, students will be asked to take positions of leadership and proactively be involved in utilizing course material (learning), challenging their knowledge base (reading and synthesis), and articulating their ideas with the goal of influencing the overall profession (critical thinking).



Jane Batten, MSW Student

"You are a Great professor. I enjoy your classes. I always walk away refreshed and motivated in my journey. You provide good energy to your classes. It does NOT go unnoticed."