Dr. Michelle Martin

Associate Professor and Department Chair

BA, Psychology, San Diego State University
MSW, University of Illinois at Chicago
MSc, Global Policy Studies, University of Bristol
PhD, Peace Studies, University of Bradford

Curriculum Vitae PDF File Opens in new window


I’m an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Social Work at California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), having joined the department in 2016. I have practiced in the fields of human services and social work for decades, working in a range of practice settings, such as child welfare, victim advocacy, school social work, hospice, substance abuse treatment and private practice, and transitioned into global policy work over a decade ago. Since then I’ve engaged in macro policy practice in Central Africa, including Rwanda and Kenya. My current research interests include women and aging (using a human rights framework), with a particular focus on the enduring impact of patriarchy and the male-breadwinner social welfare model on women’s physical and mental wellbeing. I’ve also researched displaced populations, including the relationship between trauma and identity among migrants and refugees, with a particular focus on the impact of protracted ethnic conflict, forced migration and crimes against humanity on survivors of civil war and diaspora. I’ve written three textbooks in social work, human services and global advocacy policy practice, as well as chapters on the recent migrant family separations, indigenous rights (land loss), and have written several journal articles on diaspora identity expression, trauma and peace building. Additionally, I’ve just completed a self-help non-fiction book on women and aging. When I’m not teaching or “chairing” I’m nurturing my fruit trees and vegetable garden in Silverado Canyon, painting (canvases, not walls) and spending time with a son Xander, and my senior “purse dog,” Abby.


Courses Taught:

  • MSW 520: Social Welfare Policy and Services I

  • MSW 521: Social Welfare Policy and Services II

  • MSW 523: Mental Health Policy and Social Work

  • MSW 530: Applied Social Work Research Methods I 

  • MSW 550: Social Work Practice with Diverse Populations

  • MSW 564: Macro Social Work in Communities and Organizations

  • MSW 596: Master’s Project Development I (Thesis)

  • MSW 597: Master’s Project Development II (Thesis)


Research Interests:

  • Women and wellbeing (the male-breadwinner model and the feminization of poverty, patriarchy, American Suffragists)
  • Immigration and Refugees (forced migration, trauma and identity)