Associate Professor & Department Chair
Phone Number 210-458-2938
Room FS 4.144
Department Social Work;
Dr. Chanmugam joined UTSA’s Social Work Department in 2009.Her teaching and research are informed by clinical practice and nonprofit administration experiences in Texas, New York, and Washington, DC. Her concerns about interpersonal violence, trauma, and family systems developed while working in mental health, educational, and juvenile justice settings. She maintains her advanced clinical licensure (LCSW, received in 2000).
Children exposed to adult intimate partner violence are the focus of Dr. Chanmugam’s research, with recent projects on children’s access to mental health services, safety planning, shelter-based services, youth coping and resilience, fatality prevention, and child welfare workers’ communication with youth. Her research has been funded by the College of Public Policy, the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, and the Fahs-Beck Fund for Research and Experimentation at the New York Community Trust.
Dr. Chanmugam often teaches HBSE and practice courses, such as Advanced Practice Methods with Children and Families. She has received several teaching awards, including the President’s Distinguished Achievement Award for Teaching and the inaugural Social Work Department Professor of the Year Award. The Social Work Alumni Group recognized her in 2015 as their professor honoree with “most impact on our journeys as social workers.”
As a practitioner, Dr. Chanmugam was a field instructor for five different graduate programs; as a faculty field liaison, she has worked with MSW students and field instructors at 18 community agencies in south and central Texas. She enjoys her relationships with practitioners and is involved with community efforts, for example by serving on the Bexar County Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team. She has served the social work profession at the national level, including as an editorial board member for Child and Adolescent Social Work, as a regular reviewer for the Society for Social Work Research, and as chair of the Teaching Methods and Learning Styles Track for the Council on Social Work Education.
Intimate partner violence, especially child/adolescent exposure; family interventions & support services (especially shelter-based); family systems & psychological trauma; child abuse & neglect; parent-child relationships; adoption & foster care; school social work & school-based interventions; qualitative methods.
Ph.D. 2009, Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin
M.S. 1996, Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin
B.A. 1990, Psychology and German Literature, Vassar College