Nadia Islam

Associate Professor, Clinical Practice
Contact Information
Department of Study 
Community, Organization, and Business Innovation
PhD, University of Southern California, 2009
MS, Columbia University, 2003
BA, Wellesley College, 2001

NADIA ISLAM is the first associate professor of clinical practice in social work. She has taught advanced and introductory social work practice courses including the Virtual Field Practicum. As a member of the faculty work group designing the DSW@USC, she has spearheaded the development of curricula for innovation laboratory courses.  

As clinical director of USC Telehealth, a virtual outpatient behavioral health clinic, she leads clinical and administrative operations for virtual tele-mental health services. She developed and directs a rigorous six-week training curriculum consisting of online modules, live didactic sessions and role-plays. The curriculum also includes observations by licensed clinical social work supervisors/field instructors to develop Master of Social Work interns’ skills in biopsychosocial assessment, diagnostic formulation, treatment planning, documentation, suicide/homicide risk assessment and cultural sensitivity to special populations within a virtual practice setting. She leads an experienced and talented team of licensed, clinical faculty who recruits and teaches MSW students.

Prior to co-launching USC Telehealth in 2012, she served as a clinical director with organizations working on behalf of people who have experienced intimate partner violence and sex or labor trafficking, managing emergency shelter, transitional housing, legal advocacy, outpatient therapeutic services, and community education and outreach activities. Her dissertation research explored the development of psychological empowerment among women who had experienced intimate partner violence. 

Her international experience includes a semester abroad program on gender and development in southern India with the School for International Training and a summer fellowship awarded by the Wellesley College Peace and Justice Studies department on the influences of politicized religion on the women’s movement in Dhaka, Bangladesh. During her doctoral studies, she participated in a two-year fellowship in urban and global studies, which brought together students of geography, urban planning, education and social work to examine problems of urban living that intersect with these disciplines. While writing her dissertation, she was chosen as one of 10 youth to represent the United States in the Ship for World Youth, a cultural exchange program sponsored by the Japanese government involving young adults from 12 countries across six continents. After completing her doctoral studies at USC, she accepted a short-term assignment as a monitoring and evaluation adviser for The National Peace Council of Sri Lanka, a peace education and advocacy organization in Colombo, Sri Lanka.   

She is licensed as a clinical social worker in the state of California.

Selected Publications

Islam, N. & Richards, G. (2016). Web-Based Practice. In E. Schott & E. Weiss (Eds.), Transformative Social Work Practice: A Meta-framework Approach. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.