Faculty and Staff Profiles

Melissa Hirschi
Asst Professor, Social Work
Email: mhirschi@memphis.edu
Office Location: Department Of Social Work
Profile

I received my MSW Boston University in 2007 and my joint sociology and social work PhD from Boston University in 2017, focusing on police responses to individuals living with mental illness.

I have both quantitative and qualitative research experience in social work and public health focusing on children and youth with special health care needs; engagement and retention in care for individuals living with HIV/AIDS; community health and housing approaches for implementing public housing policies; and the role of social work at the intersection of law enforcement and families of individuals living with mental illness. I am also interested in better understanding power, including the role of power in racism, oppression, and stigma.

I have extensive teaching experience both online and in traditional classroom settings. My teaching has focused primarily on research methods for students in MSW programs. I enjoy working with students and being part of their process to get in and learn a new "research language" that can help them claim a seat and have a voice at the table where important decisions are made. As a social worker, I am committed to educating the next generation of social workers as well as continuing to strengthen the profession. I am passionate about teaching and helping to foster critical thinking and academic excellence among students I work with, in order for them to be as successful as they can be in both the classroom and in social work practice.

I am dedicated to continuing to build community relationships, advocate for, and better understand individuals, families, and front line emergency responders in our communities.





Education
  • PhD Sociology and Social Work - Boston University - 2017
  • MSW Social Work - Boston University - 2007
  • BS Psychology - Brigham Young University - 2001
  • AS General - Salt Lake Community College - 1997

Support

  • Integrating Community Health Workers as part of the HIV Care Team in Rural and Urban Settings to Improve Viral Suppression in Shelby County TN (PI Lennon-Dearing) - NIH, pass-through entity The Miriam Hospital - $158,927 - 2020-2022
  • Memphis Police Department Officer Wellness Evaluation (LEMHWA 2019-MH-WX-K004) (PI Hirschi) - City of Memphis, TN - $10,000 - 2019-2021
  • Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) in Tennessee (PI Hirschi) - Department of Justice, Bureaue of Justice Assistance - $106,999 - 2020-2022
  • Memphis Opioid Workforce Paraprofessional Expansion Program (PI, T97HP33397) - HRSA - $897,342 - 2019-2022
  • Engaging Community Health Workers to Improve Viral Suppression and Self-Management among PLWH in Memphis TGA (Co-PI, Sub-award) - Providence/Boston CFAR - $98,757 - 2019-2020
  • Understanding the Family Perspective in Police Responses to Individuals Living with mental Illness - SUAPP - $2,500 - 2020
  • The University of Memphis HIV Working Group (Co-PI) - CoRS - $2,500 - 2018-2019
  • The University of Memphis Poverty Research Collaborative (Co-PI) - CoRS - $2,500 - 2018-2019
  • Nonprofit Infrastructure Research Collaborative - SUAPP - $2,500 - 2018-2019
Service
  • University of Memphis School of Social Work - Conqinuous Quality Improvement Committee, Chair - 2020 - Present
  • University of Memphis School of Social Work - DSW Admissions Review - 2020 - Present
  • University of Memphis Loewenberg College of Nursing - MSN eResearch Forum Judge - 2020 - 2021
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Search Committee, Chair, Tenure Track - 2020 - 2021
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Search Committee, Chair, Lecturer - 2020
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Search Committee, Chair, Tenure Track - 2020 - 2021
  • University of Memphis - Administrative Policies Committee - 2020 - 2021
  • University of Memphis - Faculty Senate - 2019 - 2021
  • University of Memphis - Academic Support Committee, Co-Chair - 2019 - 2020
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Strategic Planning Committee, Chair - 2019
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - DSW Committee - 2017 - Present
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Search Committee, Tenure Track - 2018 - 2019
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Admissions Review Committee, MSW Program - 2017 - Present
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Academic Advisor, MSW Program - 2017 - Present
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Search Committee, Tenure Track - 2017 - 2018
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Search Committee, Field Director - 2018
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Search Committee, Chair, Instructor Coordinator - 2018
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Mentor, Graduate Assistant - 2017 - Present
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Curriculum Committee - 2017 - Present
  • School of Social Work, University of Memphis - Field Liaison - 2017 - 2018
Journal Articles
  • Elswick, S., Delavega, E., Hirschi, M. & Casey, L.B. (2020). The Therapy Box in the classroom: A function-based multi-component directive play therapy treatment package intervention. International Journal of School Social Work, 5(2). doi: https://doi.org/10.4148/2161-4148.1063
  • Lennon-Dearing, R. & Hirschi, M. (2019). A photovoice empowerment intervention for women living with HIV. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, DOI: 10.1080/15381501.2019.1658683
  • Hirschi, M., Walter, A., Wilson, K., Jankovsky, K., Dworetzky, B., Comeau, M., & Bachman, S. (accepted Journal of Child Health Care) Access to care among children with disabilities enrolled in the MassHealth CommonHealth buy-in program.
  • Sarango, M., Hohl, C., Gonzalez, N., Palmeros, A., Powell, L., McKeithan, L., & Hirschi, M. (2018). Strategies to build a Patient-Centered Medical Home for people living with HIV/AIDS who are homeless and unstably housed. American Journal of Public Health, 108(S7), SS19-SS21.
  • Sarango, M., DeGroot, A., Hirschi, M., Emeka, U., & Rajabiun, S. (2017). The role of patient navigators in building a medical home for multiply-diagnosed HIV-positive homeless populations. Journal of Public Health Management, 23(3), 276-282.
  • Ocean, M. & Hirschi, M. (2016). Public and Tribal Community College Institutional Review Boards: A National Descriptive Analysis. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, 40(4), 254-268.
  • Bachman, S.S., Comeau, M., Dworetzky, B., Hamershock, R., & Hirschi, M. (2015). The Louisiana Family Opportunity Act Medicaid Buy-in Program. Maternal and Child Health, 19(12), 2568-2577.
  • Wilson, K., Hirschi, M., Comeau, M., Bronheim, S., & Bachman, S.S. (2014). Disparities in insurance coverage among children with special health care needs: How social workers can promote social and economic justice. Health & Social Work, 39(2), 121-127. doi: 10.1093/hsw/hlu015
Presentations
  • Neely-Barnes, S., Hirschi, M., Malone, C., Delavega, E., Meiman, J., & Hunter, A. (2021, April). COVID-19 and Its Impact on Social and Behavioral health Services in the Midsouth. Workshop presentation at the University of Memphis Social Work Symposium, Memphis, TN.
  • Lennon-Dearing, R., Hirschi, M., Tasaki, J., & Murrell, D. (2021, March). Living with the Pain of HIV Criminalization in Tennessee. Panel Presentation at the Tennessee Department of Health Statewide HIV Annual Conference, Virtual.
  • Hirschi, M. (2020, November). Understanding Police Culture in Order to Navigate Critical Partnerships. Poster Presentation at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Virtual.
  • Hirschi, M., Welch Brasfield, M., & Hutchinson, J. (2020, November). Arming a Diverse Paraprofessional Workforce through Education & Experience. Poster Presentation at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Virtual.
  • Hirschi, M., & Anderson, K. (2019, October). Is it Me? Understanding Power in Our Educational System and Our Role. Workshop presentation at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Denver, CO.
  • Anderson, K., & Hirschi, M. (2019, September). Power and Ethics in Our Educational System: The Role of Social Workers in Our Schools. Workshop presentation at the Tennessee Association of School Social Workers Annual Conference, Cordova, TN.
  • Anderson, K., & Hirschi, M. (2019, July). Understanding the Role of Power in Our Educational System and the Impact for Our Children. Workshop presentation at the Tennessee National Association of Multicultural Education Inaugural Conference, Cookeville, TN.
  • Hirschi, M. & Anderson, K. (2019, April). Is It Me? Understanding the Role of Power in Our Educational System and the Detrimental Impact for Our Children. Workshop presentation at the University of Memphis Social Work Symposium, Memphis, TN.
  • Delavega, E., & Hirschi, M. (2019, January). Sharing Research Results with the Larger Public: Dealing Effectively with the Mass Media. Workshop presentation at the Society for Social Work and Research Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA.
  • Hirschi, M. (2018, November). Police Responses to Individuals Living with Mental Illness: Strengths-based Interprofessional Collaboration Opportunities. Poster presentation at the Council on Social Work Education Annual Program Meeting, Orlando, FL.
  • Hirschi, M. (2018, April). Don’t Say That: Understanding the Role of Power in Language and Censorship and the Implications for Individuals, Our Communities, and Our Nation. Workshop presentation at the University of Memphis Social Work Symposium, Memphis, TN.
  • Hirschi, M., Taylor, L., & Delavega, E. (2018, April). A Conversation on Ethics and Evidence-Based Practice. Workshop presentation at the University of Memphis Social Work Symposium, Memphis, TN.
  • Hirschi, M., Turner, S., & Bourdon, K. (2014, October). Paying it Forward: Mentoring Others in Community Partnership Building. Workshop Presentation at the Crisis Intervention Team International Annual Conference, Monterey, CA.