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Mary Lou Killian Searles, PhD, LCSW

Part-Time Professor of Social Work, School of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Areas of Expertise:

  • Trauma-informed clinical work; support for those with dissociative disorders
  • Clinical work and advocacy for those identifying as LGBTQI
  • Qualitative research/policy analysis
  • Non-profit administration and grantwriting


  • Got Marriage? State-level Policymaking regarding Marriage Rights for Gays and Lesbians


  • PhD, political science/public policy, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 2005
  • MA, feminist and multicultural studies, Goddard College, Plainfield, VT 1992
  • MSW, direct practice-groupwork, Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work, NJ 1987
  • BA, psychology and religion double major, Douglass College of Rutgers University, 1982

Selected Professional Experience:

  • Director of Operations, 180 Turning Lives Around serving survivors of domestic and sexual violence, 2008-2019
  • Social Work Supervisor/Consultant, HJA federally-qualified health center, 2002-2016
  • Specialist Professor/part-time, Monmouth University Dept of Social Work, 2000-2008
  • Forensic clinical social worker, NJ State Prison and Klein Forensic Center, 1999-2002
  • HIV Case Management Supervisor, Mercer Consortium, 1996-1999

Certifications and /or licenses:

  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), NJ 1995
  • Certificate in Clinical Supervision, NJ 2005
  • Certificate in Field Instruction NJ 2013

Select Peer-Reviewed Publications/Presentations:

  • Killian, M.L. (2010). The Political Is Personal: Relationship Recognition Policies in the United States and Their Impact on Services for LGBT People. Journal of Gay & Lesbian Social Services, 22, 9–21.
  • Killian, M.L. (2009). Gay and lesbian marriage rights in the United States: Examples and strategies in community organizing. Social Justice in Context, 4(1), 113-128.
  • Killian, M.L. (2006) A Schema for Comparing the Status of Gay Rights across the United States. American Political Science Association (APSA) Annual Meeting, Philadelphia.