Rebecca Gomez, Ph.D., is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work (SHS). In this role, Dr. Gomez collaborates with school leadership, faculty, staff, and students to advance the school’s mission. She oversees various programs and offices related to academic affairs, playing a pivotal role in driving academic innovation within the school. Her responsibilities include curricular development and ensuring the academic excellence of the institution.

Prior to assuming her role at SHS, Dr. Gomez served as Interim Dean and Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work (2020-2023), and as a faculty member in academic leadership roles at Our Lady of the Lake University (2013-2020).

Dr. Gomez is also an associate professor with practice and research expertise is child and family well-being, with a particular emphasis on complex trauma, child welfare workforce development, youth empowerment, substance use and long-term recovery, and the impact of substance use on family systems. Her projects have been funded by the National Institutes of Health, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health.

Dr. Gomez currently serves on the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) National Nominating Committee. She previously co-chaired the CSWE Specialized Practice Curricular Guide for Substance Use (2020), a partnership of the Council on Social Work Education, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and the Opioid Response Network. In 2020 she was awarded the Council on Social Work Education’s Distinguished Recent Contributions to Social Work Education Award for her leadership in increasing access and equity within social work education.

Recent Publications

  • Galan-Cisneros*, P.A., Hilderbrandt, E.*, Vasquez, J.A.*, Gomez, R.J. (2023). The new normal that never happened.  Reflections:  Narratives of Professional Helping.
  • Kemter, A.J.*, Gomez, R.J., & Matijczak, A.*(2022).  Running toward recovery:  A sport intervention for individuals experiencing homelessness and substance use. Social Work Practice in the Addictions.
  • Hildebrandt, E*., Shibikom, A., Gomez, R.J, BowieViverette, A.C.*, Matijczak, A.* (2022). Addressing child welfare through comprehensive early intervention during COVID-19.  Child Welfare., 100 (3).
  • Estreet, A., & Gomez, R. J. (2021). The CSWE substance use curricular guide: inception, evolution, impact. Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions, 1-6.
  • Ryan, T.N., & Gomez, R.J., (2016). Trends in state budgets and child outcomes during and post child welfare class action litigation.  Children and Youth Services Review. Available online 22 January 2016. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2016.01.017
  • Ryan, T.N., & Gomez, R.J. (2016).  What Does it take to close a comprehensive child welfare systems reform lawsuit? A case study approach. Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership, & Governance, 41(30), 2330-3131.

Curriculum Vitae

Professional Interests

Adolescent and Youth Development, Child Welfare, Community-Based Participatory Research, Complex Trauma, Substance Use Intervention and Long-Term Recovery, Post-Traumatic Growth