Peggy O'Neill, Ph.D., LCSW

Assistant Professor, Chair of HBSE

Peggy O'Neill headshot

Contact Information

Lilly Hall 302


Disaster Response Resources
compiled by Joshua Miller, Ph.D., and Peggy O'Neill, Ph.D.


B.A., Boston College

M.S.W., Columbia University School of Social Work

Ph.D., New York University


Peggy O’Neill came to Smith in 2012 following eight years as senior lecturer at Columbia University School of Social Work, and served as Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the Smith College School for Social Work from 2015–2017. O’Neill has taught across the clinical and social enterprise administration methods. She is particularly interested in deepening authentic connections and relationships across differences, with particular attention to challenging oppression and finding resilience in the face of trauma.

With several years of experience working with diverse communities facing trauma post-9/11, O’Neill  has worked on co-developing, implementing and evaluating resiliency based, culturally and linguistically attuned psychoeducational groups and has 25 years of clinical and administrative social work practice in health/mental health care. She directed an employee assistance program (EAP) for seven years, serving employees and families of a large teaching hospital and multiple for-profit and not-for-profit organizations. She developed the organizational development and consulting component of the EAP to support and emphasize the human aspects of the workplace.

She continues to work as a clinical social worker/psychotherapist consultant.

O’Neill received her bachelor’s degree in special education from Boston College, her master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Social Work and her Ph.D. from New York University. 


Selected Publications

O’Neill, P., Cycon, A., Friedman, L. (in press). Social support and postpartum depression: A pilot retrospective study of perceived changes, Midwifery
O’Neill, P. & Fariña, MdM (2018). Constructing critical conversations in social work supervision: Creating change. Clinical Social Work Journal, DOI: 10.1007/s10615-018-0681-6.
Kang, HK. & O’Neill, P. (2018). Constructing critical conversations: Building the scaffold for reflection and action. Journal of Social Work Education.
O’Neill, P.  (2015). Applying critical consciousness and evidence based practice: A framework for clinical social work practice. Journal of Social Work Education, 51(4), 624-637.  DOI: 10.1080/10437797.2015.1076285
O’Neill, P. & Miller, J. L. (2015). Hand and Glove: How the Curriculum Promotes an Antiracism Commitment in a School for Social Work, Smith College Studies in Social Work, 85:2, 159-175, DOI: 10.1080/00377317.2015.1021222

Lukens, E., O’Neill, M., Thorning, H., Waterman-Cecutti, J., Gubiseh-Ayala, D., Batiste, M., Chen, T. (2004). Cultural collaboration post September 11th: A model of brief integrative psychoeducation for diverse communities. Traumatology, 10(2), 103-123 

Kang, H.K., O’Neill, M. (2018). Teaching Note—Constructing Critical Conversations: A Model for Facilitating Classroom Dialogue for Critical Learning. Journal of Social Work Education.

Lukens, E., O’Neill, P., Thorning, H., Kapadia, A, Gheith, A. (2007).  Enhancing communication & coping capacities: The power of care, emotional knowledge and communication networks for community and spiritual leaders. New York, NY: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Selected Presentations

Inter-professional lenses magnify structural oppressive forces: Creating change through an innovative fellowship in a school for social work. Council for Social Work Education, November 11, 2018. (Co-developed with Mamta Dadlani, Ph.D., Enroue Halfkenny, M.S.W., & Davey Shlasko, M.Ed.)
Difficult Conversations in Social Work Field Education: The Structurally Informed Clinical Field Education Model & The Critical Conversations Model. University of Connecticut School for Social Work, April 20, 2018. (Co-developed with Maria del Mar Fariña, Ph.D). Hartford, CT.
Constructing Critical Conversations in the Classroom: Creating Change. Smith College Teaching Arts Luncheon, October 6, 2017.
Constructing critical conversations about race and racism for effective teaching and learning. Council for Social Work Education, October 21, 2017. (Co-developed with Hye-Kyung Kang, Ph.D). Dallas, TX.
Constructing critical conversations about race and racism for effective teaching and learning. Council for Social Work Education, October 17, 2015. (Co-developed with Hye-Kyung Kang, Ph.D). Denver, CO.
Walking the walk: A national dialogue on Ferguson and social work. Council for Social Work Education, October 18, 2015. (Co-presenters: Samuel Aymer, Ph.D., Steve Burghardt, Ph.D., Rebecca Matthew, Ph.D., David Pollio, Ph.D., Organizer, Jennifer Elkins, Ph.D.) Denver, CO.
A promising community-based model to localize delivery of comprehensive perinatal mental health care: Utilizing the community readiness model to evaluate community progress and implementation. Perinatal Mental Health Conference, November 5, 2015. (Co-authors: Annette Cycon, LICSW, Liz Friedman, MFA, Shelly Smith, MPH, Avery Henniger, BA, BS, Pratik Patel, MPH) Chicago, IL

“Innovative Teaching Technique” The Work of School, University, Agency Leaders: A Global Perspective on Working with Multicultural Populations. At Leadership Conference, Montclair State University, April 2010.

Constructing Critical Conversations in a Justice Paradigm as Action for Social Work Practice. At Peace and Justice Conference, Teachers College, New York, NY, April 2010. 

Vicarious Trauma, Compassion Fatigue, & Burnout: Prevention, Healing & Life Enhancement. Invited Speaker at Bellevue Hospital Center Social Work Grand Rounds, New York, NY, March 2009.

Enhancing Communication & Coping Capacities: The Power of Care, Emotional Knowledge and Community Networks. Evaluation of Trainings Designed with & for City, Community & Spiritual Leaders Active during Crisis at Society for Social Work Research (SSWR), New Orleans, LA, January 2009.