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Heather Gough, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor


Contact Information


  • JD (University California Berkeley)
  • MSW (University of Denver, CO)
  • Ph.D. in Justice Studies – Law and Social Welfare (Arizona State University)

Professional Experience

Prior to joining the University of Nevada, Reno's School of Social Work in 2013, Heather worked as both an attorney and as a social worker. Her practice areas included legal representation of children in the child welfare system (ICWA inclusive), adult mental health law, guardianship, tribal sovereignty issues across spectrums of care, corrections, juvenile probation, in-home behavioral health, as well as international experience with Romani and North African populations and program development/management in the Urban Debate League programs.

Courses Taught

  • SW250: Social Welfare History and Policy
  • SW480: Field Seminar
    (At Arizona State University: JUS 105: Introduction to Justice Studies)
  • SW623: Social Work Methods with Organizations, Communities and Legislatures

Research Interests

Federal Indian law, sovereignty and behavioral health for Indigenous/Native communities; decolonization of professional curricula; and community empowerment strategies with particular focus on the Urban Debate movement.

Presentations (Past 5 years)

  • Gough, H.R. (2013, September). Understanding strengths & challenges for Native clients & communities: Federal Indian law and implications for culturally (and politically) competent practice. Accepted for plenary presentation at the National Association of Social Work, NV Annual Conference, Reno, NV.
  • Wilks, S. E., Ketchum, M. M., & Gough, H. R. (2013, November). Rotational field placements: Overview and application to gerontological social work. Accepted for presentation at the Gerontological Society of America 66th Annual Scientific Meeting, New Orleans, LA.
  • Zatz, M. & Gough, H.R. (2011, September). Gendered theory, gendered practice: Has feminist theorizing about crime and delinquency Influenced policy and practice? Presented by Co-Author Dr. Majorie Zatz to the Czech Academy of Science, Institute for Gender and Sociology, Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Gough, H.R. & Wilks, S.E. (2010, October). The rotational field placement: Overview and application in the social work curriculum. Accepted for presentation at the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 56th Annual Program Meeting, Portland, OR.


Peer Reviewed/Refereed Journals

  • Gough, H.R., & Wilks, S.E. (2012). Rotational field placements: Integrative review and application to gerontological social work. Social Work Education, The International Journal, 31(1), 90-109.
  • Wilks, S.E., Little, K.G., Gough, H.R., & Spurlock, W.J. (2011). Alzheimer's aggression: Influences on caregiver coping and resilience. Journal of Gerontological Social Work, 54(3), 260-275.
  • Gough, H.R., Wilks, S.E., & Prattini, R.J. (2010). Spirituality among Alzheimer's caregivers: Psychometric reevaluation of the Intrinsic Spirituality Scale. Journal of Social Service Research, 36(4), 278-288.

Book Chapters

  • Brayboy, B.M.J., Gough, H.R., Leonard, B., Roehl, R., & Solyom, J. (in press). Reclaiming scholarship: Critical Indigenous research methodologies. In S.D.
    Lapan, M. Quartaroli, & F.J. Riemer (Eds.), Qualitative Research. Jossey-Bass.

Encyclopedia Entries

  • Zatz, M.S., & Gough, H.R. (in press). Gendered theory, gendered practice: Has feminist theorizing about crime and delinquency influenced policy and practice? In G. Bruinsma & D. Weisburd (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice. New York, NY: Springer Verlag.

Web-Based Publications

  • Gough, H.R., Ratnabalasuriar, S., Flett, S., Stapleton, D., Chapple, R., & Romero, M. (2012). TeachJustice: Online teaching resources for JSI instructors and faculty. Blog on

Favorite Quote:

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
- Maya Angelou

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