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College of Social Work

Faculty and Staff

Nicole Cavanagh, Ph.D., LISW-AP/CPs

Title: Assistant Clinical Professor
Coordinator, Social and Behavioral Health with Military Members, Veterans and Military Families
College of Social Work
Phone: 803-777-0433
Office: Hamilton 116
Resources: Curriculum Vitae
nicole cavanagh


Professor Nicole Cavanagh joined the College of Social Work as an adjunct clinical faculty in 2002. Since then, she has served as coordinator of the Gerontology Certificate and as the Bachelor of Social Work Field Coordinator. In this position, she created sustainable and appropriate placements for generalist practitioners within the community, allowing students to meet Council on Social Work Education competencies. Currently, she serves as the coordinator for the Military Certificate and dual degrees programs.

Prior to joining the University of South Carolina, Cavanagh was executive director of Matrix Healthcare in Lexington, S.C. From 2003 to 2009, she was director of behavioral health services for Newberry County Memorial Hospital in Newberry, S.C. Cavanagh authored the grant and composed procedures and policies for a telemedicine interventions pilot program implemented at the hospital. This allowed emergency rooms without a psychiatrist available to connect with other facilities, such as the South Carolina Department of Mental Health, to perform assessments, begin medication intervention sooner and discuss discharge planning. The program was eventually expanded to Charleston and Greenville. Newberry Memorial Hospital also received a Geriatric Best Practice (among facilities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia) from the SAGE Institute, based on their services and interventions provided for populations with specialized geriatric, mental illness or cognitive impairment needs.

Cavanagh has presented locally and nationally on several topics, including models of supervision to improve student outcomes, mental health concerns in geriatrics and cultural barriers to mental health. Her research interests include professional identity development in relating to field internships, mental health, clinical supervision and gerontology.

Cavanagh currently serves on the board of directors of Social Work Innovations. The local organization provides practical resources to address problems that underline issues social workers face daily. Some of the resources include training, data analysis and outcome evaluations. She also provides Area Health Education Consortium training for professionals.   

Cavanagh received her Master of Social Work and certificate in Gerontology from the USC College of Social Work. She earned her Ph.D. in counselor education and supervision from the USC College of Education.