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Amy Murphy-Nugen - Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, NC, US

Amy Murphy-Nugen Amy Murphy-Nugen

Associate Professor | Western Carolina University


Amy Murphy-Nugen has more than 20 years of social work practice and policy experience in housing, community building and engagement.


Dr. Amy Murphy-Nugen joined the social work faculty at Western Carolina University in 2014. She has over 20 years of social work practice and policy experience in the areas of housing, community building and engagement, community economic development, and not-for-profit management/leadership. Her professional experience includes providing team leadership; analyzing and advocating for socially and economically just local, state, federal legislation and administrative policy; delivering organizational capacity technical assistance to not-for-profit community-based development organizations and local units of government; and, managing a fee-for-service line of business that provided needed technical services and diversified funding for her employer’s social mission.

Dr. Murphy-Nugen enjoys serving as a consultant to community partners where her academic knowledge complements her practical experience to help build human, social, and political capacity. For example, she facilitated a public input and planning process for a town’s Corridor Community Revitalization Plan. The process included engaging residents, collecting and analyzing primary data, and reviewing key community planning documents. The plan and community involvement was identified as critical components of a successful Low Income Housing Tax Credit application, which resulted in the construction of affordable units for older adult residents. Dr. Murphy-Nugen has facilitated inclusive community building and engagement processes for groups with five key stakeholders to neighborhoods with 40,000 residents as well as county-wide planning efforts and everything in between.

She welcomes partnerships and collaborations with students and community stakeholders that strengthen individual well-being, not-for-profit organizational capacity and community quality of life.

Areas of Expertise (4)

Community Development and Housing Issues

Housing Loss


Disenfranchised Grief

Education (3)

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis: Ph.D., Social Work

Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis: MSW, MACRO (management, advocacy, communities, research, organizations)

Indiana University-Bloomington: B.A., Gender Studies and Political Science

Media Appearances (2)

Western Carolina students face death threats, faculty mockery for speaking out against 'woke' training

Fox News  online


"Proud to be Woke U, home of the fighting Gender Unicorns," the shirt’s description reads and names consistent with multiple faculty members, including Associate Professor Amy Murphy-Nugen, Associate Professor Pamela Duncan, and Assistant Professor Amy Rose, donated to the fundraiser which supports a social justice-oriented legal fund.

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Catamounts Care Ambassadors promote positive side of preventing pandemic spread

WCU Stories  online


Many of the student ambassadors completed the university’s pandemic preparedness mini course offered earlier this summer. They were among the nearly 60 participants made up of community members, faculty and staff who learned the history of pandemics, policy and its associated implications with COVID-19, health precaution basics, civic and community engagement and how to exemplify positive behavior. The mini course was taught by Kae Livsey, associate professor and director of community relations and scholarship for the School of Nursing; Patrick Baron, assistant professor and director of the Health Sciences Program; Amy Murphy-Nugen, associate professor of social work; and Perry.

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Articles (3)

Cultivating Cross-Cultural Learning and Collaboration Among Special Educators Engaged in International Service-Learning

International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement


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Design for Health (DfH): Interdisciplinary Approach to Addressing Health Issues Related to the Built Environment and Poverty in Appalachia

Conference: HiBR Virtual Presentation


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2020 Census: Engaging Social Work and Human Service Leaders and Managers to Make People Count

Human Service Organizations Management


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