Dr. Maria Hu currently serves as an Associate Professor of Field Education. She has spent most of her career as a Psychiatric Social Worker and a faculty member for the University of Southern California, Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Dr. Hu has extensive experience providing mental health services to culturally diverse populations. She also has years of experience teaching graduate-level courses and serving as a Field Liaison.
Dr. Hu has years of experience with coordination of services, crisis/threat response and intervention, suicide prevention, trauma recovery, and resilience. She has also trained professionals on Psychological First Aid/Listen, Protect, Connect (PFA/LPC) – which is an evidence-informed universal prevention intervention to utilize after crises or disasters.
Dr. Hu is well versed in an array of evidence-based interventions: Motivational Interviewing Therapy, Problem Solving Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. In fact, Dr. Hu was is considered a certified trainer of the Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) Program 2.0. She focused her efforts on the implementation and dissemination of CBITS 2.0. Specifically, she has assisted with the translation of CBITS 2.0 into Spanish and the delivery of the curriculum for survivors of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Also, she has traveled throughout the United States training school stakeholders on Managing Threat Assessments. Dr. Hu and along other colleagues spearheaded the development of a new course that aimed at managing threats in the workplace.
In the year 2016, Hu was the first who helped developed a mental health initiative with the Consulate of El Salvador in Los Angeles. For the two consecutive years, the initiative has had MSW students who are under the supervision of a licensed practitioner offering short-term counseling services for free regardless of immigration status.
Earning a Doctorate in Social Work allowed Dr. Hu to focus her research on meeting the mental health needs of the immigrant population, specifically those from the Northern Triangle of Central America: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. In December of 2019, Dr. Hu has helped develop an international summer institute with The University of Applied Sciences, Kehl University in Germany. The program aimed to help students work with refugee populations from Africa and Iraq as they settle into the German culture from micro, mezzo, and macro perspectives.
University of Southern California: Master Degree in Social Work 2006
University of Southern California: Doctorate in Social Work, Social Work 2019
Areas of Expertise (7)
Social Work Education
Psychiatric Social Work
Children, Youth and Families
Trauma and Recovery
Industry Expertise (6)
Training and Development
Health Care - Services
Health and Wellness
Health Care - Providers
Mental Health Care
Heart of Social Work Award (professional)
2015 Awarded by University of Southern California
- Board Director of American Council for School Social Work