Toya Jones

  • BASW Program Director and Assistant Professor

Dr. Toya Jones is the BASW Program Director at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work.  She earned a Bachelor of Art degree in Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, a Master’s degree in Social Work, and a doctorate in Education from the University of Pittsburgh. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, a trauma expert and therapist, she comes with a wealth of experience at the postsecondary and secondary levels with students diverse in age, ability, and cultural background. She has been addressing the needs of children and families impacted by violence for the past twenty years. She also has extensive experience working with the incarcerated population and returning citizens who have been affected by crime. Areas of teaching competence include topics such as: the impact of trauma on children and adults; teen violence; signs and symptoms of PSTD, treatment modalities (such as TF-CBT, EMDR, expressive and play therapies) for children, and adults impacted by trauma and overcoming unresolved trauma. She has lectured and presented for schools and local universities, communities, religious organizations, and private corporations. She has also been involved in special community projects counseling juvenile and adult ex-offenders, addicts, and MH/ MR clients. Her current research focuses on trauma reactions in social work students, increasing the awareness of PTSD and self-care techniques amongst social work students, and integrating CBT and faith in the black church community.

Teaching Philosophy 

Dr. Jones’ teaching philosophy stems from her experience instructing adult learners in that they are very different from children regarding their ability, willingness, and methods of learning.  She refers to the philosophy of Andragogy that adults are not empty vessels and that they come with years of knowledge and opinions, ready to share with their peers and instructor. She promotes the advancement of their knowledge through open dialogue in the classroom, goal-oriented conversations directed by solution-focused and thought-provoking questions for student engagement. It is her goal for students to reach their fullest potential at whatever level of social work experience and knowledge they possess. Through her clinical work, Dr.. Jones has learned that it is necessary to create a comfortable environment for expressing thoughts and feelings. Utilizing appropriate personal /professional disclosure and humor, she assists her students in feeling less intimidated and freer to actively participate in classroom activities and discussions. 

In her philosophy of teaching Dr.. Jones imparts to each student that learning is reciprocal and continuous and that it is common to feel fearful that they don’t know “enough” to become an effective social worker and that comfort levels grow with time and experience in this very rewarding field of social work. 

Research Interests

  • Trauma
  • Trauma-focused care
  • Self-care
  • Undergraduate education and recruitment

Recent Publications 

Trauma Reactions in Social Work Students: Increasing Awareness of PTSD and Self-Care Through the PTSD Coach Application, 2021

Jones, Toya L. “Healing from Injustice” (2015) The Mount Magazine 

Jones, Toya L.  “Dirty Laundry” African-Americans and Therapy (2016) The Mount Magazine 


Areas of Expertise