Sharon E. Milligan, PhD, MSW, MPH

Grace Longwell Coyle Associate Professor in Social Work
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Sharon Milligan is an Associate Professor at the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH. She has graduate degrees in social work, public health and community development. Her undergraduate degree at Spelman College, a Historically Black College and University, sparked her curiosity about the conditions of women and children across the African diaspora. Her interdisciplinary research interests are in 4 areas:

  1. Strategies for mediating the impact of COVID on social workers within the health care system, and within social work education;
  2. Understanding the experiences of women, minorities and elders living with chronic illnesses;
  3. Evaluating conditions and assets in low-income in Black communities and the engagement of residents; 
  4. The engagement of African Americans in clinical trials and other research endeavors to inform primary and secondary interventions.

She has devoted much of her academic career to institution building. After being promoted and tenured in 1988, she served in the roles of Co-Director (1994-2007) and Associate Director (2001-2004) of the Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development in the Mandel School.

She has been involved in various technical assistance projects and/or formal and non-formal courses in Kenya, Ghana, Cuba, and Jamaica. Her interest in the well- being of women and children led her to join the board and become board chair for International Partners in Mission (IPM) which promotes global awareness of our shared human dignity within an interconnected world where equity should be guaranteed for all. IPM has programs for women in Latin America, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa regions. As past board chair of IPM she is impressed with how working within geographical spaces alongside residents through technical assistance and training can inform and improve the quality of the lives of families and kinship networks.

Curriculum Vitae

Teaching Information

Courses Taught

SASS 470. Introduction to Social Policy Urban Poverty
SASS 532. Needs Assessment and Program Evaluation

Research Information

Research Interests

  • Urban Poverty
  • Evaluation of Neighborhood Change Initiatives
  • Systems Change Research 

Recent Funding

Rejuvenating Reminiscence: Senior Storytellers & Student Biographers
Faculty Mentor (MSSA Thesis: David Harris Student)
MacGregor Foundation

NPI (Reform Initiative) CanDo Database
Project Director (Co‐Project Director: Robert Fischer)
Neighborhood Progress, Inc.

Strategic Investment Initiative Support
Project Director (Co‐Project Director: Robert Fischer)
Neighborhood Progress, Inc.


Milligan, S. (2010). The Joint Degree in Social Work and Business Administration at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.: A Case Study. Social Welfare Research Bulletin. Special Issue, 3(21), 57–69.


Doctor of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh
Master of Social Work
University of Illinois at Chicago
Master of Public Health
University of Pittsburgh
Bachelor of Arts
Spelman College

Additional Information


  • Masters of Nonprofit Organizations
  • Undergraduate Minor in Social Work
  • Health, Community Practice for Social Change