Molly McLay

Molly M. McLay hails most recently from Champaign, Illinois, having received a BA in English Writing and Women’s and Gender Studies from Illinois Wesleyan University (2006) and an MSW from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2011). An affiliate of the Center for Violence and Injury Prevention at the Brown School, Molly’s research focuses on the development, implementation, and evaluation of interventions for gender-based violence, both prevention and treatment-focused. As a licensed clinical social worker, Molly has worked in both areas, empowering survivors in their healing processes and empowering communities to shift their thinking around these issues to promote consent and healthy relationships. From 2013-2019, she served as Assistant Director of the University of Illinois Women’s Resources Center, where she co-created three new peer-led gender-based violence prevention programs, revamped the first-year program reaching 9000+ students annually to become more inclusive to LGBTQIA+ students, taught courses, and served as a Title IX confidential advisor. Molly also works as a part-time telehealth therapist alongside her work as a PhD student. A longtime poet and musician, Molly also plans to develop evidence-supported creative writing interventions to aid in both prevention and therapeutic response efforts, centering on the change process that happens in writing and how that can translate to individual and systemic belief changes.

Molly M. McLay

  • Program: PhD in Social Work Student

Areas of Focus:

  • gender-based violence; creative writing interventions
  • prevention education; trauma-focused therapies; intervention research
  • clinical practice; implementation science
  • women’s issues
  • LGBTQIA+ populations