Our team

« Back

Miriam Kuttikat portrait

Miriam Kuttikat, Ph.D.

Associate professor

Email: mgeorge@vcu.edu

Phone: (804) 828-3616

Postdoctoral Fellow, CAMH, University of Toronto
Ph.D., University of Toronto
M.A., University of Toronto
M.S.W., University of Toronto
M.S.W., Mahatma Gandhi University
BA. University of Calicut

Miriam Kuttikat, Ph.D., is a tenured associate professor of social work at Virginia Commonwealth University, where she has taught since 2011. Dr. Kuttikat focuses on daily life stressors and family conflict that affect the health and well-being of migrant families. Her research and publications also focus on social and cultural factors at individual, family and community levels that support migrant family resilience, the interface of culture and parenting processes in migrant families, and the mathematical modeling of community resources for migrant families.

Dr. Kuttikat’s community-engaged research studies have been funded by the National Institute of Health, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Royal Bank, the Foundation for International Training, the Canadian Institute for Health Research and the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. Kuttikat’s recent research, in partnership with the National Institute of Health Fogarty International, led community-based participatory research in refugee camp settings that designed and developed culturally appropriate Family Mental Health Intervention (FMHI), which addressed refugee families’ multi-dimensional needs, changes and complexities over time. Dr. Kuttikat is currently working with the VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund to expand her community-based research to include the African diaspora, primarily Eritrean migrants, in the Greater Washington, D.C., area.

In the School of Social Work, Dr. Kuttikat teaches and/or mentors students in the B.S.W., M.S.W. and Ph.D. programs. She serves on various university and school committees, including the university council, the promotion and tenure committees, and the provost and dean search committees. Before VCU, Dr. Kuttikat was a social work clinician at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health University of Toronto, and a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Waterloo Renison School of Social Work.  

Notable awards, honors and appointments

  • 2021: Social Justice Award for Radical Alliance for Anti-Racism, Change and Equity (RAACE) 
  • 2021: Faculty Affiliate, The International Institute of Migration and Development (IIMAD)
  • 2013: National Institute of Health Fogarty International’s K01 International Research Scientist Development Award
  • 2013: Faculty Affiliate, Union Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs Research Unit on International Migration, Center for Development Studies, India
  • 2012: Oxford Fellow, Harris Manchester College, Oxford University, U.K.
  • 2011: Lois Claxton Excellence in Research Award, Canada

VCU appointments

  • Associate professor, VCU School of Social Work
  • Affiliate faculty, VCU Clinical and Translational Research
  • Affiliated faculty, VCU Institute for Women’s Health

Teaching areas and interests

Current courses taught at VCU

Ph.D. Program

  • Doctoral Faculty Advisor
  • Dissertation Committee Member
  • Social Work Teaching Practicum (SWKD 896)

M.S.W. Program

  • Social Work Research for Clinical Practice I (SLWK 706)
  • Social Work Research for Clinical Practice II (SLWK 707)
  • Concentration Social Policy: U.S. Migration Policies and Human Rights (SLWK 710)
  • Foundations of Research in Social Work Practice (SLWK 609)
  • Social Work and Social Justice (SLWK 603)

B.S.W. Program

  • Social Work and Oppressed Groups (SLWK 311)
  • Communication in the Helping Process (SLWK 230)
  • Introduction to Social Work-Service Learning (SLWK 201)

Areas of teaching/mentoring expertise

  • Social work research
  • Social justice and social work
  • Migration policies and human rights
  • Social work practice in mental health
  • Social work practice with migrants and refugees

Research projects and funding

Recent and current funded projects

  • Principal Investigator: “Testing family dynamics among Eritrean migrants in the Greater Washington DC area,” VCU Presidential Research Quest Fund
  • Principal Investigator: “Family Mental Health Intervention (FMHI) for Sri Lankan Tamil Refugee Youth-A Pilot Study,” Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work Internal traveling support
  • Principal Investigator: “Testing a refugee family dynamics model: A study with Sri Lankan Tamils,” National Institute of Health Fogarty International’s K01- TW 009648 International Research Scientist Development Award
  • Principal Investigator: “Community readiness assessment for repatriation of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in Indian refugee camps,” VCU School of Social Work Internal Grant

Scholarship

Recent publications

Kuttikat, M., George, H & George, D. (in preparation). Proverbs, and gender: The interface between proverbs and human relations. Manuscript in development

Kuttikat, M. (in preparation). Community Health Workers’ Perspectives on parental behavior, parental practices and family relationship among Sri Lankan Tamils. Manuscript in development

Kuttikat, M., George, H. & George, D (under review). Developing a conceptual model for refugee parenting process: A Sri Lankan Tamil research. Manuscript under review

Kuttikat, M. & Murphy, J. (under review). Post-Migration stressors, parent health and family functioning among camp refugees. Manuscript under review.

Kuttikat, M., Vaillancourt, A., & Massey, M. (2019). Battered but bold: Sri Lankan Tamil refugee war experiences, camp challenges and resilience. International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 14 (3), 245-259.

Gandhi, M., Manuel, J., & George, M. (2018). Understanding engagement in the Program of Assertive Community Treatment (PACT) from the perspectives of individuals receiving treatment. Social Work in Mental Health, 16 (4), 400-418.

George, M. (2017). Application of Conservation of Resource Theory (COR) with camp refugees. Migration and Development, 6 (3), 460-478.

George, M., Vaillancourt, A & Rajan, I. (2016). Sri Lankan Tamil refugees in India:  Conceptual framework of repatriation success. Refuge – Canada’s Journal for Refugees, 32 (3), 73-83.

George, M., Manuel, J. & Gandhi, M. (2016). “Sometimes what they think is helpful is not really helpful”: Understanding engagement in the Program of Assertive Community Treatment. Community Mental Health Journal, 52 (8), 882–890. 

George, M. & Jettner, J. (2016). Migration stressors, psychological distress and family - A Sri Lankan Tamil refugee analysis. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 17 (2), 341-353. 

George, M. & Jettner, J. (2015). Impact of daily stressors on psychological distress: A Sri Lankan Tamil refugee analysis. International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, 11 (1), 1-16.

George, M. (2015). Ethical lessons learned from conducting refugee-based research in an Indian refugee camp. Journal of Human Rights Practice, 7(3), 451 -465.

George, M., Kliewer, W., & Rajan, I. (2015). “Rather than talking in Tamil, they should be talking to Tamils”: Sri Lankan Tamil refugee readiness for repatriation. Refugee Survey Quarterly, 34 (2), 1-22.