Melinda Pilkinton

Image of Melinda Pilkinton

Social Work

297 Bowen Hall

PhD, Jackson State University


  • B.A. in Social Work, Mississippi State University
  • MSW, University of Southern Mississippi
  • Ph.D. in Social Work, Jackson State University

Dr. Pilkinton began her teaching career at Mississippi State University as a part-time instructor in 1999 and was appointed to a full time position in 2000. She became the Field Placement Coordinator and served in that capacity until 2013 when she was appointed as Social Work Program Director. Dr. Pilkinton has taught social work courses in all levels of social work practice, social welfare policy, human behavior in the social environment, research, populations at risk, addictions, healthcare in social work, the senior capstone writing course, school social work, seminar in resilience, and special problems in ethics, child welfare, and social work with veterans.

Dr. Pilkinton is a licensed certified social worker (LCSW) and a LCSW-Supervisor in the state of Mississippi. She previously held licensure in Louisiana as a Board Certified Social Worker (BCSW) and was certified as a School Social Worker through the National Association of Social Workers School Social Work credential. Dr. Pilkinton served on the Mississippi Board of Examiners for Social Workers and Marriage and Family Therapists for eight years and was the Social Work Chair for the Board of Examiners. She was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Association of Social Work Boards as a director-at-large in 2014 and served one year in that position.

Dr. Pilkinton has worked in a variety of social work settings over the past 30 years. She has expertise in mental health and substance abuse; school social work; individual, family, and marital therapy; nursing home consultation; administration and supervision. Her research interests involve military issues, substance misuse, and women’s issues including poverty, barriers to employment, incarceration, and domestic violence. She collaborates with the MSU Center for America’s Veterans on research and course development for returning veteran students. She works with a multi-disciplinary research team on human-robotic interaction with children, specifically with bullying issues and forensic interviewing of children.

Pilkinton’s research has been published in Affilia: The Journal of Women in Social Work; Reflections; Perspectives; The Journal of Human Behavior in the Social Environment; Social Work and Health; and the Journal of Drug Education.