2002 Recipient of the Elizabeth Butler Award
Vickii P. Coffey has served in various faculty roles at Governors State University (GSU) since 2013. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in the College of Health and Human Services, Department of Social Work at GSU. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice (AM ’97) and she earned her PhD in Criminology, Law and Justice at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2016). At GSU she teaches a diverse range of social work courses with a primary emphasis on social justice and social policy. She is a qualitative researcher and her distinct research interests are: mass incarceration, reentry, violence against women, and the intersections of race, class, and gender across each of these spectrums.
From 2015-2019, she was an Early Stage Investigator on the GSU and University of Illinois Cancer Center, Disparities Education Program (GUIDE), supported by a P20, National Institute of Health, National Cancer Institute grant. Her current program of research is focused on healthcare and cancer disparities (secondary to delays in cancer screening) among populations of formerly incarcerated African Americans. African Americans with a history of incarceration are at particular risk for healthcare and cancer disparities due to socio-economic status, educational attainment, lifestyle factors, and barriers to accessing appropriate health care services.
Prior to her career in academia, she worked as an Executive Director for several Chicago-based, non-profit domestic violence and human service agencies. As an Executive Director, she served on a host of local and national advisory councils that developed and implemented social policy and safety initiatives to intervene on and stop violence against women including terms on the National Advisory Council on Violence Against Women (U.S. Department of Justice) and the U.S. Department of Defense Taskforce on Domestic Violence. She is most proud of her executive appointment (2022) by Governor J.B. Pritzker to serve on the Board of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority. Through teaching, research, and community service, professor Coffey works to inspire in her students a sense of hope, a passion to challenge social injustice, and the inspiration to work for social change.