"Define yourself for yourself."
-Audre Lorde


Ashley N. Gwathney, MSW, LCSW.


Ashley Gwathney is a published scholar and Licensed Clinical Social Worker in New Jersey. She earned her B.A. in Social Work from Rutgers University in 2013. A year later, she obtained her MSW, LSW, and School Social Worker Certificate with Advanced Standing from Rutgers University’s School of Social Work.  During her academic studies, she worked with Rutgers University Student Support Services, Rutgers Mountainview Communities, and the NJ-STEP (Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons) programs and discovered her true calling in bringing awareness and advocacy to the injustices of the preschool to prison pipeline.  She previously worked for the Long Branch School District as a High School Guidance Counselor, Student Facilitator, and School Social Worker. In her various roles, she was an active leader in both school and district-wide initiatives centered on social-emotional learning, student access, and equity. 

In 2021, she launched her private-practice Breaking Boundaries, where she leads and facilitates individual, group, and family sessions.  Throughout her career, she has actively collaborated with school administrators, staff, and state-based agencies to provide student-centered approaches and outcomes.  She has extensive experience in student advocacy, individualized case management, and restorative practices.  Ashley is a life-long learner and holds a true passion in her life’s calling in opening spaces for marginalized, vulnerable, and disenfranchised voices.  In her research, she is committed to highlighting the inequities of  punitive discipline in schools and elevates holistic approaches as a student-centered approach to school discipline.  Her doctoral scholarship at Rutgers University’s School of Social Work builds on creating trauma-informed and identity-affirming spaces for children, adolescents, and families through school advocacy, grassroots organizing, and community outreach.  To build on her research, she published her first sole-authored article, “Offsetting Racial Divides: Adolescent African American Males and Restorative Practices” in the Clinical Journal of Social Work.  Ashley stands firm on delivering high-quality person-center services that foster heartfelt connections.  She is committed to upholding her ethical duties outlined by the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics.


Rutgers University School of Social Work, Piscataway, NJ
DSW, Doctorate of Social Work (in progress)
Rutgers University School of Social Work, Piscataway, NJ
MSW, Masters in Social Work
Rutgers University School of Social Work, Piscataway, NJ
B.A.,  Bachelors of Arts Degree in Social Work


CITI Basic Course: Human Research Social, Behavioral, Epidemiologic Research Investigators 

New Jersey Licensed Clinical Social Worker 

New Jersey School Social Worker Certificte 

Clinical Supervision and Ethics Certificzte, 20 hours 

Seminiar in Field Instruction (SIFI) Certificaton, Rutgers University – The State University of New Jersey


Long Branch Public School District, Long Branch, NJ
Student Facilitator, School Social Worker, Appointed Member of District Social-Emotional Learning Alliance, Project Aware Member
Rutgers University – NJ Scholarship, Transformative Education Program (STEP), Piscataway NJ

“Bucky” Adam James Community Center, Long Branch NJ
Girl Scouts of America- Monmouth and Ocean County, Farmingdale NJ
Princeton House Behavioral Health Center, Hamilton NJ


FEA- The Role of Social and Emotional Learning in Building a Positive School Climate for Students and Adults Training
New Jersey State Bar Foundation Anti-Racist Training
New Jersey State Bar Foundation Social-Emotional Learning Training
New Jersey State Bar Foundation Self-Awareness Workshop
Living YES! Social Emotional Learning Two-Day Training
Koncious KYDS Social-Emotional Learning Training for Educators
Kimmie Carlos Motivational Consulting – COVID-19: Youth of Color and Suicide Risk Indicator


Gwathney, A.N. Offsetting Racial Divides: Adolescent African American Males & Restorative Justice Practices. Clin Soc Work J 49, 346–355 (2021). 

Published online first. https://doi-org.proxy.libraries.rutgers.edu/10.1007/s10615-021-00794-z.