Kenneth James Marfilius

L.C.S.W., D.S.W.
Assistant Dean of Online and Distance Education
Associate Teaching Professor, Social Work

Dr. Ken Marfilius is the Assistant Dean of the Falk College Office of Online and Distance Education and is an Associate Teaching Professor in the School of Social Work. Dr. Marfilius leads the Falk College online and distance education portfolio, providing college-wide leadership of online teaching and learning initiatives. Dr. Marfilius is responsible for planning, administering, and supporting the successful implementation of current and future online programing in Falk College. Marfilius has directed the launch of six online graduate programs in Falk College where he has developed and implemented strategic plans and policies for online learning, performs routine program assessments, and enhanced educational experiences for students relating to online programming.

Prior to his new appointment at Syracuse University, Marfilius served as the School of Social Work’s Undergraduate Program Director, MSW Online Program Director, Falk College Director of Online and Distance Education, and an Assistant Teaching Professor in Falk College’s School of Social Work. He has taught courses on topics such as social work intervention, military culture and mental health practice, psychopathology, social work practice in mental health, and others. Marfilius’ work is dedicated to serving active-duty military, Veterans, and their families. He developed the first military mental health course at Syracuse University’s Falk College. Dr. Marfilius serves as a Falk College Student Veteran Liaison and coordinated the Veteran Cultural Competence Training and Theater of War Performance at Syracuse University. He was one of 5 panelists at the National Veteran Resource Center Theater of War performance focused on Veteran PTSD and suicide. In addition, he led the formulation of the first Legal-Social Work Partnership between the Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics and the College of Law to help veterans access the legal services they need.

Furthermore, Marfilius designed the first sport social work course and established the first sport social work internship at the Syracuse University School of Social Work. This initiative focuses on the mental health and well-being of student-athletes. It integrates social work perspectives with athletic trends, offering outreach initiatives and various mental health awareness programs. This program not only fosters a supportive environment for student-athletes but also paves the way for future developments in the emerging field of sport social work.

Marfilius has given several presentations and trainings, topics ranging from veteran cultural competence to trauma-informed care, at the Association for Humanistic Counseling National Conference, the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, the National Science Foundation Trauma Research Training, SUNY Empire State College, Student Leadership Institute Mental Health Awareness, “Military Culture and Mental Health Awareness”, New York Air National Guard, In-Service Training ” Military Culture and Mental Health Practice”, NASW New York State Chapter, Veterans Mental Health Training Initiative, “The Relationship Between Military Culture and Social Work Practice”, and the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, among others.

He received the Syracuse University for Disability Resources 2021 Faculty Recognition Award, the Syracuse University One University Assessment: 2021 Best Use of Results, Social Work BSSW Program, and the 2022 Syracuse University Falk College Faculty of the Year Award for Excellence in Service. Marfilius is the Faculty Specialist of the Health Resources and Services Administration: Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program for Professionals, an interdisciplinary collaboration training for integrated behavioral health care. He is the Principal Investigator of the George W. Bush, Team 43 Evaluation. He is the Co-Principal Investigator of the Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma in Military Families Falk College Research Center Seed Grant. Dr. Marfilius routinely makes national television and print media appearances. Most recently, he has appeared on CBS News, Fox News, ABC News, Hill.TV, WAER-FM,, WCNY’s Connect New York, and 570 WSYR Radio, among others.

Dr. Marfilius is a United States Air Force Veteran. While active duty, Marfilius served in the U.S. Air Force Biomedical Science Corps in multiple roles: mental health therapist, family advocacy officer in charge, and as manager of the alcohol and drug prevention and treatment program. He transitioned out of the Air Force in 2016 having obtained the rank of Captain. Marfilius served in a variety of mental health roles related to sexual assault prevention and response, suicide prevention, and traumatic stress. Marfilius has also worked for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs at the Syracuse VA Medical Center in the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans Program, and as a Disruptive Behavior Committee Member.

Marfilius is honored with an Air Force Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal. He is a recipient of the U.S. Air Force Health Professions Scholarship and the U.S. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award and has twice been awarded the Medical Operations Squadron Company Grade Officer of the Quarter. Marfilius has served on several committees at Syracuse University, including his service as Chair of the Council on the Social Work Education Self-Study Steering Committee. Marfilius earned a Doctorate in Clinical Social Work (D.S.W.) and Master of Social Work (M.S.W.) from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice in 2018 and 2013, respectively. He earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Public Health from Syracuse University in 2011. He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of North Carolina and is certified in Prolonged Exposure Therapy.


D.S.W., School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania

M.S.W. School of Social Policy and Practice, University of Pennsylvania

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Psychology, Syracuse University


Military mental health, military families, veteran social work, homelessness, domestic violence, suicide prevention, substance use prevention and treatment, and military culture and social work practice


FYS 101: First Year Seminar 101

HSH 101: First-Year Gateway Course

SWK 401: Strategies of Social Work Intervention I

SWK 402: Strategies of Social Work Intervention II

SWK 427/627: Introduction to Military Culture and Mental Health Practice

SWK 601: Fundamentals of Social Work Practice I

SWK 724: Psychopathology

SWK 733: Social Work Practice in Mental Health