Assistant Professor of Professional Practice
Maria Emilia “Emi” Ramirez joined the Kent School of Social Work as an adjunct professor in 2020 and transitioned to Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in July 2021. She brings 15+ years of protecting civil rights and liberties and working to advance the interests of disenfranchised populations combined with a passion for social justice. Emi chairs the social policy sequence and teaches Social Welfare Institutions, Policy and Services; Issues in Policy and Service Delivery; as well as Human Behavior and the Social Environment I and II.
Most recently, Emi was a Community Relations Officer and an Asylum Officer with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Before working for the government, Emi practiced immigration law at Kentucky Refugee Ministries, taught social work and criminal justice at Kentucky State University, and worked at the ACLU of KY, starting its immigrants’ rights program, and working on criminal reform. In 2015, Emi was recognized for her efforts lifting immigrants’ rights to a priority level within the ACLU of KY during the 60th Anniversary Bill of Rights Dinner and featured in the Faces of Liberty.
Emi received her BA in International Affairs with a concentration in Latin American Studies from the George Washington University and was the first recipient of the dual JD/MSSW from the Brandeis School of Law and Raymond A. Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville.