Dr. Susan Rhema

Assistant Professor of Professional Practice, PhD, LCSW, MSW

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Susan Heffner Rhema has a PhD from the Kent School of Social Work, University of Louisville, where she is a Professor of Professional Practice in the Doctoral Program.  Her doctoral research was entitled, “Predicting Emotional Distress in Recently Arrived Adult Refugees.” Dr. Rhema teaches courses in practice, social policy, and human behavior.

Dr. Rhema has an MSW from the University of Maryland, School of Social Work, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, (LCSW).  She is currently an appointed member of the Kentucky Multidisciplinary Commission on Child Sexual Abuse.

Prior to the full time faculty position Dr. Rhema provided specialized therapy services for survivors of torture and victims of human trafficking including individuals from more than 15 different language groups. From 2011-2018 Dr. Rhema was the clinical director for the Survivor of Torture Recovery Center in Louisville, KY, a Kent School program that was grant funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. In this role Dr. Rhema developed and implemented a multidisciplinary team model grounded in trauma informed treatment methods.

Dr. Rhema’s previous work includes: hospice director in Tucson, Arizona; director for an international non-governmental organization evaluating programs and personnel in over 25 countries in Europe, Central and South America, the Middle East, Central Asia, and East Asia; and, ten years of community based organizing in Kenya, Peru and regions of Central America.

Dr. Rhema is a 2018 recipient of the “Liberation Award” presented by Bakhita Empowerment Initiative for “recognition of dedicated efforts to raise awareness and assist victims of human trafficking in Kentucky.