Associate Professor of Social Work

Dr. Comerfords's research agenda is focused in three interconnected areas: international issues including refugees and human rights; the learning processes involved in effectively meeting the challenges of an increasingly multicultural, multivocal, globalizing world, (local, national and international); and leadership within these contexts.

Her teaching areas include human rights, social policy, leadership development and theory, diversity issues, and gender issues in the workplace. Prior to doctoral studies in Cleveland, Susan's social work focused primarily on policy analysis, advocacy, and international organizing on refugee issues in the areas of human rights, refugee relief, and development issues in nations of the South.


Comerford, S. A. (2018). An autoethnography of a neurotypical adoptive mother’s journey through adoption into the world(s) of intellectual variety in the early years of the U.S. Education System. Qualitative Social Work,(),147332501876670. 10.1177/1473325018766708

Comerford, S. (2008). The challenge of providing culturally and linguistically accessible human services in rural and increasingly diverse communities: A case example from a small New England state. The Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Services.

Fambrough, M.A. & Comerford, S.A. (2006). The Changing epistemological assumptions of group theory. The Journal of Applied Social Sciences, 42(3), pp. 330 – 349.

Rude, H.A., Paolucci-Whitcomb, P.E., & Comerford, S.A. (2005). Ethical leadership: Supporting human rights in rural communities. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 24(4), pp. 26-31.

Comerford, S.A. (2005). Engaging through learning - learning through engaging: An alternative approach to professional learning about human diversity. Social Work Education, 23(6).

Comerford, S.A. (2004). Strengthening the affective and behavioral dimensions of learning about diversity: Sharing personal narratives on offsite retreats. Journal of Teaching in Social Work.

Comerford, S.A., Henson-Stroud, M., Sionainn, C., & Wheeler, E. (2004). Crone songs: Voices of lesbian’s elders on aging in a rural environment. Affilia: Journal of Women in Social Work.

Comerford, S.A. (2004). Enriching classroom learning about diversity: Supports and strategies from a qualitative study. The Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 24(3-4), pp. 183-200.

Comerford, S. (2003). Confronting power: Undergraduates engage the legislative process in Vermont. The Social Policy Journal, 2(2-3), pp. 123-143.

Awards and Recognition

  • Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award, Nominee, University of Vermont (2019)
  • CUPS Lynn Bond Outstanding Faculty Award, University of Vermont (2018)
  • Case Western Reserve University Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences 100 Centennial Alumni Award Winner (2017)
  • Tim Shiner Outstanding Ally Award, The University of Vermont, ALANA Student Center (2015)
  • Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award, Nominee, University of Vermont (2015)
  • Outstanding Advisor, Residential Life Division, Nominee (2014)
  • Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award, Nominee, University of Vermont (2014)
  • University of Vermont Women’s Center - Outstanding Woman Faculty Award (2012)
  • University of Vermont Graduate Student Senate – Outstanding Faculty Award (2011)
  • University of Vermont Women’s Center – Faculty Social Activist Award (2011)

Associations and Affiliations

Council on Social Work Education (CSWE)

Susan Comerford

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

  • Adult learning
  • Diversity, access and equity
  • Human rights
  • Immigrant issues
  • Leadership
  • Organizational development


  • Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from Case Western Reserve University
  • M.S.W. in Macro Social Work Practice from Fordham University


  • (802) 656-2487
Office Location:

Waterman 309