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About Lisa Kiesel, PhD, MSW, LICSW

Lisa Kiesel, MSW, PhD, LICSW earned a PhD in Social Work from the University of Minnesota in 2013, MSW with a focus on children, youth, and families from the University of Washington (Seattle) in 1996, and BS with double majors of Social Work and English from Augsburg College (Minneapolis) in 1993. She joined the faculty as an adjunct instructor in 2012, then as Assistant Professor in 2013, and was recently tenured and promoted to Associate Professor (2019). Kiesel teaches Theory/Practice of Social Work I, Methods of Social Work Research, Social Policy and Program Development, and the Applied Research Seminar. Her teaching and research are informed appreciably by her extensive social work practice career. Kiesel seeks to promote within students critical, clinical, and systems thinking skills as well as flexibility and perseverance in just responses to human need in an ever-changing environment.

Lisa Kiesel has maintained an active program of scholarly research having five articles published and two in press, addressing issues of child welfare, people with disabilities, and social work advocacy and civic engagement. All works are in journals that inform our discipline, and all have been composed within the last five years. Kiesel has also completed nine peer-reviewed presentations and one invited presentation at regional and national conferences.  She was awarded three University grants, one for an independent research project, one for curricular development, and the third for ongoing support of a project of the implicit curriculum.  She was also awarded one external grant from CSWE to support development and implementation of the Mapping Social Justice Project (MSJ). Now in its third year of implementation, MSJ has been disseminated through oral presentations at the Influencing Social Policy 2.0 Annual Conference as well as at CSWE, a poster at the invitation of CSWE field exhibit, and was also utilized as a foundation for a civic engagement workshop at the MN-NASW annual conference.  Most recently, MSJ has established a collaboration with the St. Kate’s Elections and Civic Engagement Work Group, and St. Kate’s Center for Community Work and Learning.  Kiesel’s work with the Clinical Social Work Expansion Project (CSWEP) is also significant. Through a 3-year MN Department of Health mental health workforce development grant, created in collaboration with MSW Field Director Lisa Richardson, the goal of this project is to increase the number of clinical social workers who are trained and committed to serve underserved rural and urban populations in Minnesota. The CSWEP design will reduce workforce gaps by addressing student, clinical training, and licensure barriers. 

Kiesel has engaged in service to the community through both direct service and leadership over the past five years.  Roles include volunteering with county child protection services and community mental health counseling, serving as a non-profit health/mental health agency board member, and serving as a research advisory board member for an NSF-funded project addressing gender equity in teaching.  Further, she contributed to the profession as an ad hoc reviewer for four scholarly journals informing the discipline.


2013 - Present Associate Professor, Social Work, St. Catherine University Social Work Department

Curriculum Vitae



2020 - Present Health Professional Clinical Training and Expansion Grant Program
MN Dept of Health
Clinical Social Work Expansion Project (CSWEP)
Role: PI
2017 - Present Health Professional Clinical Training and Expansion Grant Program
MN Dept of Health
Clinical Social Work Expansion Project (CSWEP)
Role: co-PI
Colleague(s): Lisa Richardson
2018 - 2019 Partnership in Teaching Grant
University of St. Thomas
2016 - 2017 APDC Scholarly Projects Grant
St. Catherine University
Role: PI
2016 - 2017 CSWE Policy Practice Field Education Initiative Community Engagement Grant
Mapping Social Justice Project
Role: PI
2016 Faculty Development Center Teaching Enhancement Grant
University of St. Thomas
Colleague(s): Lance Peterson
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Professional Service and Affiliations

2020 - Present Committee Member, NASW MN Chapter Racial Justice Committee
2019 - Present Committee Member, NASW MN Chapter SPAN
2002 - Present Member, NASW
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2013 PhD, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Minnesota ‐ Social Work
1996 MSW, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington ‐ Children, Youth, and Families
1993 BS, Augsburg College, Minneapolis, Minnesota ‐ Social/Work

Contact Information

Phone: 651-690-6709


Presentations (2)

Research Works (17)