Dr. Karen Rice
Professor and Department Chair
Office: Stayer 307
Sp23 Office Hrs
F: 1:00-2:00pm Ware Center
Comments: Other times by appointment.
Karen Rice, Professor, Department Chairperson, Faculty Fellow for the Office of Diversity and Social Justice
Dr. Karen Rice joined the School of Social Work at Millersville University of Pennsylvania (MU) in 2006. She is an alumna of Millersville University, where she earned her undergraduate degree in psychology. She later earned her MSW from Temple University and PhD in social work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore.
She has served as Department Chair since 2012. Under her leadership, MU’s social work program has evolved from a Department to a School and now offers social work degrees at the BASW, MSW, and DSW levels. Additionally, they offer two dual degree programs, the first of their kind in the nation and five post baccalaureate or master’s certificate and certification programs.
Rice played an integral role in the initial accreditation and the most recent reaffirmation of accreditation of the BASW program as well as the recent reaffirmation of the MSW program. Additionally, she developed the framework for the online degree completion delivery option within the BASW program and assisted with the implementation of the online delivery option within the MSW program. Her dedication to the growth and improvement of social work education within our region also led to the creation of the Doctor of Social Work program. This program is innovative for its collaboration, its structure (a combination of residencies and online learning), and its dual focus on leadership and preparation for the academy.
Rice is also responsible for internationalizing all three social work programs, which now offer opportunities for service learning, internships, and research around the globe. These opportunities are guided by a human rights-based framework she and an Elizabethtown College social work professor developed. This resulted in Rice being commissioned to author a book as part of Springer Brief Human Rights Book Series on the development of short-term study abroad trips that utilize this framework. Rice has also published a number of articles on the topic, delivered numerous national and international presentations, and in May 2022, was invited to deliver the Keynote Address entitled Fostering Global Citizenship through Connectedness at the annual Global Awareness Society International conference in Salamanca, Spain.
In response to limited institutional resources, Rice identified alternative funding streams through the creation of The Learning Institute, the School of Social Work’s continuing education program that facilitates professional development and community activism. Her strategies for strengthening the School of Social Work included building bridges between administration and faculty, enhancing working relationships, and raising the profile of the School. These efforts resulted in the expansion of The Learning Institute beyond the School of Social Work so that the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals are explored through an interdisciplinary and international lens and specific action steps are provided to participants at each event to foster both individual and collective action to promote positive social, economic, and environmental change.
Rice’s leadership at the university extends beyond the School of Social Work. She is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts at the university and within the broader community. Trained in both Inclusive Leadership and Intergroup Dialogue, Rice was a leader in the development and implementation of Millersville University’s DEI Strategic Plan. In 2022, she was appointed the inaugural Faculty Fellow for the Office of Diversity and Social Justice, supporting faculty in identifying ways to foster inclusive, equitable learning environments. She also developed DEI training for faculty, staff, and students, which continue to be used today and implemented through others who were trained under Rice and her colleagues. Most recently, Rice and her colleagues developed new student orientation for incoming freshmen and their guests (e.g., parents, caregivers) to introduce them to DEI--what it is, why it matters, and their role in supporting and fostering a sense of belonging at Millersville University. Other efforts initiated by Rice that resulted in the direct support of students attending Millersville University include the creation of a Resource Guide that consolidates both academic and wellbeing resources available to students; the development of the Campus Closet, which is a free professional clothing bank; the development of Wellness Advocates to support students’ wellbeing needs; and the implementation of the Lending Library that provides students with access to required textbooks at no cost.
Recognized for her expertise in DEI, global education, human rights, sustainable development goals, child welfare, and behavioral healthcare, Rice has been solicited to serve on professional association boards such as the Global Awareness Society International (GASI), International Consortium for Social Development (ICSD), and the North Atlantic Journal of Social Work Education. Further, she has been recruited to serve on boards within her community given her areas of expertise. These include the United Way of Lancaster County’s Equity Committee, Governor Wolf’s HEAL PA Poverty Reduction Action Team Co-Chair, Lancaster County Children and Youth Advisory Board, HDC MidAtlantic Resource Committee, and Touchstone Foundation’s Scholarship Committee.
Rice is a staunch advocate who is constantly seeking ways to enhance current practices, policies, and programs that support individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities. These efforts resulted in the development of a free daylong workshop, Leadership Summit: Dialogues on Racism, for high-school youth to develop dialogue skills in order to implement what they learned within their schools as agents of change; a free community-based summer camp program, Global Champions 4 Humanity, for youth in grades 3-7 aimed to foster global citizenry; and the creation of a social justice advocacy leadership program, Ubuntu Leaders Fellows Program, for college students to work with a faculty mentor to identify, develop, and implement a project that responds to one or more of the United Nation’s Global Goals.
In addition to her work within the School of Social Work and community, Rice remains an accomplished educator and an active scholar, presenting at local, national, and international conferences. She is an accreditation site visitor for the Council on Social Work Education and serves as a member of their Commission on Educational Policy. Rice is a reviewer for a number of journals including: Advances in Social Work, Journal of Baccalaureate Social Work, Social Work Education, and Journal of Human Rights and Social Work.
She previously served as Co-PI of a three-year $1.35 million federal Opioid Workforce and Education Program (OWEP) grant and is the current PI of a four-year $1.9 million federal Behavioral Healthcare Workforce and Education Training (BHWET) grant. Both interdisciplinary grants respond to pressing needs within our society as well as the workforce shortage within these areas of practice. Further, the grants support students’ educational career goals by providing specialized training, field experiences, and a $10,000 stipend. The grants also support members of our local community by providing free best practice professional development training and continuing educational credits for licensed practitioners.
In 2019, Rice was inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa, The National Leadership Honor Society and was the recipient of Millersville University’s Vanguard Award. Rice received Millersville University’s Internationalization Stewardship Award in 2018, and in June 2022, was awarded Manheim Township’s Distinguished Alumni Award for her professional achievements that benefit her local and academic communities.
Articles in Refereed Journals:
Frank, J. M., Rice, K., & Thomas, C. (in press). Beyond academics: Assessing and understanding the food, housing and wellbeing needs of college students. Journal of Poverty.
Frank, J. M., Rice, K., & Granruth, L. B. (in press) “In someone else’s shoes:” Utilizing reflection to challenge poverty attitudes and develop critical consciousness. The International Journal of Social Work Values and Ethics
Felizzi, M. V., St. Croix, B., & Rice, K. (2022). New roles for the profession: Social workers in the hockey recruitment process. Journal of Sport Social Work
Dinse, L., & Rice, K. (2021). Barriers to exiting commercial sex work. Journal of Social Work and Christianity, 48, 136-182.
Rice, K. & Girvin, H. (2021). Applying intervention research framework in program design and refinement: A pilot study of youth leadership, compassion, and advocacy program. Social Work with Groups Journal. DOI: 10.1080/01609513.2021.1896164
Wubah, D., Steuer, C., Brown, G., & Rice, K. (2020). Funding community sustainable development using zero energy buildings. Accepted for publication in International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 22(1). Available at: International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education: Vol. 22 Iss. 1 | Emerald Insight
Redcay, A., Counselman Carpenter, E., McMahon, S., Luquet, W., Rice, K., & Lance, R. (2019). The arc of justice: Examining policies and laws to advance the human rights of transgender and gender expansive children. Journal of Human Rights and Social Work, online: https://doi.org/10.1007/s41134-019-00102-3
Mapp, S., & Rice, K. (2018). Conducting rights-based short-term study abroad experiences. Social Work Education, 38, 427-438.
Rice, K., Girvin, H. (2021). Human rights-based approach to short-term study abroad. New York: Springer.
Felizzi, M. V., & Rice, K. (2020). Correlations among childhood abuse and family violence, prevention, assessment, and treatment from a trauma-focused perspective. In R. Geffner et al. (eds.), Handbook of Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan, pp. 1- 21, Springer.
Rice, K. Fostering global citizenship through connectedness. Keynote Address at the annual Global Awareness Society International conference in Salamanca, Spain, May 26-28, 2022.
Rice, K. Building authentic alliances through critical conversations. Keynote Address at the 25th National School Social Work Association of America in Chicago, IL. April 8, 2022.
Rice, K. Millersville University’s Positive Energy Fund initiative to foster sustainability. Invited Panel Presentation at Microsoft and Global Government Forum: Information is Power: How Tech is Transforming Public Sector Sustainability, May 6, 2021, virtual.
Rice, K. The challenge of institutional change: Invited Panel Presentation at Academic Initiatives Conference, October 14-15, 2020, virtual.
Bardonille, M., Mitchell, R., & Rice, K. The family unit: Keeping it together two pandemics—COVID-19 and racism, Invited panelist on The George Washington Rodham Institute, June 25, 2020.
Stone, A., Rice, K., & Daniel, B. Rated R: Unpacking whiteness in the face of racism, Invited panelist on The George Washington Rodham Institute, June 17, 2020.
Foley, K., & Rice, K. LGBTQ+ 101: Building awareness and understanding. Invited training by Lancaster LGBTQ+ Coalition, April 14, 2020.
Lombardo, S., Adams, T., & Rice, K. Lombardo Welcome Center’s Zero Energy Certification, Invited panelist at Positive Energy Breakfast, October 23, 2019.
Rice, K. Training of trainers. Invited presentation within online conference: Overcoming Challenges in the Development of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity Initiatives in Higher Education, University of Kent, July 8, 2019.
Rice, K. Multiversity and Intergroup Dialogue. Presentation to MSW students at University of Pittsburgh, February 16-17, 2019.
Craig, S., Desaque, K., Rau, D., & Rice, K. Education, poverty, and reform: Panel discussion. Invited as member of panel at 2nd Annual Conference on Education and Poverty, Millersville University, Millersville, PA, November 29-December 1, 2018.
Frank, J., Granruth, L., Rice, K., Walsh, K., & Watson, D. “In someone else’s shoes:” Exploring the role of targeted, narrative-based social work curricula to address poverty perceptions. Presented virtually at 8th The Learning Institute’s Annual Global Well Being and Social Change Conference: Global Citizenship: Acknowledging Interconnectedness and Cultivating Social Justice, April 14-16, 2021.
Rice, K. R., Rice, K. The challenges, barriers, and implications to unequal access to study abroad for students of color within the United States. Presented virtually at 8th The Learning Institute’s Annual Global Well Being and Social Change Conference: Global Citizenship: Acknowledging Interconnectedness and Cultivating Social Justice, April 14-16, 2021.
Rice, K. Dialogue as a Tool to Promote Human Relationships and Achieve Peace, Just Institutions. Social Work Education and Social Development Virtual Conference, April 15, 2021.
Rice, K. (2020). Intergroup dialogue: Fostering inclusive excellence on college campuses. Virtual poster presentation at CSWE 66th APM: Leading Critical Conversation: Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, November 16-20, 2020.
Corso, L., & Rice, K. Tourism as Community Empowerment: Incorporating Sustainability and Social Justice. Presented virtually at 7th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference, Reenvisioning Our World: Seeing What Works, Broadening our View, Seeking Innovative Alternatives, Millersville, PA, April 15-17, 2020.
Frank, J., Rice, K., Gomez, A. (MSW Student), Martin, D. (MSW Student), & Thomas, C. (MSW Student). Meeting the Wellbeing Needs of Millersville University Students. Presented virtually at 7th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference, Reenvisioning Our World: Seeing What Works, Broadening our View, Seeking Innovative Alternatives, Millersville, PA, April 15-17, 2020.
Helfrich, S., & Rice, K. Academic Living-Learning Communities as a High Impact Practice: A Research-Based Model. Presented at Lancaster Learns, Lancaster, PA, February 28, 2020.
Androff, D., Pawar, M., Rice, K., Fisher, C., Hermoso, J., & Jaya, D. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): The International Consortium for Social Development. Panel presentation at Council on Social Work Education: Social Work Education: Looking Back, Looking Forward, Denver, CO, October 24-27, 2019.
Rice, K. Sustainable development goals as a framework for developing human rights-based service learning trips. Presented at 21st Biennial International Conference of International Consortium for Social Development: Strengthening Social Development to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, July 15-19, 2019.
Rice, K., & Vicente, C. Intergroup dialogue as a tool to achieve peace, justice, and strong institutions. Presented at 21st Biennial International Conference of International Consortium for Social Development: Strengthening Social Development to Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Universitas Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, July 15-19, 2019.
Frank, J., Rice, K., Myers, B., & Feeser, L. Beyond academics: Exploring the food, housing, and wellbeing needs of college students. Presented at 6th Annual Learning Institute Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference: Social Justice: Valuing Difference, Pursuing Equity, and Finding Space for Solidarity, Millersville University, Millersville, PA, April 24-26, 2019.
Rice, K., & Whitlow, J. Intergroup dialogue: A tool to promote and foster diversity, equity, and inclusion. Presented at 6th Annual Learning Institute Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference: Social Justice: Valuing Difference, Pursuing Equity, and Finding Space for Solidarity, Millersville University, Millersville, PA, April 24-26, 2019.
Rice, K. Engaging youth in social activism utilizing expressive arts. Presented at International Expressive Arts Therapy Association (IEATA): RISE UP: The Evolution and Revolution of Expressive Arts, Berkeley, CA, February 28-March 3, 2019.
Mapp, S., Rice, K., Berghoef, M. Applying a rights-based approach to short-term study abroad and service learning trips. Presented at the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) Conference: Expanding Interprofessional Education to Achieve Social Justice, Orlando, FL, November 8-11, 2018.
Rice, K. Inclusivity: Building compassionate organizations. Presented at the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Conference, Pennsylvania Chapter, Pocono Manor, PA, September 12-16, 2018.
Rice, K., & Vicente, C. Courageous conversations: Building alliances for collaborative social action. Presented at the 43rd Annual National Institute on Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas: Rural Social Work: Collegial, Cooperative, and Collaborative, Murray State University, Murray, KY, July 16-18, 2018.
Rice, K., Girvin, H., & Frank, J. Utilizing expressive arts to promote well-being. Presented at the 5th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference: Wellness in our Community: Clarifying definitions, providing opportunities, protecting rights, Millersville University, Ware Center, Lancaster, PA, June 6-8, 2018.
Frank, J., Rice, K., & Torchia, A. Assessing and understanding the food insecurity among college students. Presented at the 5th Annual Global Well-Being and Social Change Conference: Wellness in our Community: Clarifying definitions, providing opportunities, protecting rights, Millersville University, Ware Center, Lancaster, PA, June 6-8, 2018.
Rice, K., & Vicente, C. Building inclusive clubs using intergroup dialogue. Presented at 11th Annual GSA Leadership Summit, Dickinson College, March 1-2, 2018.