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Social Work
International Cooperation

Zoë Kessler, Professor at the School of Social Work at Salem State University (USA), will be working in the Department of Welfare and Social Work at Rīga Stradiņš University (RSU) in the spring semester of 2023.


She defended her PhD thesis titled “Making new lives after exiting care: social orphans in Latvia” in 2021. Describing where her interest comes from, Kessler reveals that her personal experience working on the front lines of social work was the driving factor in building her career as a social worker.

Kessler is a Fulbright scholar and will continue to research the deinstitutionalisation process in Latvia including the life stories and life trajectories of young people who have lived in orphanages.

The lecturers and students from the RSU Department of Welfare and Social Work will have the opportunity to get acquainted with Kessler's research results, as well as to implement the project Fotobalsis (Photo Voices – Ed.), which will give insight into the lives of young people living in orphanages and break stereotypes. The work that the young people have created will be featured in a photography exhibition at RSU, Salem State University, and possibly elsewhere.