Speraw Bio Photo

Susan Speraw, MN '92

Susan Speraw is a retired Research Professor. With degrees in both nursing (BSN and MN) and clinical psychology (MA and PhD), she has amassed clinical expertise in the care of immigrants, refugees, women and children, military and civilian survivors of conflict and war, persons with developmental and psychological disorders, and in the provision of care topopulations living in low resource settings both domestic and international. Research expertise is in qualitative methods. During her career she has led research projects and mentored countless students in studies related to disability, spirituality, and disaster-related topics, as well as the experience of military nurses in the combat arena. She was the founding director of Global Disaster Nursing graduate programs at the University of Tennessee College of Nursing, Knoxville, where she designed and developed the curriculum and worked with the World Association for Disaster & Emergency Medicine to create an international mentorship program for her students. Most recently, she designed and led the inter-professional Appalachia Community Health and Disaster Readiness Project, a three year effort in which professionals in academic nursing, architecture, environmental engineering and law enforcement innovation joined with community members in remote areas of Appalachia to bring clean water, sanitation and disaster preparedness to isolated, impoverished communities without public health resources. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for teaching, scholarship and transformative leadership. In retirement she is serving as Chair of the Board of Directors for Bridge Refugee Services, Inc., with offices in Knoxville and Chattanooga, and serves on the Board of Directors for STEP, Inc. (Support & Training for Exceptional Parents). She has volunteered extensively in her faith community, and traveled to Haiti where she has led numerous medical mission trips over the last 15 years.