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Debra Norris

Debra Norris

Professor Emeriti, BSSW


Dr. Norris is a practitioner and educator with a over 30 years of experience. She was honored in 2011 as the Outstanding Faculty for Teaching by the School of Health Sciences.

Teaching Interests:

Intergenational family influence & culture, rural community program planning from a Systems of Care perspective

Research Interests:

Applied & participatory research and "Best Practices" in social work Influence of persistent poverty on rural communities & community sustainability


  • EDD, Adult & Higher Educational Administration, University of South Dakota, 1998
  • MSW, Masters in Social Work, University of Kentucky, 1985
  • BA, Sociology & Social Work, Eastern Kentucky University, 1979

Licensures and Certifications:

  • Certified Social Worker , SD Board of Social Work Examiners
  • CITI
  • Recertified CITI, USD Training sessions
  • Certified Social Worker, SD Board of Social Work Examiners
  • Recertified by CITI
  • Trauma Informed Social Work Practice, National Center for Social Work Trauma Education and Workforce Development
  • CITI Human Subject Research, University of Miami
  • Aging & Mental Health, North Dakota State University
  • Gero-Rich Curriculum Development Institute, CSWE
  • Licenced Certified Social Worker, South Dakota Board of Social Work Examiners


  • Rosebud Sioux Tribe Attorney General's Children Exposed to Violence Demonstration Program: Phase I, Dept. of Justice


  • Strategies for Health: An Interprofessional Game-based Approach to Teaching Social Determinants of Health, School of Health Sciences. Grant Role: Supporting. (2017 - 2018)
  • Physics of Atomic Nuclei, Sanford Research Center. Grant Role: Principal. (2015 - Present)
  • No-Cost Exdtension, Children's Bureau & NCWWI. (2013 - 2014)
  • Mental health literacy among rural older adults, University of South Dakota. Grant Role: Supporting. (2012 - 2013)
  • Tribal Supplement to the NCWWI, Children's Bureau. (2011 - Present)
  • South Dakota Child Welfare Training Project, National Child Welfare Workforce Institute. (2010 - 2013)
  • Midwest Sociological Society Grant for Research, Midwest Sociological Society. Grant Role: Co-Principal.


Citations listed below are presented in a standardized, modified format for display purposes only. They do not necessarily reflect the preferred style and conventions of the faculty member or discipline.

  • Feldhacker, Diana, Wesner, Chelsea, Yockey, Jean, Norris, Debra, and Larson, June. Strategies for Health: A Game-Based, Interprofessional Approach to Teaching Social Determinants of Health: A Randomized Controlled Pilot Study. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 2021. (DOI: 10.1080/13561820.2020.1850660)
  • Norris, Debra, Sevening, Diane, and Cochran, Carole. Suicide InfoGraphic..
  • Riebschleger, Joanne, Pierce, Barbera J., and Norris, Debra. Rural Child Welfare Practice. In Poverty, Pavement and Paying Attention: Rural Child Welfare Practice in the American Great Plains. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Riebschleger, Joanne, Pierce, Barb, and Norris, Debra. Rural Child Welfare Practice. In Cultural Humility with Rural Practice Wisdom. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2018.
  • Norris, Debra, and Aden-Ripperda, Deb. NCWWI BSW traineeship programs: Legacies & lessons learned.. Albany, NY: National Child Welfare Workforce Institute., 2013.
  • Norris, Debra, and LaPlante, Kathy. NCWWI tribal traineeship programs: Legacies & lessons learned.. Albany, NY: National Child Welfare Workforce Institute, 2013.
  • Nooney, Lori, Giomo-James, Elisabetta, Kindle, Peter A., Norris, Debra, Myers, Ryan, Tucker, Alyssa, and Stanley, Robert. Rural Food Pantry Users' Stigma and Safety Net Food Programs, 100-105. Vol. 5. Contemporary Rural Social Work, 2013.
  • , and Norris, Debra. Advanced Social Work Practice in Trauma. Alexandria, Virginia: Council on Social Work Education (CSWE Standards), 2012.
  • Lawler, Michael J., LaPlante, Kathy, Giger, Jarod T., and Norris, Debra. Overrepresentation of Native American children in foster care: An independent construct?. Edited by Yo Mo Lee, PhD, 95-110. Vol. 21, Iss. 2. London, UK: Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 2012. (DOI: 10.1080/15313204.2012.647344)
  • Norris, Debra, and Cochran, Carole. Organizing & Presenting Data: A How to Primer, 46. Iss. Revised. Vermillion, SD: SD Kids Count Network, 2011.
  • Norris, Debra, and , Charles S.. Needs Assessments: An Integrated Assignment in Civic Service, 373-382. Vol. 29. Journal of Teaching in Social Work, 2009.
  • Norris, Debra, Korkow, John, Johnson, Marni, Williams, Mandy, and Merrigan, Mary. Pat; the Veteran Case..
  • Riebschleger, Joanne, and Norris, Debra. Preparing social work students for rural child welfare practice:. Journal of Social Work Education.
  • Cross, Suzanne, Dry Water Whitekiller, Virginia, Norris, Debra, Caringi, James, Trautman, Ashleuy, and Holder, Lea Ann. NCWWI Tribal Traineeship Programs: Promoting diversity in the child welfare workforce. Journal of Social Work Education.
  • Norris, Debra. Trauma Informed Practice Bibliography. CSWE Taskforce on Trauma Informed Practice.
  • Norris, Debra, Van Osdel, Joanne, and Cochran, Carole. A Data Primer for InterProfessional Education..

Awards and Honors:

  • Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, School of Health Sciences, 2011
  • Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences, 2010
  • Who's Who, Madison, 2010
  • Who's Who Professionals, Madison, 2009
  • Whos Who in Teaching, Who's Who, 2005
  • Who's Who in Teaching, Who's Who, 2004


  • Yockey, Jean, Wesner, Chelsea, Larson, June, Norris, Debra. Strategies for Health: An Interprofessional Game for Teaching About the Social Determinants of Health. Presented at the SD Public Health Association Conference, Sioux Falls. (June 19, 2018)
  • Norris, Debra, Riebschleger, Joanne. Building Social Justice for Rural People: Preparing Social Work Students For Rural and Frontier Practice. Presented at the Rural Social Work Conference, Vermillion, SD. (July 2015)
  • Norris, Debra, Cochran, Carole. Data Driven Advocacy. Presented at the Rural Social Work Conference, University of South Dakota. (July 2015)
  • Norris, Debra. JDAI Training and Networking. Presented at the Circuit 1 JDAI, Vermillion, SD. (June 12, 2015)
  • Johnson, Marni, Williams, Mandy, Norris, Debra. PAT, One Veteran's Story: Strengthening Interprofessional Education. Presented at the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA) Convention, Orlando, FL. (November 22, 2014)
  • Norris, Debra, LaPlante, Kathy. Resilience & Circle of Courage: A Tool for Cultural Responsiveness. Presented at the Rural Social Work conference, Indiana. (July 2012)
  • Norris, Debra. Invited Panelist. Presented at the Annual NICW Conference, Scottsdale, AZ. (April 2012)
  • Norris, Debra. Integrated Theory & Practice. Presented at the 30th Annual BPD Conference , Portland, Oregon. (March 2012)
  • Norris, Debra, LaPlante, Kathy. Betwixt & Between Child Welfare in Rural SD. Presented at the 36th Annual Institute on Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas, Northwestern State University of Louisiana. (July 2011)
  • Norris, Debra. Invited Speaker Family Loss. Presented at the Annual Conference on Aging, Sioux City, IA. (August 2009)
  • Norris, Debra. Passing the Torch Women and Caregiving. Presented at the Red River Woman's Studies, Grand Forks, ND. (November 2007)
  • Smallfield, Stacy, Karges, Joy, Beulow, Janet, Norris, Debra. Promoting interdisciplinary health care for rural older adults: An interdisciplinary team training workshop. Presented at the Collaborating Across Borders: An American-Canadian Dialogue on Interprofessional Health Education, Minneapolis, MN. (October 2007)
  • Norris, Debra. Invited Panelist. Presented at the 23rd Annual Baccalaureate Social Work Education Conference, Austin, TX. (November 2005)
  • Norris, Debra, Schwartz, Charles. Civic Engagement and Curricular design. Presented at the 23rd Annual Meeting, BPD, Austin, TX. (November 2005)
  • Norris, Debra, Williams, Emily. Child Find. Presented at the International Meeting on Inuit and Native American Child Health, Seattle, WA. (April 2005)