Debora Ortega


Director, University of Denver Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship

Professional Biography

Professor Debora Ortega serves as director of the University of Denver Latino Center for Community Engagement and Scholarship, an interdisciplinary group of faculty members who engage in scholarship, research and service for the benefit of the Latino community. She also conducts research and teaches multicultural social work courses at GSSW.

Ortega has authored and co-authored numerous journal articles, book chapters and grant reports, and she has given presentations at state, regional, national and international conferences.

Her many grant-funded projects include private provider training, programs to assist youth transitioning from foster care, evaluation of a juvenile mediation project and a three-year effort to develop models of effective child welfare with Hispanic families.

Ortega received the 2007–08 Outstanding Faculty Award from the University’s Center for Multicultural Excellence. In Denver, she serves on the Mayor’s Commission on Early Childhood Education.

Academic and Research Interests

  • social work with Latinos/as
  • child welfare
  • foster care
  • culturally responsive practice
  • race-related stress and family therapy