GMU Logo

Dennis Ritchie, MSW, PhD

Department of Social Work

Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie is a Professor in the Department of Social Work. His formal education and practice experience bridge the fields of social work and special education. He has a Ph.D. in Special Education and Rehabilitation with a concentration in Emotional Disturbance from Syracuse University, an MSW with a concentration in Health from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BA in Liberal Arts from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.  Practice experience includes providing consultation, education, and direct services in school settings and over the past 21 years he has been actively involved in international social work with a special interest in participatory action research and the linkage between social work and human rights. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Costa Rica, Vytautas Magnus University in Lithuania, and the National Autonomous University of Honduras as a Senior Fulbright Scholar.  He has held a number of professional leadership positions in the USA related to international social work  (e.g., Council on Social Work Education Global Commission and Chair of its Council on Global Learning, Research and Practice; Chair of the National Association of Social Workers International Committee; and Co-Chair of the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors International Committee). He served on the national peer review committee for all faculty Fulbright Scholar applications, across all disciplines, to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean from 2008 to 2011.  He is the GMU faculty representative to the Council for the International Exchange of Scholars and Faculty Fulbright Programs. Dennis' scholarship includes collaborative research and education with Latin American and GMU colleagues focusing on issues related to child and family welfare and children's and women's rights. 


  • PhD, Emotional Disturbance/Special Education and Rehabilitation, 1981
  • MSW, University of Pennsylvania, 1976
  • BA, Liberal Arts, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1971