Dawn Matera Bassett

Degree: Ph.D., MSW, LCSW


Department: Social Work

Dawn Matera Bassett


Education Psychology/Mental Health Social Work Trauma


  • Mental and Behavioral Health Across the Lifespan
  • Policy
  • First Generation Students and Higher Education
  • Secondary and Vicarious Trauma in Clinical and Child Welfare Workforce
  • Barriers and Building Access to Services in Rural and Underserved Areas


Dawn R. Matera Bassett, Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Social Work at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Her areas of expertise focus on effecting change on the micro, mezzo, and macro level of social work. She currently teaches courses in social policy analysis and field experience.

She worked as an adjunct faculty in the graduate school of social work at The University of Denver before coming to teach at MSU Denver in 2004.

Bassett has a strong stance in helping to improve the efficacy of service provided to children, adolescents, and families. Her most recent projects include, HRSA Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training for Professionals and THRIVE vicarious trauma training and consultation initiative with the Colorado Department of Human Services. In her latest pieces, she co-authored an article, “’Your sour feels a little bruised’: Forensic interviewers’ experiences of vicarious trauma.” She also co-authored with Middleton Harris the paper on “Effects of an expressive art interventions with low income, urban youth” and has several other publications.

Bassett received her master’s and a doctorate in social work from the University of Denver and a bachelor’s in Music with an emphasis in Music Therapy from Radford University.

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