Jessica Retrum

Degree: Ph.D.

Chair and Associate Professor

Department: Social Work

Jessica Retrum


Aging/Gerontology Issues Psychology/Mental Health Social Work


  • Aging
  • Social Isolation in Later Life
  • Mental Health in Later Life
  • Social Network Analysis
  • Inter-Organizational Partnerships
  • Palliative Care Social Work
  • Hospice Social Work
  • Social Work With Older People
  • Loss
  • Family Therapy
  • Social Work


Jessica Retrum, Ph.D., is the chair of the Department of Social Work at Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Retrum has eight years of clinical social work experience in health and mental health related settings, including hospice, home inpatient care, in-home therapy and developmental disabilities. She was a recipient of the John A. Hartford Foundation Pre-Dissertation Award in 2006. Through her own research and affiliation with the Institute of Gerontology from 2005-2009, Retrum worked with many community non-profit organizations that serve the social, health and mental health needs of older adults and their families. She was also the partner postdoctoral fellow in Public Health Systems and Service Research (funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) at the University of Colorado Denver, School of Public Affairs from 2010-2013.

Her research background includes addressing the needs of underserved at at-risk isolated seniors; LGBT seniors using support to age in neighborhoods; and geriatric social work. She served as lead researcher for the AARP’s “Framework for Isolation in Adults Over 50.”

Retrum received her doctorate in social work from University of Denver in 2010, master of social work from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997 and bachelor of social work from Illinois State University in 1996.

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