Rupa M. Khetarpal joined the School of Social Work as Assistant Professor of Teaching after 15 years of experience of clinical practice with survivors of trauma, both domestic and international including Africa, South Asia, Middle East, Balkan, Eastern Europe and Latin America. She is grateful to have the privilege of serving on this distinguished faculty and engaging with the School’s dynamic students. Her clinical practice has included working with survivors of torture, human trafficking, domestic violence, sexual violence and gender-based violence. She has also worked extensively on developing cross cultural competencies within various systems in responding to trauma survivors in New Jersey. Her primary professional interests include understanding gender based violence globally, cross cultural identities, resilience in traumatized populations, treatment of complex trauma, grief, loss and mourning and fostering the development of future social workers through education and supervision. She currently manages the MSW Violence Against Women and Children Certificate Program (VAWC-CP), that offers specialized education through the Center on Violence Against Women and Children, Rutgers University. She received her MSW from the Rutgers School of Social Work, was one of VAWC’s first scholarship recipient, and received the Most Outstanding Student in Direct Practice award.
Rupa was the former Director of the Cross Cultural Counseling Center, a mental health program for refugees and immigrants at the International Institute of New Jersey. She previously served as a psychosocial consultant with Doctors Without Borders/Medicene` Sans Frontiers (MSF) providing psychosocial support to the humanitarian aid workers. She maintains a private practice in Highland Park, New Jersey, where her clinical work is informed by the integration of a variety of frameworks including body oriented trauma therapies, cognitive behavioral interventions and the neuroscience of traumatic experience –with the understanding that the mind-body and spirit work in conjunction and are interdependent. She also conducts forensic psychological evaluations for immigration proceedings including Exceptional Hardship, Domestic Violence U visas, VAWA Self Petitions; and Political Asylum.