Skip to main content


Zoë Kessler, PhD, Professor at the School of Social Work at Salem State University (USA), defended her PhD thesis titled “Making new lives after exiting care: social orphans in Latvia” in 2021. She is currently a Fulbright scholar at RSU Department of Welfare and Social Work, where she continues her research on the deinstitutionalisation process in Latvia including the life stories and life trajectories of young people who have lived in orphanages. When asked about the origins of her interest in social work, Kessler reveals that her personal experience working on the front lines of social work was the driving factor in building her career as a social worker.