Ann Petrila

Ann T. Petrila

Professor of the Practice, Coordinator of Global Initiatives, Director of Global Practice Bosnia

  • Faculty

What I do

Broadening our worldview leads to a greater understanding of social justice issues around the globe. We are challenged to examine our personal and collective responsibility for vulnerable populations everywhere while at the same time being inspired by human resilience.


civic and community engagement, culturally-responsive practice, environment, international social work/global practice, social justice, trauma, violence, field education

Professional Biography

Professor of the Practice of Social Work Ann Petrila is GSSW's coordinator for global initiatives and the coordinator of the sustainable development and global practice (SDGP) concentration. She is also the director of Global Practice Bosnia, the oldest international service-learning internship at the University of Denver. She currently teaches in the foundation curriculum as well as focusing on GSSW's programs in Bosnia, including a specialty in genocide and crimes against humanity. Petrila served as GSSW's associate dean for field education for 13 years.

Petrila's previous teaching and community work focused on children's mental health, child maltreatment, the foster care system's impact on children and families, and psychosocial issues in the health care delivery system. She was the coordinator of the clinical social work department at Denver Children's Hospital. She also served as the social work director for the Fostering Healthy Futures program at the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect. As a faculty member at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Petrila taught in the pediatrics department's genetic counseling program.


  • MPA, University of Denver Graduate School of Business & Public Management, 1982
  • MSW, Social Work, University of Denver GSSW, 1982
  • BA, Psychology, University of Denver, 1979