Courses Taught

SOWK 557:
Human-Animal Interventions: Grief and Loss
(Colorado State University)

I developed this course in the Spring of 2021, and have taught this course for two years (Summer 2021, Summer 2022). This course teaches knowledge, values, and skills to engage, assess, and intervene with those experiencing animal-related grief and loss, as well as provide an overview of how animals can mitigate grief and loss.

A unique characteristic of this course is that I give students full control over what they wish to do for their final project. Specifically, I ask students to synthesize, formulate and communicate information about a grief and loss topic of their choice. However, the population, content, and format are their choice. From infographics on equine-assisted therapy to children’s books and board games about loss, I am continuously impressed by students’ incredible displays of creativity during these projects. Click here to view an archive of these student projects.

SOWK 600: Methods of Research
(Colorado State University)

I am teaching this course in Fall of 2022, and have enjoyed sharing my passion for research with graduate-level social work students. This course teaches students to deliver evidence-based practice as well as conduct research to improve social work practice and policy by being effective consumers of research for social work practice. The course aims to provide students with an understanding of research methodology including theory, experimental designs, sampling, measurement, and research ethics.

Sample Student Quotes

“Dr. Rodriguez was great. She is very professional, organized, and clear in her expectations. Very kind and supportive, very approachable.”

“Kerri was very responsive to any questions or help I needed, and very supportive.”

“Professor Rodriguez is wonderful. I loved getting to be in class with her! The topics were terrific, you can tell her passion and empathy, and the assignments really helped promote understanding.”

Guest Lectures

Spring 2022Research Applications and Statistics (SWK 4310), Metropolitan State University of Denver, Denver, CO
(40 Undergraduate Students) “Emerging science on the human-dog relationship”  
Fall 2021Companion Animals in Society (PSYCH 75000) Hunter College, New York City, NY (12 Graduate Students) “PTSD service dogs for military veterans – What are they, and are they effective?”  
Spring 2020  Understanding the Human-Animal Bond (ADVS 59000), Utah State University School of Veterinary Medicine, Logan, UT (15 Veterinary Students) “Service dogs, therapy dogs, emotional support dogs, oh my!”  
Spring 2020  Autism Spectrum Disorder Seminar (HONR 39900), Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN (13 Undergraduate Students) “How can animals help children with autism spectrum disorder?”  
Fall 2019, Fall 2020Seminar in Human-Animal Interaction (SLWK 791), Virginia Commonwealth University School of Social Work, Richmond, VA (15 Graduate Students) “PTSD Service Dogs for Military Veterans”  
Fall 2019Understanding Autism (HDFS 41800), Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN College of Health and Human Sciences, Department of Human Development and Family Studies. West Lafayette, IN (80 Undergraduate Students) “Animal-assisted intervention for autism spectrum disorder”