Home » People » Lorraine M. Gutiérrez

Lorraine M. Gutiérrez

Associate Dean for Educational Programs in the School of Social Work


Lorraine M. Gutiérrez, Associate Dean for Educational Programs, has been on the faculty at the UM SSW since 1995. She was born and grew up in Los Angeles, CA and still considers it home. On her Gutiérrez side she is a 3rd generation Califorño, with roots going back to the time when the LA area was a Mexican colony. Her mother’s Muñoz side came to the USA through El Paso and into Texas over 100 years ago. She is learning more every day about her indigenous background which was never fully recognized or explored by either branch in the family tree. Her parents were both teachers in Los Angeles Unified Public Schools in East LA and they emphasized education and honoring family and community. Their commitment to Latinx and other BIPOC communities in their work and daily life has inspired all of the work she has done. Her father died when she was very young and she grew up in a single parent family. Although her parents were college educated, she experienced considerable financial hardship in childhood and early adulthood. She became financially independent from her family at 18 and had to make her own way financially through her BA, MSW, and PhD educations. Lorraine earned a BA in History from Stanford, an MSW from the University of Chicago, and a PhD in Social Work and Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation title was Ethnic Consciousness, Consciousness Raising and The Empowerment Process Of Latinos. It was based on theories and her practice as an MSW in New York City as a case manager, community educator, program developer, and activist. She continues to focus on how research and practice can inform each other. This has been carried out in research on youth development in the arts, creating diverse and equitable organizations and communities, education for diversity and justice, and social work education. Although she always dreams of being back in California, she has lived in Michigan for most of her adult life and brought up her two daughters, who now live in London (UK) and Ypsilanti, here. She currently lives in NE Ann Arbor with her husband Bob Peyser, a visual artist, and their dog Lupe/Lupita. She has learned to appreciate the changes in seasons, enjoys gardening and growing her own food, live music and theater performances, and singing with the Ann Arbor Civic Chorus.

Research Interests:

Empowerment-Oppressed Groups, Latinos, Social Justice