Lisa Borchardt, C.M.S.W., L.M.H.P., L.C.S.W.

Contact Information

Lisa Borchardt, C.M.S.W., L.M.H.P., L.C.S.W.
Professor of Social Work
Undergraduate Program Director
Loss, Death & Grief; Family Violence; LGBTQIA2S+
lborchar [at]
Social Work
Office location

Smith-Curtis 340D

"As an educator, it is imperative that I understand that students learn at different rates and that it is my job to effectively reach each student by utilizing a variety of teaching techniques and modalities in the classroom. It is important that students understand that it is okay to agree to disagree and that all comments are valued and respected. We can learn from each other and grow intellectually, professionally and personally by integrating life encounters, knowledge and skills into the classroom experience."


Lisa Borchardt began teaching in the Sociology/Anthropology/Social Work department as an adjunct instructor at Nebraska Wesleyan University in the Spring 2000 semester. She was hired as an Assistant Professor & Field Director of Social Work at Nebraska Wesleyan University in August 2002. Since then she has become a tenured faculty member and promoted to Full Professor of Social Work. In 2009 she was named Program Director of the Social Work Program. The Social Work Program became its own Department in Spring 2011. Lisa served as the Department Chair from the Department's inception until fall 2013. Professor Borchardt will again assume the role of Undergraduate Program Director Fall 2020. She also serves as teaching faculty in the Gender & Sexuality Studies Department at Nebraska Wesleyan University.

Lisa’s practice and research interests include; Loss, Grief & Death, Disaster Mental Health & Crisis Response, Child Abuse, Child Protection & Safety, Diversity Issues, Domestic Violence, and Prevention Programs. She has spent 31 years in the field as a social worker advocating for, empowering and educating individuals in various roles (Case Manager, Counselor, Psychotherapist, Program Director, Training Coordinator, & Professor).

Professor Borchardt has traveled to Canada, Singapore and Thailand to study teaching strategies, techniques and program assessments of poverty alleviation projects. She has received funding through the Ameritas Faculty Fellowship, White International Funds and Faculty Development Grants. Lisa has studied with Dr. Alan Wolfelt at his Center for Loss and Life Transition in Fort Collins, CO.

Lisa's current research interest includes loss and grief in sports and the Yazidi population. During the 2017-2018 academic year Lisa conducted an IRB approved research study about loss, grief, and strengths in the lives of the student athlete at NWU. "Loss in Division III Sports: A Photovoice Narrative of Loss and Grief in Student-Athletes at Nebraska Wesleyan University" produced eight themes from the study providing insight for faculty, staff, coaches, student-athletes, and parents. Lisa was accepted to present her innovative research at the Alliance of Social Workers in Sports Annual Conference in Orlando, Fl., she was named the NWU 2018-2019 Faculty Scholar of the Year, and continues to present her research locally and regionally at conferences, to civic organizations, sports teams & coaches, and constituents on campus.

In the fall of 2019 Lisa collaborated with Dr. Michelle Johnson, RN, conducting a research project with Yazidi women. The IRB approved research study, "Exploring Linking Objects and the Mourning Process Experienced by Yazidi Women" produced four themes (transgenerational fear, being silenced, equality & freedom, and new life) providing great insight into the ways health care professionals can work together on interdisciplinary teams to support individuals in this population on their grief journeys. Professor Borchardt & Dr. Johnson were accepted to present their research at the 2020 North American Refugee Health Conference.




Lisa Borchardt, MSW, LMHP, LCSW
M.S.W., University of Denver, 1997
B.S., Nebraska Wesleyan University, 1992
Licensed Mental Health Practitioner, State of Nebraska, 2000-present
Certified Master Social Worker, State of Nebraska, 2000-present

Courses taught

SOCWK 1150 Introduction to Social Work
SOCWK 1200 Life Lessons
SOCWK & GEND 2350 Family Violence Across the Lifespan
SOCWK 2410 Loss, Death & Grief
SOCWK 2900 Living.Loving.Losing.
SOCWK 3080 Micro Practice
SOCWK 3090 Group Practice

SOCWK 3910 Independent Advanced Readings
SOCWK 3960 Special Projects
SOCWK 4970 Field Practicum

SOC 1120 Social Problems
SOC 1350 Sociology of the Family
SOC 3950 Group Dynamics

IDS 1010 Raise Your Voice
IDS 1010 Celebrating Life and Preparing for Loss

Research and academic interests

Campus Involvement:

*Faculty Evaluation Committee, 2018-2021
*Title IX Deputy Coordinator, 2016-2017
*Academic Freedom Committee, 2013-2017
*Academic Planning Committee, 2012-2013 & 2020-present
*Vice President, Faculty Affairs Committee, 2011-2013
*NWU Board of Governors, 2011-2013
*Faculty Council, 2011-2013
*Strategic Planning & Priorities Committee, 2011-2013
*Campus Search Committees: Provost (2007-2008 & 2003-2004), Dean of Students (2008-2009), Social Work (2022, 2018, 2012 & Chaired 2010), Sociology (2004, 2005 & 2006), Psychology (2004-2005), Librarian (2016), Director of Counseling Services (2015)
*Faculty Advisor to Plains Pride, 2007-2010
*Student Affairs Senate, Faculty Representative, 2007-2008
*Faculty Affairs Committee, 2005-2007 (secretary 2006)
*President's Commission on Women, 2005-2008
*Faculty member, Gender & Sexuality Studies Department, 2004-present
*President's Council on Cultural Diversity, 2004-2009
*University Judiciary, 2003-2007
*Social Work Advisory Council, 2002-present
*Social Work Executive Council, 2002-present
*Campus Resource Person: Sexual Assault, Sexual Orientation & Sexual Harassment, 2002-present
*Academic Advisor, 2002-present

Service interests

Volunteer, United Way of Lincoln/Lancaster County, 2022-present
Presenter, Nebraska Safety Council, 2010-present
Volunteer, Mourning Hope Grief Center, 2010-2012
Board Member, Tri-Mentoring Advisory Board, Lincoln Public Schools, 2009-2010
Board Member, Nebraska State Foster Care Review Board, 2007-2010, (Appointed by Governor Heineman)
Task Force Member, Nebraska Child Death Review Task Force, 2006-2007, (Appointed by Governor Johanns)

Professional and community affiliations, certifications and awards

Social Worker of the Year, 2020, National Association of Social Workers, Nebraska Chapter
Most influential Faculty Award, Nominee, 2020
Faculty Scholarship Award, 2019
Margaret J. Prouty Teaching Award, Nominee, 2017
Inspire Award Nominee, Celebrating Women's Leadership, 2016
Hometown Social Worker Award, National Association of Social Workers, Nebraska Chapter, 2014
Advocate of Women's Issues Award, Nebraska Wesleyan University, 2010
Advocate for Diversity Award, Nebraska Wesleyan University, 2010 & 2003
Social Worker of the Year, SE Region, 2009, National Association of Social Workers, Nebraska Chapter
Popular Professor, Lincoln Journal Star, 2005

Member, Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society, Iota Rho Chapter, 2012-present
Member, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, Nebraska Wesleyan University, 2007-present
Member, Phi Alpha National Honor Society, Iota Zeta Chapter, 2002-present
Member, Council on Social Work Education, 2002-present
Member, Baccalaureate Program Directors, 2002-present
Member, National Association of Social Workers, 1998-present