Betty Jean Curran
Adjunct Faculty, Institute for Human-Animal Connection
What I do
Betty Jean Curran is a Licensed Master Social Worker, educator, and writer with a passion for program design and evaluation. With a focus in trauma recovery, she is particularly interested in programs that integrate human-animal-environment interactions in ethical and sustainable ways. After graduating from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Social Work with her MSW and Animal-Assisted Social Work certificate, Betty Jean worked as the Director of Student Services at EPEC’s The Grooming Project, a job training program in the art of dog grooming for parents caught in the generational cycle of poverty. While her main job at EPEC was to work closely with students, case managers and community partners to provide intensive wrap-around social services, programming, and “soft skills” training to help students address barriers to personal and financial stability, part of her role at EPEC was to help the organization become more intentional about developing curricula and programs that elevate the therapeutic role of the human animal bond.
Prior to graduating from GSSW, Betty Jean interned at the Institute for Human Animal Connection where she partnered with the City of Denver’s Office of Behavioral Strategies and many agencies serving Denver’s homeless population to develop creative programs that integrate the therapeutic aspects of the human-animal bond in homeless outreach services. She also worked closely with IHAC’s research team on the extensive documentation of Green Chimneys, a cutting-edge therapeutic farm and residential / day school in Brewster, New York.
Betty Jean also holds an M.A. in Literature and Cultural Studies from Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS and a B.A./ B.S in Literature and Psychology from Avila University in Kansas City, MO.