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Dr. Kelly Rhoades
Chairperson and Professor
B.A.A., Central Michigan University
M.A., Ph.D., Michigan State University

Dr. Rhoades completed her Ph.D. in 1994 at Michigan State University in Family Ecology with an emphasis in Family Therapy. She began working specifically with grieving families within hospice bereavement programs in 1987. Dr. Rhoades focused her doctoral course of study on grieving family dynamics and the healing potential of transformative grief.

During the past 20 years, Dr. Rhoades has worked in a variety of hospices as a direct care bereavement counselor and consultant. Dr. Rhoades began teaching at Madonna University in the Hospice and Palliative Studies Department in 1995 and became the Chair in 1999. She was instrumental in helping to create the Hospice master’s degree in 1996, and her vision to offer graduate course work in Bereavement became a reality in 2000 with the creation of the Post-Master’s Bereavement Certificate. As an online and on-campus offering, the certificate prepares students to conduct high-risk assessment and intervention with families where complicated grief and trauma may be involved.

Dr. Rhoades believes her greatest accomplishment is sharing the responsibilities with her spouse for raising their daughter.  Dr. Rhoades enjoys teaching graduate courses in bereavement theory and family systems theory, and oversees graduate students in field placements and research activities. She is also pleased to announce the publication (2009) of a story book about children’s grief with useful tips for adults. Her hobbies include freelance writing and photography, and walking her English Setter.

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