Rachael Dietkus is a macro-focused licensed clinical social worker dedicated to trauma-conscious and trauma-responsive practices in design. After a 10-year career working with social justice and human rights non-profits, she pursued her MSW and worked at Veterans Affairs across the patient advocacy, planning and construction, and housing and homelessness arenas. Since 2016, she has been working in higher education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – first as the Assistant Dean at the School of Social Work, and currently as the Associate Director of Programs at the new Siebel Center for Design.
She has served as an AmeriCorps member with the Red Cross, an NGO delegate to the Human Rights Council, and is a Governor-appointed statewide Commissioner with the Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service. In 2020, Rachael also launched Social Workers Who Design, an advisory service focused on integrating ethical practices and trauma-responsive approaches in design. She is a two-time alumna from UIUC and is currently working on her MFA focused on trauma-informed design within the Design for Responsible Innovation track.