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Michael Rank - USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work. Los Angeles, CA, US

Michael Rank Michael Rank

Clinical Associate Professor of Social Work | USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work


Dr. Rank specializes in military social work and traumatic stress.


Michael Rank is a clinical associate professor at the Virtual Academic Center. Previously, he served as director of the school's San Diego Academic Center. He has been affiliated with the USC Center for Innovation and Research on Veterans & Military Families since January 2011. From 1995 to 2010, he was a tenured associate professor at the University of South Florida School of Social Work.

Rank is a Vietnam War veteran, having served as an infantryman in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1970. He spent 10 years as a state parole agent in Pennsylvania; directed family advocacy and Children Have a Potential (CHAP) programs for the U.S. Air Force; was a team leader for a Veterans Administration Vet Center program; and was director of employee assistance programs for Family Service America. He has designed and implemented domestic violence programs for perpetrators and survivors, and has conducted many critical incident stress debriefings following bank robberies, most notably for Bank of America (formerly Nations Bank) and the United States Postal Service. He has consulted for international programs of social work, most notably that at Kuwait University, and currently consults for domestic programs of social work regarding curriculum development and accreditation issues.

His research interests include virtual education, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic stress, bioterrorism, compassion fatigue, military social work, veterans’ issues, motivational interviewing, personality disorders, incarcerated fathers, and academic leadership and reaccreditation. He has created a bioterrorism training protocol for mental health preparedness funded by the Department of the Army.

Rank is cofounder of the International Association of Trauma Professionals. He has presented numerous workshops, trainings and seminars about autonomic arousal, military social work, veterans’ issues, the psychological effects of biological and chemical disasters, critical incident stress debriefing, traumatic stress, PTSD, compassion fatigue, fatherhood, motivational interviewing and academic leadership. His publications include articles about military social work, PTSD, compassion fatigue, bioterrorism, traumatic stress, critical incident stress debriefing, academic leadership and accreditation, fatherhood, and resistance to change.

Education (3)

University of South Carolina: PhD, Social Work 1995

Bryn Mawr College: MA, Social Work 1975

Bloomsbury University.: BA, Sociology 1972

Areas of Expertise (2)

Military Social Work

Mental Health

Industry Expertise (2)



Accomplishments (3)

Outstanding Service for San Diego Women’s Week (professional)

Awarded by the State of California Senate.

Social Work Educator of the Year (professional)

Awaded by the National Association of Social Workers, Florida Chapter.

Social Work Educator of the Year (professional)

Awarded by the National Association of Social Workers, Tampa Bay Unit.


Research Articles & Publications (3)

Combat Stress Control and Prevention: What Can Be Learned from an Application of Workplace Behavioral Health in a Deployed Combat Environment?

Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health

2010 This article details a Combat Stress Control and Prevention (CSCP) team's tour during Operation Iraqi Freedom. It highlights the similarities between battlefield and Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) behavioral health care methods and practices. A CSCP team's mission is to provide battle-front direct mental health services to commanders and combatants via consultation, education, advocacy ...

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Nonhuman-Animal Care Compassion Fatigue

Best Practices in Mental Health

2009 Using an exploratory design, this three-phased research study investigated the effectiveness of a manualized nonhuman-animal care compassion fatigue training module on the compassion fatigue symptoms of volunteer participants as measured by three separate instruments. A total of fifty-seven nonhuman-animal care professionals (NACP) attended three trainings. The results indicate that the ...

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The Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in an Extended Care Psychiatric Rehabilitation Program


2008 This research study intended to determine which patient diagnostic group benefited most from an extended care psychiatric rehabilitation program (Program). Archival data were used to assess the completion rates among those subjected to one or more of the Program's treatment modalities. A correlational design was used to determine whether demographic or diagnostic variables were ...

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