Amy B. Wheeler

Hometown: Middlesboro, Kentucky

Undergraduate Institution and Major: James Madison University, Bachelor of Social Work

Graduate Institution and Major: University of Kentucky, Master of Social Work (Community and Family Practice emphasis)

Bio: Amy knew from the beginning of her academic career she wanted to become an advocate for the vulnerable.  Her experience in social work is diverse: from child protection investigator to a medical social worker, educator, and mental health therapist.  She has continually worked to gain a better understanding of the needs of families and individuals.  Although she has spent the majority of her career working in rural, Appalachian counties in Kentucky and Tennessee, she has experience working with multiple populations.  She has found the most enjoyment working with Veterans, LGBTQ+, and victims of sexual assault and/or intimate partner violence.  In her last position prior to joining UIS she was a therapist at a small private university providing treatment to undergraduates, professional students, faculty and staff.  In that position she also dedicated time to educating the campus and local schools on multiple mental health topics, and developed university wide programming to combat sexual assault and dating violence.


Relevant Experience: Amy joined the Child Protection Training Academy at University of Illinois Springfield as the Lead Facilitator in October 2017 and is also an adjunct instructor in the Child Advocacy Studies Certification Program at UIS.  She brings over 20 years of social work practice and advocacy with vulnerable populations.

Research Interests: Community improvement programs, trauma informed practices, ACE outcomes and resiliency building, mandated reporter collaboration as it relates to cohesive partnerships, vicarious trauma and self-care practices, and ways to improve child welfare professionals’ documentation.

Professional Affiliations: Illinois LCSW 2017, formerly licensed in Kentucky 2012 and Tennessee 2014