Nancy Bothne

Nancy Bothne

Department Faculty
  • Assistant Professor

    Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program

  • The Chicago School Chicago
Clinical Psychology
The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
Office Location
Office Phone
On-campus Ext.

I began working for the American Civil Liberties Union in Tennessee shortly after college, using restrictions tied to receipt of federal monies to challenge racial discrimination in rural communities throughout the state.  I subsequently worked for the ACLU in Illinois as their lobbyist, for a national farmworker organization, and eventually worked for Amnesty International USA as the Midwest Regional Director.  Throughout my career, I equivocated between 2 kinds of responses to human need.  Most of my work uses policy and advocacy strategies to change the systems that perpetuate human rights abuses and marginalize people.  At the same time that I engaged in these systems-based strategies, however, I was ever mindful of the immediate needs of people who suffered from poverty, hunger, lack of education and opportunity.  It is important to me to try to address real-time needs while also challenging the conditions that create those needs.

Teaching provides the opportunity to engage in both.  I work with students to enable to think about interventions at systemic and individual levels.  The discipline of psychology enables us to think about individual and collective thoughts, emotions and behaviors.  I encourage students to think about interventions at multiple levels that can meet immediate needs, and to also think about how to develop systemic interventions that can challenge the conditions that result in poor mental, physical and emotional health.

My research has also evolved from the experiences I’ve had as an advocate.  Working for Amnesty International, I met many people who were removed from their families and countries and were recovering from torture.  I wondered how communities, and not only individuals, could recover from the trauma that results from government policies that use torture against their own people.  This led to my examination of the ways in which men and women torture survivors relate to communities here in the United States, and how that compares to experiences in their countries or origin.

  • Ph.D., Community Psychology, 2012
    Certificate in Women and Gender Studies
    DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois

  • Certificate in International Human Rights, 1997
    International Institute of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France

  • Master of Science in Communications, 1993
    Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 

  • Bachelor of Arts, Human Services, 1979
    University of Tennessee at Knoxville, Knoxville, Tennessee


Community Psychology is not licensed.

Areas Of Expertise

Professional Memberships

  • Psychologists for Social Responsibility
  • Society for Community Research and Action, APA Division 27
  • Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues


  • Bothne, N.J. & Fabri, M.  (2012). Dialogical teaching: Promoting intellectual and emotional learning.  World Learning Symposium: Conflict, memory, and reconciliation: Bridging past, present, and future.  Kigali, Rwanda.

  • Bothne, N.J. & Keys, C.  (2011). Human rights based-advocacy: A strategy for community empowerment.  Presentation as part of a panel on Elevating voices of the historically marginalized: Empowerment at the community, organizational, and individual levels.  Society for Community Research and Action 13th Biennial Conference, Chicago, IL.

  • Bothne, N. J. (2011).  Developing a consultation group for research with vulnerable populations.  Presentation as part of a panel on Innovative approaches for engaging communities in research.  Society for Community Research and Action 13th Biennial Conference, Chicago, IL.

  • Bothne, N. J.  (2010). A psychological sense of community as experienced among immigrant survivors of torture.  Third International Conference on Community Psychology.  Puebla, Mexico.

  • Bothne, N.J., Carillo, A., Francescato, D., Keys, C. & Sonn, C.  (2010.)  Global contexts of a psychological sense of community.  Third International Conference on Community Psychology.  Puebla, Mexico.

  • Bothne, N.J, Dyson, V., Moore, N. & Velasquez-Kenefick, K.  (2010). Opportunities for International Community Engagement from the U.S.-based classroom.  Third International Conference on Community Psychology.  Puebla, Mexico.

  • Bothne, N. J.  (March, 2010).  International Human Rights as a Basis for Community Engagement.  International Technology, Education and Development Conference, Valencia, Spain.


  • Manuscripts in preparation

    • Bothne, N. J. & Keys, C.  (2014).  An ecological examination of community life of immigrant survivors of torture. 

    • Bothne, N. J. & Keys, C.  (2014).  A sense of community among immigrant survivors of torture.

    • Bothne, N. J. & Keys, C. (2014).  Community empowerment using a human rights framework: A case study of Cabrini Green.

  • Published Articles
    • Rosing, H., Reed, S., Ferrari, J. R., & Bothne, N. J. (2010). “Tell me what to do at the site!” Understanding student complaints in the service learning pedagogy.  American Journal of Community Psychology, 46(3/4), 472-481

    • Porter, N.S., Jason, L.A., Boulton, A., Bothne, N., & Coleman, B. (2010). Alternative medical interventions used in the treatment and management of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 16 (3). 235 – 249.

    • Bothne, N.  (2006). Ethics of sharing stories of survivors of torture.  The Community Psychologist. Summer edition.

    • Bothne, N.  (2006)  Human rights need no introduction.  The Community Psychologist. Fall edition.