Judith Rocha
Ph.D., MSW
MSW Director of Field Education and Assistant Professor
Social Work
College of Arts and Sciences
(773) 442-4763 (office)
Dementia family caregiver well-being; Alzheimer’s disease in the Latinx/a/o community; Art benefits in the elder population; Social Work Field Education.
Courses Taught
SWK 415: Foundation Field Practicum I
SWK 416: Foundation Field Practicum II
SWK 495: Advanced Field Practicum I
SWK 496: Advanced Field Practicum II
Research Interests
Culturally responsive practices & interventions; the Chicago-based Mexican experience

Ph.D., Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago

MSW, Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago

BSW, Social Work, University of Illinois at Chicago

Selected Publications

Jaldin, M.A., Balbim, G.M., Colin, S.J., Marques, I.G., Mejia, J., Magallanes, M., Rocha, J.S., & Marquez, D.X. (In Press). The influence of Latino cultural values on the perceived caregiver role of family members with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Ethnicity & Health. DOI: 10.1080/13557858.2022.2115018.

Balbim, G.M., Marques, I.G., Cortez, C., Magallanes, M., Rocha, J., Marquez, D.X. (2019). Coping strategies utilized by middle-aged and older Latino caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia. Journal of Cross Cultural Gerontology 34(4) 355-371. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10823-019-09390-8.

Magaña, S. M., & Rocha, J. S. (2016, March 1). Aging in a Latino World [Review of the book Latinos in an Aging World: Social, Psychological and Economic Perspectives, by R. J. Angel & J. L. Angel]. The Gerontologist, 56(2), 372-374. doi:10.1093/geront/gnw041

O’Grady, C., & Rocha, J. S. (2016). Social work practice with Latinos: A review of the literature. TS Cuadernos de Trabajo Social No 15. Retrieved from http://www.tscuadernosdetrabajosocial.cl/index.php/TS/article/view/95  

Selected Exhibitions

Rocha, J. S. (2019). ¡Oh! ¿Y ahora quien podrá ayudarnos? An aging society and its reliance on caregiving. Invited keynote presentation at the Latino Social Worker Organization Conference, Chicago, IL.

Rocha, J. S. (2017). By Caring for Myself: A Promotora Intervention for Latino Families of Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. In R. Shaffert (Chair), Family support spotlight: Supporting caregivers, expressive art and parents with disabilities. Oral presentation at The Arc National Convention, San Diego, CA.

Rocha, J. S. (2017). Caring of Caregivers Organically (CoCO): Health Education for Latina Family Caregivers of Persons with Alzheimer’s Disease or Dementia – Phase I Findings. Oral presentation at the Latin American Studies Association Conference, Lima, Peru.

Rocha, J. S. (2016). Predictors of Depression in Latina Mothers of Youth and Adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: An Overview of Baseline Data for a Health Promotion Intervention. Poster presentation at the Society of Social Work and Research Annual Conference, Washington, DC.


Dra. Judith Susan Rocha is an assistant professor of Social Work and currently serves as the Interim Program Director of the Master's of Social Work program at NEIU. As a proud Chicago Public Schools alumna, she is a strong believer and advocate for quality public education. All her social work degrees were completed at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Jane Addams College of Social Work. As a Mexicana born in Chicago and raised in the Little Village and Gage Park neighborhoods (both Chicago working class ethnic enclaves), by a hard-working single mother and loving older siblings, all Mexican-born; Dra. Rocha has always been interested in helping Latinx/a/o families navigate systems in order to have full access to a more just and prosperous life. 

Her work in the last 25+ years has included parenting education and counseling for children and families on the Southwest and Southeast sides of Chicago, where resources are oftentimes few and opportunities for a higher quality of life can be challenging to reach. With input from dementia family caregivers, content area experts, service providers and other stakeholders, she developed Caring of Caregivers Organically (CoCO), a culturally responsive health education program for Latinas that are caring for a family member with dementia. The intervention aims to address the higher risk of developing health conditions such as depression and reduced overall health in this population. As a former caregiver herself, providing care for her mother who lived with diagnosed Alzheimer’s disease for 16 years, there is a personal passion and commitment to this work. She is invested in finding practical ways for family members to provide care to someone with this complex disease, to stay healthy. Included in her service to the community is a program called La BROCHA which she co-founded, that carries out free art workshops and activities for the Latinx community with a focus on elders 60 years of age and older. More recently, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, she began co-facilitating the support group ANCLA for Spanish-speaking individuals that provide care to a loved one living with dementia. 

Social work is not only a career for her but a way of life. She started as an aviation flight major at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1995, never imagining the heights she would reach in the Social Work field as a Ph.D., a couple decades later, in her beloved city of Chicago.

Social work is not only a career for her but a way of life. She started as an aviation flight major at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1995, never imagining the heights she would reach in the Social Work field as a Ph.D., a couple decades later, in her beloved city of Chicago.

Additional Information

Licensed Clinical Social Work – Illinois

(773) 442-4763 (office)
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