J’May Rivara was first appointed a School of Social Work lecturer in 1985 while working as associate director of social work at the UW Medical Center. From 1985 to 2007, she taught courses in advanced health care practice. Since 2011, she has been a co-facilitator of the Carol LaMare Seminar with social work professor Taryn Lindhorst and is the field education (practicum) liaison for the the Carol LaMare Scholars Program.
Rivara graduated in 1975 from the Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. From 1975 to 1995, she was a clinical social worker, manager and researcher in health care settings in Boston, Massachusetts; Hazard, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee, and Seattle, Washington. She also served as a practicum instructor and on the field education faculty at the University of Kentucky, University of Tennessee and the University of Washington.
Her teaching and research focus on family functioning, chronic illness, pediatric traumatic brain injury, and the impact of field education on student learning. Since 1995, she has been a full time lecturer in the School of Social Work Office of Field Education. She served as co-director of the practicum program from 2007 to 2009. She has been the field faculty lead for the School's health care concentration since 1995. Each year she is the liaison for 60 to 80 students who are placed primarily in hospital and health care sites.
Rivara also holds an appointment as adjunct lecturer in the UW School of Public Health (MPH) and has served as faculty advisor for School of Social Work concurrent MSW/MPH students since 1995. She also serves on the Interprofessional Education Committee of UW Health Sciences.