Susannah Lepley

Susannah Lepley

Office Phone: (540) 432-4639


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: UC 230


  • 2000 Master of Arts (Peace Studies) Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
  • 1994 Bachelor of Arts (Biology) Goshen College


September 2010 Co-author of a chapter of Transitional Social Work Practice “New Practice Frontiers: Current and Future Social Work with Transmigrants” Edited by Nalini Junko Negi and Rich Furman. Columbia University Press.

Church, Community and Professional Service

2009 – 2013 Blue Ridge Area Health Education Center – Executive Director
Responsible for supporting and growling Blue Ridge AHEC programs.

  • Medical Interpreter Training and Service. This program facilitated communication between Limited English Speaking Individuals and their health and human services providers. Grew the health and human service interpreting from 700 to 1200 appointments per month in two years, facilitated the training for approximately 100 interpreters, and supervised over 50 interpreters in 9 languages.
  • Lay Health Promoter Program. Wrote and received grants to revitalize the Promotores de Salud, a lay health promoter program, and facilitated training of 50 Spanish speaking men and women throughout the Shenandoah Valley so that they could, in turn, teach their community about basic health.
  • Regional Immigrant Behavioral Health Forum. Chaired a diverse coalition of Behavioral Health professionals to host an event which introduced behavioral health professionals to mental health issues faced by first and second generation immigrants, migrants, and refugees.
  • Grant Writing. Developed projects, wrote grants, and received $1,000,000.
  • Needs Assessment. Played integral role in the success of the Spanish language needs assessment for the 210 Harrisonburg/Rockingham Healthy Community Council.
  • Presentations. Provided cultural competence training to various James Madison University classes each year.

2000 – 2009 New Bridges Immigrant Resource Center – Executive Director
Responsible for all aspects of the organization including budget management.

  • Hired and managed several employees and over 100 volunteers.
  • Fundraising and Grant Writing. Obtained $500,000 for NewBridges through grants and other fundraising efforts.
  • Partnered on several grants that brought over $500,000 into the community.
  • Served as leader for immigrant issues on a needs assessment that brought millions of dollars to our area.
  • Supervised and led Cultural Competence workshops education over 3,000 people.
  • Provided direct service to over 1,000 families, each year including: medical bill and assistance managing the legal public assistance systems, information and referral, English classes, and Mexican and US passport facilitation.
  • Provided immigration case management to approximately 30 individuals a year assisting them manage the online United States and Immigration Services system and prepare packets for submission. Forms included AR 11, G325A, I-90, I129F, I130, I131, I1360, I485, I765, I864, I864A, I864EZ, I918, N400, and N600.
  • Advocacy. Facilitated the Immigrant Advisory Group to Harrisonburg City Police and brokered a meeting between the Mexican Consul General and local law enforcement.
  • Community Leadership. Served as member of the Steering Committee, Secretary and Chair of the Intercultural Action Team of the Healthy Community Council and provided leadership to the Intercultural Alliance and the Hispanic Services Council.
  • Publishing and Presentations. Co-authored chapter “New Practice Frontiers: Current and Future Social Work with Transmigrants” in Master’s level social work textbook.
  • Presented at many meeting, conferences, and classrooms on immigrant issues.

1998 – 2010 Mission Agencies/Eastern Mennonite University, Thailand, Hong Kong, North America. Developed and provided programming for third culture kids, during mission retreats and opened my home to provide a place where third culture kids could bond with others who valued their experiences.

1998 – 2000 Medical Mission Trip, Tanzania and Jamaica – Teacher/Manager

  • Taught English to school children
  • Organized the reception area and triaged patients.

1994 – 1996 Oaklawn Hospital, Crisis Stabilization Unit – Mental Health Worker

  • Assisted the medical team to help patients maintain daily routines and stabilize emotionally and medically.
  • Organized an art therapy group for patients.

1993 – 1994 Goshen College, Goshen Indiana – Spanish Teacher’s Assistant

  • Graded papers, tutored individual student, and assisted professor in the classroom.

1992 Goshen College, Cost Rica – Lay Health Promoter

  • Lived with two families while studying language and culture.
  • Vaccinated children against Rubella and educated communities on the importance of dental health.

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • 2013 Prevention of substance abuse among Latino youth from Drug Free Communities through Office of National Drug Control Policy for $625,000.
  • 2013 – 2014 Encouraging youth to enter health careers from the Virginia Healthcare Foundation for $75,000.
  • 2011 – 2012 Promoters as Health Information Specialists from DuPont and South River Science Team for $198,000.
  • 2011 – 2012 Promotores de Salud Immigrant Behavioral Health Project from RMH Foundation for $14,500.
  • 2010 – 2011 Promotores de Salud Substance Abuse Prevention Project from RMH Foundation for $12,500.
  • 2009 Greg Versen James Madison University Social Work Department Honorary Social Worker Award.
  • 2008 Virginia Mennonite Conference Peace and Justice Award.
  • Early 2000s Assisting Immigrants apply for Emergency Medicaid to cover their labor and deliver costs from RMH for $30,000.

Courses Taught

  • 2013-2015 Co-taught LARTS 181 Global Connections to first-year undergraduate international students and Third Culture Students.
  • Spring 2008 Taught CCUS 440 Cultural Perspectives Local Context Cross Cultural class to EMU’s adult Degree Completion program.
  • 2007 Co-taught local context cross cultural class to EMU students.