John Keesler, Ph.D., LMSW

Assistant Professor

Area of responsibility: IU Bloomington

1127 E. Atwater
Bloominton, Indiana 47401
Office: (812) 855-2580


A native of Buffalo, New York, John completed his undergraduate education at Buffalo State College where he obtained a BA in psychology.  He subsequently attended the University at Buffalo where he earned his MSW and then a PhD in social welfare.

Area of Interest:

Broadly, Dr. Keesler's research interests include adversity/trauma, trauma-informed care, intellectual/developmental disabilities, direct support professionals, and non-profit community-based organizations.  More specifically, he is interested in the impact of adversity/trauma on the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and those who support them, and the utilization/efficacy of trauma-informed care as an organizational response.  John values community-based research that has direct implications for individuals, their families, and those who support them.  His research experience includes qualitative and quantitative methodology, as well as mixed-methods and survey development.  

Teaching Interest:

John is interested in undergraduate and graduate education with an emphasis on the utility of service learning/community-based participatory research to augment student learning.  Similarly, he strives to foster students' overall learning through an integrated approach across the curriculum (e.g. integrated case-based learning).

Practice Experience:

Dr, Keesler has more than a decade of practice experience in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).  After completing his undergraduate education, John moved to Chatham, MA for a brief period of time where he worked in an residential facility for adolescent males with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).  Upon returning to Western New York, he spent an additional 5 years working with individuals with ASD and their families across the lifespan, with a focus on behavioral health and positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS).  Subsequently, Dr. Keesler worked as a clinical administrator in behavioral health services and then as a program supervisor for Medicaid Service Coordination.  Most of John's time was spent working for non-profit community organizations and focused on the quality of life for individuals with IDD and their families.