Rhen Miles

Adjunct Faculty

PSU History

Rhen completed her BS and MSW at PSU. She has been teaching at PSU since 2011 in the School of Social Work.



Rhen has 15+ years of experience in Portland, OR non-profits, school, and community-based organizations. Her community-based research has taken her across several school districts including PPS, David Douglas, Reynolds, and Beaverton. My work has been with families and youth who speak a variety of languages and have immigrated from across the globe. My research and evaluation work in Portland over the past several years has been deeply grounded in social justice principals. In this regard, my work as a social work practitioner and researcher overlap and the process of evaluation to improve programs has been built upon relationships with a multitude of stakeholders in the community. As a doctoral student she presented a paper at SSWR about student food insecurity, which was later published Journal of Social Work Education. She also presented at SSWR on school climate as it relates to equity and racism in schools. Some of her speaking engagements include Promoting equity through youth engagement, at the Twelfth International Conference on Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability in Portland, OR.; Innovative ideas to build youth voice in your youth program, speaking about youth development programs hosted by Julie Petrokubi and Meghan Perry at the Institute for Youth Success at Education Northwest; American Circus Educators and Circus Talk panels, workshops, and presentations on trauma-responsive and equity driven teaching and program development.

Academic/Research Interest

Participatory research and evaluation; youth-led evaluation, and programming; movement, performance and post-traumatic growth and healing.

Personal Interests

Rhen’s commitment to creating and changing programs for youth to share power, magnify silenced or excluded voices, and to integrate a liberatory, anti-oppressive, trauma-responsive approach to her work has been a driving force in her role as Pathways Manager and the growth of the Voice Project (at Circus Project).

  • MSW, CSWA, Doctoral Candidate
    Portland State University