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School of Family Studies and Human Services

Roberta Riportella

Contact Information


  • Ph.D. in Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.S. in Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Credentials and/or Certifications

  • Certificate in Aging, Faye McBeath Institute on Aging, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Area(s) of Specialization

  • Health care policy
  • Access to care for vulnerable populations
  • Health insurance
  • Health care provider supply

Research, Scholarship and Creative Endeavors

Since March 2010 when health care reform became a law, Professor Riportella has been helping professional groups, communities and consumers become informed about its potential impact. Professor Riportella has created a blog and is developing, with a team at K-State Research and Extension, a curriculum on understanding health insurance.

Courses Taught

  • Teaches to community groups

Professional Biography

Roberta Riportella is the Kansas Health Foundation Professor of Community Health in the School of Family Studies and Human Services, College of Human Ecology, Kansas State University and K State Research and Extension. Professor Riportella has spent over 30 years analyzing health policy and teaching about it, most recently as a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has a long and varied career working with many state-based agencies, nonprofits and health care provider groups focused on issues related to how individuals, families and communities can best create opportunities for health and accessing health care.

She is most proud of her 10 years as project director for Wisconsin's statewide coalition Covering Kids and Families. She has extended her work to Kansas, educating consumers and other professionals here about the opportunities - and challenges - with the new health insurance law: the Affordable Care Act.

Personal Information

Roberta Riportella grew up on Long Island in New York but made her way to the Midwest early on. She spent most of her adult years in Wisconsin but had brief stints back in New York and in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is thrilled to have a chance at a new career at this stage in her life. That life remains full with two grown sons (one in Chicago and one in Raleigh) and two new puppies, and a soon-to-be-revived involvement in local community theater. When not teaching around the state you can find her singing, acting, dancing... and yes, even singing karaoke in the local Aggieville haunts. Riportella lives close to campus so she can walk or bike to work, two of her favorite pastimes. She also loves the outdoors, and the puppies get her outside in Manhattan's beautiful parks.

Vita (pdf)