Lena (Eileen) Skahill is an adjunct professor of Sociology at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs. She has been teaching courses in Adoption and Family Studies and Environmental Sociology which are available to students in the School of Social Work, Women’s and Ethnic Studies and The Humanities departments.  Lena is also adoptee (1966) and engaged in reunion with both of her first families. She has volunteered in varying capacities with adoption non-profits over the last decade and dedicated her academic career toward the pursuit of teaching and sharing the unique lived experiences of all members of the adoption constellation.

Lena has conducted research in adoption studies over the course of her career. Her early research, On the Outside Looking In: Adoptee Perspectives on Reunion Relationships explored the evolution of long term reunions between adoptees and their first families with outcomes of the study shared at academic conferences across the country.  Her current qualitative/photo essay-based research study titled, Nurtured by Nature: Adoption and Foster Care Experiences and the Healing Power of Nature is meant to shine a light on the adoption and foster care journeys and the ways in which nature serves as a modality for healing, growth, and joy for all impacted by these lived experiences.  Research for the study has been completed and Lena anticipates data to be published in 2024.