Dr. Diane Bessel has joined the department as Assistant Professor and Undergraduate Program Director. Most recently, Dr. Bessel served as the Director of Research, Investments, and Advocacy at the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. There, she was responsible for regularly assessing community needs and key trends for the purposes of coordinated planning and decision-making related to the annual expenditure of over $5 million in local funds. Dr. Bessel also evaluated the performance of 80+ funded programs and initiatives based on the Results-Based Accountability methodology and facilitated use of effective practices among funded programs through capacity building trainings and technical assistance.
Dr. Bessel has a wide range of professional interests including strategic planning, community-based research, program design, evaluation, interprofessional collaboration, and social policy. She received her Masters of Science in Social Administration from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and is certified in Nonprofit Management. She also holds Doctorate in Sociology from the University at Buffalo where she taught community social work, advanced policy analysis, research methods, and a variety of other courses for fifteen years. She lives in Kenmore, NY, with her husband, Don, and her awesome two-year-old son, Connor.