Office: Curtis Hall, 2nd Floor
Diane R. Bessel, PhD, LMSW, CNM, currently serves as Assistant Professor and Graduate Program Director of the Sociology and Social Work Department at Daemen College. She is responsible for establishing program vision and policy; determining curriculum content; allocating program resources; and advising, instructing, and assessing students in conjunction with other faculty. She also regularly engages with community members to identify opportunities to apply program resources to address local social problems.
Prior to joining Daemen College, Dr. Bessel served as the Director of Research, Investments, and Advocacy at the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. She was responsible for regularly assessing community trends for the purposes of coordinated planning and decision-making related to the annual expenditure of over $5 million in local funds. Dr. Bessel evaluated the performance of 80+ programs and initiatives and provided capacity building training and technical assistance. She was also responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s legislative advocacy agenda.
Dr. Bessel has also worked as a consultant to nonprofit organizations, government groups, and foundations on a wide range of issues including homelessness, poverty, family violence, elder abuse, economic self-sufficiency, school readiness, and access to healthcare. She has written more than twenty reports based on her community-based research activities. Dr. Bessel's current research focuses on the use of interprofessional collaboration and community-based initiatives to address complex social problems. She currently teaches generalist practice (Social Work Method, Groups, Organizations and Communities), research (I and II), and social policy courses.
Dr. Bessel holds a Masters of Arts and Doctorate in Sociology from the University at Buffalo where she taught community social work, research methods, statistics, and a variety of other courses for fifteen years. She also holds a Masters of Science in Social Administration (MSSA) from the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University and is certified in Nonprofit Management from the Mandel Center.She lives in Kenmore with her husband, Don, and her son, Connor.
Office: Curtis Hall, 2nd Floor
Joanne Cannavo, PhD., LCSW-R, is an Associate Professor for the Social Work and Sociology department. In addition to her full-time teaching role with Daemen College since 2006, she also held the role of the Director of Field Education through 2015, planning and supervising the Social Work students’ field education experience. She has served the BSW program for nearly a decade and taught the four Generalist Practice courses, Human Behavior in the Social Environment, Research Methods, Child Welfare Policy and Service Delivery, and Marriage and Family Problems. She has also taught Research and Statistics for the Doctoral Nurse Practitioner students in the Nursing program. She has secured grants while at the college that have enabled her to enhance her curriculum and the educational experience of her Social Work students. She now solely teaches in the Masters in Social Work program at Daemen College teaching Psychopathology, Advanced Clinical Practice, Clinical Practice with Children, Crisis Management, Social Work Research, and Applied Research and Data Analysis for Social Work.
Dr. Cannavo has conducted extensive research on Family Treatment Courts and International Adoption, where parent-child relationship and attachment are a common thread in her research. She has presented her research at conferences nationally and internationally as well as published scholarly work from book chapters to peer journal articles. She is a trainer and consultant to the presiding judge and stakeholders of the Erie County Family Treatment Court in Buffalo, NY. She is currently conducting her second evaluative research study of the Erie County Family Treatment Court as well as research on parent-child relationships of families involved with foster care and adoption.
Originally from Western New York, Dr. Cannavo has been in private clinical counseling practice for almost 20 years in the Buffalo area serving children, adolescents, young adults, couples and families, where her specialty in practice has been attachment and relationships with a focus on human development across the lifespan. She has also conducted clinical and custodial evaluations for several years with Family Court as part of her private practice work. Prior to her private practice, her clinical practice training included Social Work in the male and female adolescent Residential Treatment Facilities at Baker Victory Services, and Clinical Social Work at BryLin Hospital on the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Unit.Dr. Cannavo earned her PhD in Social Welfare from the University at Buffalo, SUNY, where she also taught Advanced Clinical Practice, Family Systems Interventions, and Practice and Program Evaluation. She earned her Masters in Social Science Administration from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, ranked in the top ten nationally for Schools of Social Work. She also earned her Bachelor's in Psychology from Canisius College, Buffalo, NY, where prior to her tenure at Daemen College, she taught Developmental Psychology, Child Development, Child, Family and Community, Research Methods, and Statistics as an adjunct faculty member.
Erin Carman, LMSW, JD, is an Assistant Professor for the Social Work and Sociology Department at Daemen College. Ms. Carman is a macro social worker with over ten years of experience in human services macro practice. She has previously worked in program administration and served as Director of Brooklyn Community Centers for Catholic Charities of Brooklyn and Queens. Most recently, she has practiced consulting for CCNY, Inc. on the topics of organizational systems development and quality improvement for nonprofits and government agencies. She also serves the community in a variety of other capacities: Policy Fellow for Partnership for the Public Good, Chair of the WNY division of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), committee member of the NASW New York State Chapter’s Advocacy and Government Relations Committee, and Board member of Housing Opportunities Made Equal. Her teaching and research interests are macro centered, specifically around social policy in relation to various racial and economic justice topics. Ms. Carman holds an MSW and Juris Doctor from the University at Buffalo.
Meri Stiles, PhD, LMSW, is new to the Daemen College faculty and will serve as Associate Professor in the Social Work and Sociology Department. Dr. Stiles comes to Daemen from Lyndon State where she taught Psychology and Human Services for the past 10 years. Her teaching interests include practice with children and adolescents, alcohol, drugs, and social work practice and she will teaching Human Behavior and the Social Environment and the Children and Families course sequence. Her research interests are substance use treatment and prevention, college student substance use, mindfulness-based interventions, rural issues, and treatment manual development. Dr. Stiles holds a PhD in Social Welfare and a MSW, both from the University at Buffalo School of Social Work.
Andrew Wilton, LMSW, currently serves as Clinical Assistant Professor with the Social Work and Sociology Department at Daemen College. He also continues his clinical practice as a Child and Family Therapist with the Catholic Charities Monsignor Carr Institute, where he specializes in therapeutic services for high risk youth and their families. Prior to his current positions, Professor Wilton served as Director of Outreach Initiatives with the Alzheimer's Association in the eight counties of Western New York. He earned his Master of Social Work and Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with High Distinction at the University of Buffalo, the State University of New York. He has extensive training in Solution-Focused Brief Therapy and child and adolescent trauma. Professor Wilton has worked with numerous community-based coalitions, committees, and councils throughout the Western New York region. His primary professional interests include non-traditional solution-focused applications, person-centered service systems, social emotional learning, positive psychology, and differential diagnosis and treatment.
James Golden, Ph.D., MSW, joined Daemen College this year as assistant professor of social work. Prior to joining the faculty, he held a faculty position at Hilbert College, and was chair of the Social Sciences Division. His teaching background includes courses in social work and sociology, and specifically in the areas of of cultural diversity, social welfare policy, research methods, social problems, and addictions treatment.
Professor Golden earned his masters in social work and doctorate in social welfare from the University at Albany, SUNY. Prior to transitioning to higher education, he worked in clinical settings with persons convicted of sex offending, and then at the Research Institute on Addictions, studying substance abuse and domestic violence treatment methods. His research interests focus on the politics of inequality and social welfare reform, and the role of social work in facilitating change therein.
Professor Golden lives in Lewiston with his wife, daughter, and son, and enjoys spending his time playing the drums and guitar, while generally avoiding any physical activity that might cause shortness of breath or sweating.
Office: Curtis Hall, 2nd Floor
Office: Curtis Hall
Phone: (716) 839-7659
Maggie Dreyer, LCSWR, is an alumni of Daemen College and the 2014 Humanitarian of the Year Award Winner. Maggie Dreyer has over twenty five years of experience working in the Western New York area as a clinical social worker and has served on the Daemen College Social Work advisory board for over 20 years. Maggie was also an adjunct faculty member for 9 years. She is also co-owner of Pathways Supervised Visitation Program and co-founder of the TSG: Dating after Sexual Abuse Group Program. Maggie has focused her career in the child welfare arena and has a private clinical practice working with children and families who have experienced significant trauma. Maggie has presented on the local, regional and national level addressing the treatment of children who have experienced sexual abuse and presented on trends related to child welfare and permanency.
Ms. Dreyer is the Director of Field Education for Daemen College. She is the President and co-founder of Kaely’s Kindness Foundation, a charity dedicated to serving young women diagnosed with cancer. She previously worked for GA Family Services as their Director where she developed and sustained their therapeutic foster care program for all 8 counties of WNY.
Meegan M. Stamm, LCSW-R, serves as Clinical Instructor and Field Coordinator for the Department of Social Work and Sociology. She has more than 20 years of experience in the field of social work, specifically within the realm of child welfare. Professor Stamm has served as private practitioner working with young children, adolescents, adults and families with a variety of mental health issues, trauma, and family conflict. She graduated from Boston University School of Social Work with a Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Child Welfare, and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with Psychotherapy Privileges in New York State. Professor Stamm has held various social work positions in schools, agencies and court systems, and as field educator to social work students from various area colleges.