ignite logoUnder the leadership of Dr. Diane Bessel, the Institute for Government and Nonprofit Innovation, Training, and Evaluation (IGNITE) provides high quality, affordably priced planning, assessment, and evaluation services to not-for-profit organizations, foundations, schools, and community-based initiatives, as well as community training and continuing education for licensed social work professionals.

Since 2014, experienced and emerging social work practitioners have provided assistance to more than thirty-five organizations, generating more than $230,000 in cost savings.

In recognition of IGNITE’s value in both serving our local community and offering professional preparation for social work students, the John R. Oishei Foundation awarded IGNITE a $350,000 grant in 2017-2018. Funds will be used for major facility enhancements to maximize IGNITE’s use of Curtis Hall, including upgraded technology infrastructure; improved accessibility; additional training and conference rooms; and a new heating and cooling system. The expected return on investment over five years is over $750,000.

Faculty members contributing their expertise to provide services through IGNITE include:

  • Diane R. Bessel, PhD, LMSW, CNM Focus: Strategic planning; Board assessment and development; Program design and evaluation; Community-based research; Facilitation
  • Erin Carman, MSW, JD Focus: Community-based research
  • Maggie Dreyer, LCSW-R Focus: Organizational leadership development; Program design and implementation

The following faculty members provided community education and/or continuing education to licensed social work professionals:

  • Joanne Cannavo, PhD, MSSA, LCSW-R Topics: Parental Alienation; Negotiation and Mediation
  • Vicki Madaus Knapp, Ph.D., BCBA-D Topic: Transitioning to College and Work with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Meegan Stamm, LCSW-R Topic: High-Risk Families
  • Meri Stiles, MSW, PhD Topic: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  • Andrew J. Wilton, LCSW Topic: Mental Health First Aid