Spring 2017


20170610_090715January to May of 2017 was fun; a “mixed bag” of new experiences, new students and lots of travel! I added workshops to my list of “Things That I Do”, working with everyone from Human Resource professionals to High School students. And I read; oh, boy, did I read! Stacks of books on domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and gender equality. I read scholarly articles online and went over the NYS OPDV website with a fine-tooth comb. I also watched endless videos and TED talks.  It was near the end of last semester that I realized that if I didn’t educate myself beyond my own narrow experience, my usefulness to students and the general public alike would be extremely limited. There’s always more to learn!


March 21 – “Because You’re a Girl: A Discussion on Gender Equality” workshop delivered to “The Big Eagle-Little Eagle Mentoring Program” at Niagara University. Niagara Falls High School students are paired with grad and undergrad students for academic support and general guidance.


They took the “Building a Budget” Activity (meant to show cost of living and pay disparity) VERY seriously. At one point the group that was trying to work out the woman’s budget complained, “But this doesn’t work, no matter how we do it; we always come up short at the end of the month…!” Ah, yes… we’re learning! 🙂


Discussing “Because You’re a Girl”, a blog post I wrote on sexual assault and how the sexual assault of women effects men. One student wrote on the eval: “The story at the end helped me to realize that things like this are real and can happen to anyone. It helped me to understand that sexual assault is never a joke.”


Mr. Eric Rigg, Grad Student Extraordinaire and founder of “The Big Eagle-Little Eagle Mentoring Program” and HIS mentor, Ms. Averl Harbin


When your mom is a DV advocate, your lessons about gender equality are more than just situational – Every fourteen year old boy could benefit from an hour or so with Jackson Katz. Watching Tough Guise, after which he looked at his dad and I and proclaimed, “I think some guys take this hyper-masculinity thing just a little too far!” Out of the mouths of babes :0


Gratuitous shot of my “Office Assistant” watching a Michael Kimmel TED talk with me 🙂


Had to stop by the African-American Student Union table at Niagara University’s “Take Back the Night” on March 30 – two of these lovely ladies attended my gender equality workshop and it was great to see them working so hard and standing up for women of color!


Mentors aren’t just for kids – “Biz Women Mentoring Mondays”  sponsored by Buffalo Business First at RiverWorks. It turned out to be a study in how uncomfortable the average person is when confronted in even the smallest way with the topic of domestic violence.


And another new workshop! “Beyond Leaving Dorian, A Culture of Caring: Addressing Domestic Violence in the Workplace”.



Twitter is a fantastic exercise in “keeping it succinct”. LOVE it!


I was so inspired after the mountains of reading I did in order to prepare for the gender equality workshop, my husband and I decided that a day trip to the very SEAT of the movement would be in order!


He is one of my personal heroes – ugly cried the entire time I stood there.


None of what I do is easy. Much of the time it feels like I’m shouting into a black hole. Every single day, women are still dying at the hands of men who claim to love them. “Tell me, Susan, how did you do it? You spent your life fighting and didn’t even live to see the goal met.” And the wind carried what sounded like an answer – “Persist.”


May 30 – DV Awareness presentation at Fredonia BOCES


Cosmetology and Health Careers Students. Don’t ever assume that you don’t need to talk to your kids about healthy relationships or boundaries. One student remarked on her eval: “The most important thing that I learned was that it’s not o.k. to be grabbed or hit.” Another remarked, “The presentation gave me hope that some day I will get out of the relationship I’m in.” Education is the key.


Law Enforcement students. These kids arrived dressed in full uniform, filed-in in what was akin to military formation and took the entire presentation very seriously. And yet their reflection letters to me said things like, “I was touched by your presentation. You opened my eyes. We are grateful for your strength.” Again…ugly cry.


Jennie Alessi – NYS Certified Police Officer, Professor of Criminal Justice at Hilbert College and Criminal Justice Instructor at Fredonia BOCES. She is tiny but she is badass. Extremely honored that she extended me the invitation to come and speak.


Now, let’s take a moment, shall we, to note this extremely bad picture of me… What the… ? I often post the less than flattering shots because, well… sometimes that’s all I get and I have to have a picture to post. But this one … wow … I look chunky AND grumpy … and I’m neither! Well, ok, to be fair … I’m probably grumpy … a lot … but geez! There’s still plenty of time left, but I’m hoping that this goes down as my “Least Flattering Pic of 2017” 😉



Collegiate Partnerships


For presentation and booking information, please contact   ellabardpressinc@gmail.com

thibodeauDr. Ryan Thibodeau, Associate Professor at St. John Fisher College, uses Leaving Dorian as a reading choice in his PSY211 Society & Mental Illness class.

  • Education: Ph.D., Syracuse University/B.A., University of Southern Maine
  • Areas of expertise: Clinical psychology, psychophysiology
  • Research interests: Emotion; approach/avoidance motivation; personality and health

Dr. Thibodeau is also Director of the Psychophysiology Laboratory at SJFC.


Dr. Dana L. Radatz, Assistant Professor at Niagara University, uses Leaving Dorian as a required text in her CRJ585 Domestic Violence class. Dr. Radatz earned her doctorate in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Eastern Michigan University.

Dr. Radatz has taught an array of courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, such as Victimology, Violence, Criminological Research Methods, Women & Crime, Domestic Violence, and Policy Paper.

Dr. Radatz’s research interests include batterer intervention programs, corrections, evidence-based practices, female offenders, and a wide range of victimizations (e.g., domestic violence, prostitution, rape/sexual assault).  Her most recent work examines domestic violence offenders and the effectiveness of batterer intervention programs using correctional evidence-based techniques. Dr. Radatz’s recent publications have appeared in Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, Journal of Interpersonal Violence, and the American Journal of Community Psychology.


Dr. James Sutton, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, uses Leaving Dorian as a required text in his SOC224 Social Deviance class. Dr. Sutton earned his B.A. from California State University, Long Beach and both his M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University.

Dr. Sutton also teaches Criminology, Juvenile Delinquency, Introduction to Sociology, Men and Masculinities, Research Methods, Sociology of Sport, Topics in Prisons and Prison Education (Readers College). Professional Affiliations include Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, American Society of Criminology and International Association for Correctional and Forensic Psychology.

Photo of Angie Moe
Dr. Angie Moe, Professor of Sociology at Western Michigan University, uses Leaving Dorian as a required text in her SOC4950 Family Violence class. Dr. Moe earned her B.A. in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, her M.S. in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her Ph.D. in Justice Studies, Law and the Social Sciences from Arizona State University.
Dr. Moe is affiliated with and serves on the advisory board for the Department of Gender and Women’s Studies. She approaches her research primarily through a feminist qualitative epistemology that lends itself to in-depth interviewing, participant observation and field research. Dr. Moe holds memberships in several professional organizations and serves on the board of directors for the Kalamazoo County Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council.

Jennie Alessi photo

Jennie Alessi, (CSDR, CJA) Professor of Criminal Justice at Hilbert College. Jennie earned her BS in Conflict Studies/Dispute Resolution in 2014 and and her MS in Criminal Justice Administration in 2016, both from Hilbert College.

Jennie is a New York State Certified Police Officer as well as a New York State Certified Police Instructor. She has been an instructor for the Rural Police Training Academy since 2003. Along with a conventional instructor certification, Jennie holds specialized New York State Certifications in Domestic Violence, Sex Crimes, Child Abuse and Exploitation, Child Fatality Investigations, Community Policing, D.A.R. E, School Police Leadership and Crime Prevention. She authored the curriculum and lesson plan for the New York State Department of Criminal Justice titled “Law Enforcement’s Response to Missing and Exploited Children.”

Jennie previously held the position of Chief Investigator for the Cattaraugus County District Attorney’s Office, under the direction of the Honorable Edward Sharkey, District Attorney. She was the first and only female, to date, to hold the position. A SART (Sexual Assault Response Team) member for Cattaraugus County. Jennie Alessi also served as a School Resource Officer and Chief Campus Safety Officer for the Gowanda Central School District.

noelle st. vil

 Dr. Noelle M. St.Vil, Assistant Professor, joined the UB School of Social Work faculty in 2015. Dr. St. Vil earned her BA in Religious Studies from California State University Northridge in 2005. She received her Doctorate in Social Work from Howard University in 2012 and completed a postdoctoral fellowship focused on violence in the family at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.

Dr. St. Vil’s research focuses on black male-female relationships, including intimate partner violence, man sharing, and other dating and marital issues. Utilizing the National Survey of American Life (NSAL), her dissertation study investigated the relationship between the social networks of Black married couples and marital satisfaction. Additional research endeavors include a comparison analysis of intimate partner violence among Black women in Baltimore and the U.S. Virgin Islands; reproductive coercion and safe sex; and an exploration of long-term marriage among African American, African Caribbean immigrant and African immigrant couples. In addition to publishing in these areas, she has worked as the project coordinator on several grant-funded projects pertaining to violence against women and healthy relationships. Dr. St. Vil will be using Leaving Dorian as a required text in her graduate level Human Behavior class.


Mo Therese Hannah, Ph.D. is a Professor of Psychology at Siena College, where she has taught since 1992. She is a licensed New York State psychologist practicing with older adolescents and adults. She is an Advanced Imago Relationship therapy Clinician and serves as an Academic Faculty member of Imago Relationships International. Her clinical and research interests revolve around couples therapy, intimate partner violence, and transpersonal psychology.. She serves as the Editor of Family and Interpersonal Violence Quarterly and has published seven books and numerous chapters and articles. In 2004, she co-founded, continues to serve as Chair of the annual Battered Mothers Custody Conference. Dr. Hannah recommends Leaving Dorian as an ancillary read  in her “Intimate Relationships” class.


Robert KeefeRobert Keefe, PhD. joined the UB School of Social Work faculty as an associate professor in 2005 from Syracuse University. In addition to teaching several courses centering on mental health, health and interventions, Keefe is also the faculty liaison and academic advisor for the MSW/MPH dual degree program. With his current project, “Postpartum Depression among New Mothers of Color,” funded by the Fahs-Beck Foundation of the New York Community Trust, Keefe endeavors to build comprehension of and improve health care delivery for mothers of color. His significant contributions to the field have earned him high honors; in addition to being selected as the Public Health Social Worker of the Year by the American Public Health Association in 2011, he was also named a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine in 2013. Keefe received his PhD from the University at Albany’s School of Social Welfare subsequent to earning an MSSA from Case Western Reserve University and a BA in sociology from Ithaca College.

IMG_20171129_094037_754The Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy (NCLEA) at Niagara University is a partnerships between the Niagara County sheriff’s Department, Niagara Falls Police Department and Niagara University’s Criminal Justice and Continuing Education Departments. Administered through Continuing Education, the Academy trains currently hired, sworn officers and has been approved by the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to train pre-employment recruits. It is designed for current civilians throughout New York State who are interested in entering the law enforcement field. The Academy has chosen to utilize Leaving Dorian as a required text for all new recruits. They will also be using it in their Continuing Education block for currently hired, sworn officers.

Dr. Danielle Slakoff, Loyola University at New Orleans, Assistant Professor of Criminology

Dr. Chris St. Vil, Assistant Professor, University at Buffalo School of Social Work