"My focus is on the wellbeing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. Sexual orientation and gender identity are integral to our identity. Issues impacting adolescents also impact LGBT adolescents, who in addition may face the trauma of rejection because of their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. LGBT rights are human rights."
Risk and protective factors for sexual minority youth; gay lesbian, bisexual and transgendered issues in service utilization; HIV prevention interventions with adolescents; adolescent health and mental health
Diane Elze, associate professor and MSW program director, received her PhD from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis and her MSSA from Case Western Reserve University. Elze has built a strong record of scholarship in the area of sexual minority issues, publishing articles and book chapters and delivering juried presentations and invited keynote addresses and workshops. Her current projects include the HRSA-funded Upstate New York Mental and Behavioral Health Education Consortium, the UB Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Initiative, and health risk behaviors among sexual minority youths.
Her many years of social work practice experience include direct services, administration and community organizing in areas of sexual assault and domestic violence, runaway and homeless youths, HIV prevention and case management, crisis intervention, disability rights advocacy, community-based services for LGBTQ youths and cultural competency.
Elze was a CSWE Summer Leadership Scholarship Program Fellow in 2011, attending the Management Development Program sponsored by the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a past member of the CSWE Board of Directors, the CSWE Commission for Diversity and Social and Economic Justice, the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Expression and the Commission on Professional Development. Elze is currently a member of Board of Directors of Gay and Lesbian Youth Services of Western New York, the YRBS Steering Committee for the Buffalo Public Schools and the Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition.