Jean Bessette is a Principal Investigator and the Project Director of the USM Campus Program grant, awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), United States Department of Justice (DOJ). She has served in this role since 2009, providing leadership, coordination, management, and fiscal oversight of the project. The Campus Program strengthens the response of institutions of higher education to the crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on campuses, and enhances collaboration among campuses, local law enforcement, and victim advocacy organizations.
Bessette worked for many years as a Research Associate at the Cutler Institute of the Muskie School of Public Policy, on the Violence Against Women Act, Measuring Effectiveness Initiative project (VAWA MEI) which is also funded by the Department of Justice. Bessette worked on this project since it was established in 2001 to help the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) document and measure the work of thousands of OVW grantees nationwide who are addressing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, child sexual abuse, elder abuse, and sex trafficking. The project supports OVW, creates reporting tools and resources for grantees, provides ongoing training and technical assistance to grantees, cleans and analyzes the grantee data, and creates reports documenting the OVW-funded activities.
Bessette is a doctoral candidate at the University of New Hampshire in Sociology, where she also earned her MA. Her focus areas are Family, Methods, and Stratification.