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Suzanne Kessler

Professor Emerita of Psychology

Dean until 7/31/18

Suzanne Kessler has been on the Purchase College faculty since 1972. In 2004, she was appointed dean of the School of Natural and Social Sciences and then dean of the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences and vice provost for academic affairs in 2010. Dr. Kessler is the author of Lessons from the Intersexed and co-author of Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach as well as articles primarily on the social construction of gender.

On March 14, 2018, Dean Kessler gave a talk to the Purchase College community on Parallel Universes: Reflections on a Career Transition.

Dr. Kessler received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University and her doctorate in social psychology from City University of New York. She has been a member of the board of directors of the Purchase College Children’s Center since its founding in the 1970s and has been involved in criminal justice projects, most recently as chair of the board of Prison Communities International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rehabilitation in prison.

Research Interests

  • prison rehabilitation
  • social construction of gender



About Rehabilitation through the Arts:


Kessler, S. and McKenna, W. Gender: An Ethnomethodological Approach. NY: Wiley-Interscience (1978); reprinted University of Chicago Press (1985). 

Kessler, S. J. Lessons from the Intersexed. New Brunswick, N. J.: Rutgers University Press, (1998).


Michals, I. & Kessler, S. Prison Teachers and Their Students: A Circle of Satisfaction and Gain. The Journal of Correctional Education, 66, (2015) 47- 62.

Kessler, S. Psychology Students Learn How to use Evidence to Inform Practice, to Think Critically, and Write well. In K. Vaidya (ed.) Psychology for the Curious: Why Study Psychology. Curious Academic Publishing, (2015).

Halperin, R., Kessler, S., & Braunschweiger, D. “Rehabilitation Through the Arts: Impact on participants’ engagement in educational programs.” The Journal of Correctional Education, 63, 1, (2012) 6 – 23