Faculty and Staff

Photo: Lou Jean Fleron

Lou Jean Fleron

High Road Fellowship Director

Now ILR emeritus, Lou Jean directs the High Road program. A Cornell ILR Extension faculty member since 1977, her research and teaching areas are public economic policy, industry and community development, and labor management relations. She served as director of ILR Western Region and is the author of studies on regional economic development, including Champions @ Work: Employment, Workplace Practices and Labor-Management Relations in Western New York, and Buffalo Child Care Means Business. Prior to working at ILR, she taught political science at SUNY Buffalo and the University of Kentucky. Lou Jean was chair of Buffalo Living Wage Commission from 2003 to 2010 and co-founded the Partnership for the Public Good which she now serves as chair of the board.

Photo: Megan Connelly

Megan Connelly

High Road Fellowships Associate Director

An attorney with years of policy advocacy experience, Megan joined Cornell in 2011 where she cultivates civically engaged and socially responsible students while supporting community-engaged learning and research. Prior to her role as Director of High Road Policy and Engaged Learning she held concurrent positions as the Associate Director of the High Road Fellowships and Director of Policy Advancement at Partnership for the Public Good. Admitted to practice in New York, Megan is a graduate of the University at Buffalo Law School. She previously worked at Neighborhood Legal Services in Buffalo, at the Youth Justice Project in South Bend, Indiana, and for the University at Buffalo’s Office of Civic Engagement and the Regional Institute. She believes that her own service experiences as an undergraduate at the University of Notre Dame helped to shape her values, interests and ultimately, her career path and she likes to provide similar transformative opportunities for students to engage with and learn from the community.

Photo: Ron Applegate

Ron Applegate

Lecturer, ILR School Cornell University

An economic and labor historian, Ron is a lecturer at Cornell ILR in the Department of Labor Relations, Law and History. In addition to the foundational course in U.S labor history, Ron teaches courses on the history of U.S. economic development and contemporary innovations in community-based development. His research interest in the theory and practice of economic development, with a particular emphasis on collective action to establish inclusive governance and generate equitable outcomes, is rooted in prior work experience: coordinating community development programs for the Coalition for a Better Acre (Lowell, Massachusetts) and the Over-the-Rhine Housing Network (Cincinnati, Ohio). In his current capacity as the faculty advisor to ILR’s High Road Fellowship program, Ron has collaborated with ILR faculty in Buffalo to create courses designed to envelop students’ participation in engaged learning: both preparing students for their community immersion and deepening their critical reflections after their experience.

Photo: Diane Burton

Diane Burton

Associate Professor, ILR School Cornell University

Diane Burton is a faculty member in the ILR School at Cornell University and currently serves as the Provost's Fellow for Public Engagement. Her primary appointment is in human resources studies with courtesy appointments in organizational behavior and sociology. Prior to joining the Cornell faculty in 2009, she was a faculty member at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She started her academic career at the Harvard Business School teaching leadership and organizational behavior. She earned her PhD in Sociology at Stanford University and served as a lecturer and researcher in organizational behavior and human resources management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Diane is an organizational sociologist interested in innovation and entrepreneurship, and has extensive experience in teaching by the case method. Her primary research is a major study of high-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley including the study of entrepreneurial teams and executive careers. More recently she has been studying R&D teams and leadership in the non-profit sector and employment practices in law firms.

Photo: Marya Besharov

Marya Besharov

Associate Professor, ILR School Cornell University

Marya Besharov is an Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at the ILR School at Cornell University. An organizational theorist with a background in organizational sociology, Marya studies how organizations and their leaders navigate competing goals. Much of her research focuses on social-business hybrid organizations such as social enterprises and mission-driven businesses that combine social and commercial goals. Her work has been published in journals such as Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Business Ethics Quarterly, Academy of Management Learning and Education, Research in Organizational Behavior, Research in the Sociology of Organizations, and Industrial and Corporate Change. Marya currently serves on the editorial boards of the Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, and Administrative Science Quarterly. She received a BA in Social Studies, an MA in Sociology, and a PhD in Organizational Behavior from Harvard University. She also holds an MBA from Stanford. Prior to her academic career, Marya worked as a researcher and consultant in the health care field.

Photo: Shannon Gleeson

Shannon Gleeson

Associate Professor, ILR School Cornell University

Shannon Gleeson earned her Ph.D. in Sociology and Demography from the University of California, Berkeley in 2008. She joined the faculty of the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations in Fall 2014, after six years in the Latin American & Latino Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on the experiences of low-wage workers, the role of immigrant documentation status, and legal mobilization. She has also conducted research on immigrant civic engagement and the bureaucratic processes of labor standards enforcement. She is currently working on a book that examines the promises and failures of U.S. labor and employment law, the challenges low-wage workers face when they come forward to file a claim, and their experiences in fighting for justice. Her previous books include Precarious Claims: The Promise and Failure of Workplace Protections in the United States (University of California Press, 2016), The Nation and Its Peoples: Citizens, Denizens, Migrants (Routledge, 2014, edited with John Park), and Conflicting Commitments: The Politics of Enforcing Immigrant Worker Rights in San Jose and Houston (Cornell University Press, 2012).
Photo: Sam Magavern

Sam Magavern

Adjunct Faculty, ILR School Cornell University

Sam is adjunct faculty of Cornell ILR, and also teaches at the University at Buffalo Law School. He joined the clinical law faculty in 2007 after a year as compliance coordinator for the City of Buffalo Living Wage Commission. His classes focus on the policy aspects of affordable housing and community economic development and offer students experience in action-oriented research and policy advocacy. A graduate of Harvard University and UCLA Law School, he practiced law with the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis before returning to Buffalo in 2004. Sam currently serves as pro bono attorney for the City of Buffalo Living Wage Commission and as executive director of partnership for the Public Good which he co-founded. He has chaired the boards of several non-profits, including an inner city family service provider, a ballet school, and a land conservancy. He hosts a weekly radio show, the Public Good, on WUFO AM 1080. Sam has published many works, ranging from scholarly articles to poetry, including a nonfiction book, Primo Levi's Universe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), and a movie, The Last Word (Firelight Films, 2004). He has been the lead author on many policy reports for Partnership for the Public Good, including Missing the Target: How Economic Development Programs Fail Buffalo’s Most Challenged Neighborhoods; The Niagara River Greenway: Fulfilling the Promise; Greening Buffalo: What Local Governments Can Do; and Generating Waste: Problems with NYPA and the IDAs and How to Solve Them.