Before attending Gallatin, Dianne was a social worker, writer, reporter, editor and director of the SoundWaters Coastal Center in Stamford, Connecticut. As editor of My First Year as a Journalist (Walker & Company, 1995), she interviewed novice and veteran journalists about their first jobs and edited their accounts to create a collection of first-person essays.
Her goal at Gallatin was to learn about New York City’s history, culture, and community by combining course work in urban studies, public history, and journalism. In particular, she wanted to explore the affection that so many people feel for New York City. In her thesis, she researched transformative projects of the 1920s, including the Chrysler Building and Tudor City, and looked at how dominant historical accounts fail to include the narratives of the working-class tradesmen who built the skyscrapers or of residents who were evicted to make way for modern housing. She proposes that urban change is best understood by identifying where the economic and social interests of elite and grass-roots levels intersect.
Diane, who earned her BA from the University of Florida, studied urban history, writing, and cinema at Gallatin, concentrating on urban studies to develop her thesis "East Side Story: Understanding Urban Change in Turtle Bay in the 1920s."