Diane Eperthener Buffington


Department of Culture, Media, and Performance


Diane Eperthener Buffington has a B.S and M.S in Developmental Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh with a concentration in research methodology.

She has taught Gen Psy100, Child Psy 216, Dev P Psy 207 and Adolescent Psy206.  Diane also had the opportunity to mentor/advise the Psychology Interns during their internships (Psy469). In Theatre Department Diane instructs Ballet tech 1 & 2, Jazz Tech 1 & 2, Theatre Dance 1 & 2, Dance History and Modern Dance. 

Diane has directed and choreographed the spring dance concerts in the Theatre Department at PennWest California: “Kinesthetic Mindfulness, 2012,” “Human Behavior and Emotion, 2013,” “Sensation Seekers, 2014” and “Achieved or not achieved: Self Actualization, 2016.” Diane was also the choreographer at PennWest California within the Department of Theatre and Dance for “A Christmas Carol: The Musical in 2011 and 2012.”

Her experience in the field of psychology consists of working at the Craig Academy writing functional behavioral assessments and doing wrap around therapy as a behavioral specialist consultant and as a mobile therapist. 

She also worked in the emergency room, known as the diagnostic evaluation center at Western Psychiatric Institute doing psychological evaluations and walk-in crisis therapy sessions for patients in a crisis.

Her thesis, “Adolescent Identity Development and Participation in Dance,” is evidence of her dedication to both dance and psychology. Last year, Diane was awarded the University Educator of the Year Award in Dance by the Pennsylvania State Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.

Diane also is a dance judge for the competition Wild About Dance.

Diane also directs and coordinates the PennWest California Dance Ensemble.


  • Jazz I and II

Research Interests

  • Adolescent Identity Development and Participation in Dance

    Dance Imagery for Expression of Psychological Issues

    Effective Early Intervention in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    The prevalence of Autism and connection to Apraxia

    Metaphorical Imagery as a Dance technique to portray different psychological symptoms 

In The Classroom

The following are Eperthener's values and teaching philosophies:

  • Promoting self-expression within curriculum guidelines
  • Providing instruction in multiple ways to accommodate the individual learning needs of each student (based on Howard Gardner multiple intelligences, 1999)
  • Providing instruction that facilitates positive identity development
  • Promoting the idea that each student is an asset to the classroom and has knowledge that is relevant to the rest of the class, including the instructor
  • Acknowledging, valuing and using questions as a learning tool
  • Providing instruction that is the scaffolding for the developmental trajectories of life
  • B.S.: Applied Developmental Psychology
  • M.S.: Applied Development Psychology With Concentration in Research Methodology

Email: Buffington@pennwest.edu

Phone: 724-938-5597