Marcella Benson-Quaziena, Ph.D.

Marcella Benson-Quaziena, Ph.D.

Core Faculty

My vocation is where my spirit twinkles. The place of life engagement where I float like a humming bird and I’m nourished by the nectar that feeds my soul.

I am who I am…stands out as a core factor that lends meaning and distinctiveness to me and my work. I move to the rhythm of jazz and attend to the syncopation of life. I love thought, I love action and I dance in meaningful reflection. I have a keen sense of organizational dynamics; bring joy to my work and scan systems from a Gestalt framework.

Social justice is core to my being and I believe that as we tap into meaningful work, work that speaks to our soul and spirit we embrace the world as social entrepreneurs with equity and grace. I am guided by my passion to live life with intention and engage the world though my belief in the art of the possible. As a whole, I am greater than the sum of my parts and if any element of who I am did not exit, I would not be who I am.

My theory of changed, captured in the following quote I often use… “To exist is to change; to change is to mature; to mature is to create oneself endlessly” Henri Bergson. I am not the person I was five years ago, I have development in all aspect of my consulting, teaching, thinking and ways of being. This quote speaks to the emphasis I place on self-development, continuous learning and engagement in the moment. It is my desire to continue to lean into personal learning with all of my heart and soul and to lean into meaningful work with all of my compassion and spirit, as I create myself endlessly.

I believe this quote also manifest itself at the organizational level of systems. As organizations desire to fulfill their mission and vision, they too must change and develop in context of their environment. Through continuous learning organizations must strive to reinvent themselves to compete in a global environment. My theory of change is often framed through my understanding of the paradoxical theory of change and the Gestalt cycle of experience.

My philosophy of teaching is to challenge adult learners to engage in critical thinking by presenting diverse views. I believe knowledge derives from dialogue, experience, reading, writing and engaging in the exchange of ideas. I believe we should present information with recognition of different learning styles and from many different cultural voices. When working with adult learners I believe we should use adult learning theory and include self-direction, experiential learning, life experiences of the learner, and provide transformational learning. I also believe learning takes place not only on the individual level, but also on the group and organizational levels of systems. My goal is to empower learners by teaching the skills and knowledge of continuous learning through self-analytical and collaborative methods. I view learning as the construction and reconstruction of meaning and as such, it is an ongoing process in the context of a dynamic social system.

Experience with OSR

I have engaged various roles within the OSR community. As a visiting faculty, working with a faculty team committed to learning with each other and with students in a format based on action and self-reflection. It is exciting to work with others who have collaborated in the service of students who are asked to develop goals for using their learning in their work and/or personal life. As a member of a number of mentor councils, we held the container for students to examine and internalize theories of influence into their stance as interveners, consultants and/or agents of change. I believe the OSR model combined with the commitment for learning and engagement from students, presents a powerful foundation for students to develop powerful skills to change the world. It is only joy to work with a board committed to the vision and mission of the program through their heart, soul and spirit.


Marcella has over 20 years of experience consulting for private, public and non-profit sectors in the areas of change management, executive coaching, leadership development, strategic planning, organizational analysis and design, retreat design and facilitation, diversity and team building. She is currently a Member of the Faculty at Fielding Gradate University, and The Evergreen State College. Chair’s The Gestalt Center of Cleveland Organization and Systems certificate program and is Core Faculty with the National Training Laboratories Diversity Leadership Certificate Program.

Marcella holds a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems and a M.A. in Organization Development from the Fielding Institute, a clinical MSW, from the University of Washington, and a M.A. in Athletic Administration and B.S. in Health and Physical Education from the University of Iowa.