Trevor Bechtel provides leadership and oversight to several Washtenaw County research projects, including the Prosecutor Transparency Project, and he engages students who seek to connect to Poverty Solutions by facilitating a variety of programs, events, and research opportunities. Working closely with the Poverty Solutions team, he manages academic initiatives like the Poverty Solutions Certificate (housed within the Community Action Social Change minor at the School of Social Work) and the Real-World Perspectives on Poverty Solutions course, oversees research assistants, and liaises with student groups across the university. Related to the Prosecutor Transparency Project, Bechtel also is Senior Design Specialist with the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office.
Previously, he served as dean of Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Canada, and associate professor of religion at Bluffton University in Ohio. In addition to his academic work, which included launching a certificate program aimed at New Canadians, Bechtel was known for building close connections to students, whether formally in positions like honors director at Bluffton or creatively through initiatives like Anabaptist Bestiary Project, a student rock ‘n’ roll band. Bechtel holds a doctorate in constructive theology from Loyola University Chicago and has published “The Gift of Ethics” (2014) and “Encountering Earth: Thinking Theologically With a More-Than-Human World” (2018) with Cascade Press.