Dufresne, born in Los Angeles, Calif., was educated in the California public school system. She studied psychology at the University of California-Santa Cruz, later earning a specialist degree in gerontology at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. During her time in Nebraska, she worked as a V.I.S.T.A. (Volunteer in Service to America) assisting the elderly poor in rural Nebraska. Dufresne earned her Ph.D. in art history at the University of Washington-Seattle, where she served as a teaching assistant as well as an intern at the Textile Collection of the Henry Art Gallery.
Dufresne came to Winthrop in 1989, earning tenure in 1996 and the designation of full professor in 2006. During her time here, she has curated two exhibitions at Winthrop University Galleries. In 1991, she received a Fulbright to Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia and the Czech Republic). Dufresne has also written articles and given numerous presentations on pedagogy (1989-2000), on Christine de Pizan's City of Ladies and Treasure of the City of Ladies (1990-2000), on ceramic sculptor Paula Smith (2000-10), and on book arts (2000-2010). Her book The Fifteenth-Century Illustrations of Christine de Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies and The Treasure of the City of Ladies was published by Edwin Mellen Press in the fall of 2012. Currently she is organizing a trip to Tuscany in May of 2013 with her friend and colleague, ceramic sculptor Paula Smith, at the prestigious La Meridiana Art Center. Interested? There's room for a few more! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.