Each Tuesday, we sit down with members of the faculty to discuss their expertise, recent research and some of their accomplishments. This week, USFSM takes a closer look at Dr. Jody Lynn McBrien.
Jody L. McBrien is an Associate Professor in the College of Education at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee. She received her doctorate in Educational Studies from Emory University in May, 2005, where she was the 2004 recipient of the university’s Humanitarian Award, given to students who demonstrate exemplary service in social justice. She received the 2011 Faculty Research Award from USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy for her ongoing work in the formerly war-torn town of Lira in Uganda, Africa, the 2012 Community Engaged Researcher Award from the Florida Campus Compact, and a 2014 Ian Axford (New Zealand) Fellowship in Public Policy, where she conducted research on policies regarding resettled refugee children and youth for the Ministries of Business, Innovation, and Employment and the Ministry of Education.
Dr. McBrien’s service and much of her research focuses on children affected by war, whether they are resettled refugee students and their families in the United State/New Zealand, or children and families who have returned to their home communities following war. She has explored the connection between discrimination and academic motivation in adolescent refugee girls and evaluated refugee agency programs working to create bridges between new refugees to the U.S., social services, and schools. She has conducted longitudinal work in Lira, Uganda on youth purpose and the use of arts in healing and education, and currently she has a book submitted to Fountain Publishing in Kampala, Uganda, co-written with women leaders and educators in Lira.
Dr. McBrien worked in the corporate world in education-related jobs prior to returning to academia. She is the former Senior Education Editor of CNN’s education website, and served as the Project Manager and Senior Editor of a high-school curriculum entitled Media Matters: Critical Thinking in the Information Age. She has also been Director of Communications at the National Reading Styles Institute in Long Island and Editor-in-Chief at the Family Education Network in Boston.
Dr. McBrien received her B.S. in Secondary Education and English from Clarion University and her M.A. in English from Purdue University. She was a Rotary International Fellow, during which time she received a post-graduate diploma in Anglo-Irish Literature at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland. For 12 years, she taught GED courses in the Berwick, Maine school district while teaching as an adjunct English instructor at the University of Southern Maine.