USF Sarasota-Manatee professor returning to Africa to continue research at refugee camps

Dr. Lynn McBrien, Assistant Professor in the College of Education at USF Sarasota-Manatee, leaves Sunday morning for Africa on a third research trip studying schools and culture in refugee camps. McBrien, who specializes in Psychological & Social Foundations in her teaching at USFSM, focuses her research specifically on children affected by war, child soldiers and resettled refugees.

“It is my hope to create a 3 to 4 year program to expand post-war networking, communications, and reconciliation, particularly with war-affected children,” said McBrien. “When you are working in cases where people have been deeply injured – psychologically, physically – reciprocity is essential. I cannot go in and take from them knowledge and research and not try to find a way to give back.”

Another reason for McBrien’s return? “What most people don’t know is that Florida is typically in the top 3 states in the U.S. for resettling refugees – sometimes we are #1,” she said. “Because we have such a high percentage of resettled refugees here, it is absolutely critical for teachers to understand what they have been through – years and years of trauma, malnutrition, lack of water – it can cause classroom behaviors teachers do not expect. It is my goal to bring this knowledge to my classroom so I can help the students I’m teaching to go into the classrooms in our community and be well equipped to handle these situations with as many tools in their bag as I can provide.”

USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Education is NCATE Accredited and home to undergraduate and graduate programs preparing teachers and administrators as well as professionals who can assume roles related to education in a variety of fields. Programs leading to state certification include Elementary Education (Undergraduate and graduate level); Educational Leadership, and Reading.

For more information about USF Sarasota-Manatee’s College of Education, visit www.sarasota.usf.edu or call (941) 359-4330.