Jody L. McBrien, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
College of Education
Phone: 941-359-4635
Fax: 941-359-4778
Office: USFSM B310

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.

Dr. McBrien's service and much of her research focuses on children affected by war, whether they be resettled refugee students and their families in the United States, 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. Currently she is conducting longitudinal work at the Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana and in Lira, Uganda on youth purpose and the use of arts in healing and education.

Dr. McBrien worked in the corporate world in educated-related jobs prior to returning to academia. She is the former Senior Education Editor of CNN's education website, and she was the Project Manager and Senior Editor of a high-school curriculum entitled Media Matters: Critical Thinking in the Information Age. She worked as the Director of Communications at the National Reading Styles Institute in Long Island, and she was 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.
To view Dr. McBrien's CV, please click here.


Ph.D., Emory University                                                                                                                                     

Post-grad Diploma in Anglo-Irish Literature, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
M.A.,  Purdue University
B.S.,  Clarion University

Research Interests

Education and Well-being of Resettled Refugee Youth and Families; Refugees, IDPs, and other War-Affected Children and Families in Ghana and Uganda.


2011 ISF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Faculty Research Award

2004 Emory University Humanitarian Award

 Selected Publications and Research

McBrien, J. L., & Ford, J. C. (in press). Serving the needs of refugee children and families: An evaluation of a multi-layered community program. In M. Vickers & F. McCarthy (Eds.), Achieving Equity in Education for Refugee and Immigrant Students; series International Advances in Education: Global Initiatives for Equity and Social Justice. Australia.

McBrien, J. L. (2011). Including immigrant and refugee students. In J. Fauske, J. Carr, & P. Jones (Eds.), Leading for inclusion: Meeting the needs of all learners in a diverse society. Teachers College Press.

McBrien, J. L. (2009). Beyond survival: School-related experiences of adolescent refugee girls and their relationship to motivation and academic success. In G. Wiggan & C. Hutchinson (Eds.), Global issues in education: Pedagogy, policy, school practices and the minority experience (pp. 294-330). Roman & Littlefield.

McBrien, J. L. (2009). A safety net? Using Elluminate and BlackBoard to teach controversial topics to preservice teachers. In K. Tyner (Ed.), New agendas for media literacy (pp. 147-172). Taylor & Francis.

McBrien, J. L., Jones, P. & Cheng, R. (2009). Virtual spaces: Employing a synchronous online classroom to facilitate student engagement in online learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 10(3), ISSN 1492-3831. Online at

McBrien, J. L. (2009). Soy la otra. Phi Delta Kappan, 90, 333-337.

McBrien, J. L. (2008). The world at Americas doorstep: Service learning in preparation to teach diverse populations. The Journal of Transformative Education, 6(4), 270-285.

McBrien, J. L. (2006). Serving the needs of at-risk refugee youth: A program evaluation. Journal of School Public Relations, 27, 326-341.

McBrien, J. L. (2005). Educational needs and barriers for refugee students in the United States: A review of the literature. Review of Educational Research, 75, 329-364. 

McBrien, J. L. (2005). Uninformed in the Information Age: Why media necessitate critical thinking education. In G. Schwarz & P. U. Brown (Ed.), Media literacy: Transforming curriculum and teaching (pp. 18-34). Malden, MA. Blackwell Publishing.

McBrien, J. L. (2004). Teacher research explores the refugee and immigrant experience [Review of the book American dream, global visions Dialogic teacher research with refugee and immigrant families]. Journal of Teacher Education, 55, pp. 372-375.

McBrien, J. L. (2003). A second chance: Helping refugee students succeed in school.
Educational Leadership, 61(2), 76-79.


Social Foundations of Education; Education, Communication and Change; Diversity for Educators:  Multicultural and Global Perspective in Education.

 Service Highlights

USFSM USFSM Faculty Senate President, 2011-1013, USF System Faculty Council 2010-2013; USF Africana Studies Faculty Research Steering Committee, 2010-present; 2011 founding faculty member in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, 2011