Brenna C. O'Brien
Brenna C. O’Brien is a senior researcher focused on state and local program evaluations with an expertise in qualitative analyses. Dr. O’Brien oversees and manages large-scale and long-term projects, leads multiple site visitor teams during data collection, and structures the data analysis procedures for projects from initial planning through to synthesizing the final results. Her expertise is specifically related to promoting the use of NVivo qualitative software, and she has developed new coding structures and standardized techniques that have been adopted throughout AIR.
Dr. O’Brien has contributed to multiple ongoing district and state projects, and recently managed all project activities and qualitative data analyses for an Institute of Education Sciences-funded randomized control trial (RCT) study to measure the impact of diagnostic assessment tools in Indiana. Other large scale projects have included the statewide evaluation of the Texas Ninth Grade Transition and Intervention Program, where she served as the qualitative lead for the national evaluation of the Collaborating District Initiative for the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). She was also the lead author on two high-profile AIR reports submitted to the Clark County School District that focused on improving educational and operational efficiency in that district.
Dr. O’Brien earned her doctoral degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis on Gifted Education from the University of Kansas, and is the author of the book, What Makes a Computer Genius?: Developing Computer Technology Talent.