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Department ofPsychology


barbara o'brien standing with outdoors with water and shore in the background

barbara o'brien standing with outdoors with water and shore in the background

Get to know Dr. Barbara O'Brien with 10 fun facts!

10 things you didn’t know about me

    1. I have five children - four daughters and a son and a fish and a dog and a frog.
    2. I lived in the midwest before moving to California a few years ago. I miss fireflies!
    3. I was a double-major in college - studying both biology and psychology. I actually worked for an ichthyologist on his research. Turns out . . I like working with children way more and became a developmental psychologist.
    4. Before arriving at SCU in 2018 I taught at Washington University in St. Louis. Before that, I taught at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and DePaul University in Chicago, Il. I’ve been blessed with an incredible teaching career spanning over 20 years and with incredible colleagues and inspiring students.
    5. I completed my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Jesuit Universities. I enjoy being back within a community whose central mission is educating the whole person and offering service to those in need.
    6. I love to cook - and sometimes spend way too long on just a ‘meh’ dinner. But, other times, I can really pull something off that 5/6 of my people love. Currently, that’s my best ‘success rate.’
    7. I enjoy watching cooking shows (esp. Great British Baking show) while I fold laundry.
    8. My go-to phrase for my students is ‘tell me more.’ My go-to phrase for my children is ‘tell me more.’
    9. I’m in the beginning stages of forming a research lab in collaboration with Laura Doyle in Engineering geared towards facilitating empathic STEM experiences for middle-school children in service of supporting community needs.
    10. I love taking walks with my family, singing, and trying out new places to hike. And coffee. Lots of coffee.