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Brennan, Bridwell-Mitchell Announced as Named Chairs

Two HGSE faculty members have recently been awarded named chairs

Dean Bridget Long has announced two faculty members, Professors Karen Brennan and Ebony Bridwell-Mitchell, have been awarded named chair positions at Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Brennan is now the Wirth Professor of Practice in Learning Technologies, while Bridwell-Mitchell was named the Herbert A. Simon Professor of Education, Management, and Organizational Behavior. Both were named to their chairs on January 1, 2023.

Karen Brennan

Brennan is a learning designer whose research aims to identify design principles that support computational thinking. She designed ScratchEd, an online community of K–12 educators created through the school’s Creative Computing Lab. ScratchEd operated from 2009–2019, which saw 27,000 registered users and explored the structures that support the teaching and learning of computational thinking. Her Creative Computing Curriculum, which debuted in 2014, saw more than 400,000 downloads and was translated into a dozen languages. 

Brennan is the second professor namedto the Wirth Chair, a permanently endowed professorship in the field of learning technologies at HGSE. The title was formerly held by Professor Chris Dede, who retired from the position on June 30, 2022.

Ebony Bridwell Mitchell

The Simon Chair is awarded to a scholar who brings the "benefits of theoretical and empirical research to bear on problems of education management and organizations [and] bring an interdisciplinary and systems approach to identifying and analyzing problems." Bridwell-Mitchell’s work as an organizational scholar is focused on institutional theory relating to U.S. public schools. She studies schools as organizations and the ways in which aspects of social interactions, including race, status, and social capital, shape the implementation of education policy and organizational change.

Bridwell-Mitchell's research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, presented at numerous professional conferences, and published in high impact academic journals. She works to extend her research and teaching beyond academia by helping leading-edge education organizations provide leadership and management training for schools across the country. 


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