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Brion-Meisels Named Senior Lecturer

Gretchen Brion-Meisels, a youth-centered researcher and valued HGSE teacher, has been promoted to senior lecturer
Gretchen Brion-Meisels
Gretchen Brion-Meisels
Photo: Elio Pajares

Gretchen Brion-Meisels has been promoted to senior lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Her research focuses on the development of partnerships between youth and adults in order to build positive school climates. 

“Gretchen has been a tremendous contributor and leader in our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. An indispensable resource for her colleagues and support for students, she has advanced numerous initiatives for both faculty and staff,” said Dean Bridget Long. “Besides being a phenomenal teacher, Gretchen is also having a positive impact on the field through both her scholarship and her success in building strong partnerships between HGSE and local communities. I am thrilled she is a member of our faculty and delighted that we can recognize her work with this promotion.”

Before joining HGSE, Brion-Meisels taught middle school English and history for eight years, in addition to fifth- and sixth-grade classes in math and science. While pursuing her doctorate at HGSE she served as an adviser, a teaching fellow for multiple master's courses, and a teaching fellow in the Field Experience Program. She was also an instructor from 2011–2013, teaching her own module on preventing bullying and discrimination. She joined HGSE as a lecturer after her graduation in 2013.

A valued teacher at HGSE who is committed to nurturing educational experiences that promote individual and collective wellbeing, Brion-Meisels' courses focus on addressing how educational settings can support the social, emotional, physical, spiritual, and cognitive development of young people who experience recurring and persistent environmental discrimination and/or trauma. In 2016, she was awarded the Morningstar Family Teaching Award, an honor for which she was nominated by her students.

She has worked on a number of DEI initiatives at Harvard, including as co-chair of the Dean's Advisory Committee on Equity and Diversity and as a DEI Faculty Fellow. She worked to develop the master's concentration in Identity, Power, and Justice in Education with Lecturer Aaliyah El-Amin, for which she now serves as faculty co-chair.

“I am deeply grateful for the community of students, staff, and faculty colleagues at HGSE who have both challenged and supported me,” Brion-Meisels said. “I am excited to continue to build relationships and systems that foster collective wellbeing within the HGSE community.”

Brion-Meisels is a leader in the growing field of youth participatory action research (YPAR). She has used her research as an opportunity to strengthen relationships between HGSE and local communities, particularly Cambridge and Somerville, where she has provided extensive professional development to educators, worked directly with youth on YPAR projects, worked closely with educators to address issues of inequity in their districts, and supervised many HGSE students in the field in these communities.   

“I look forward to continuing to work with youth and educators in the broader Cambridge, Somerville, and Boston communities, who are engaged in critically analyzing injustice through cycles of action and reflection,” Brion-Meisels said.


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