Thomas O'Brien joined the predecessor of the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Educational Leadership (TLEL) as an assistant professor in 1987. He received a BA in Chemistry and Science Education from Thomas More College and his master's and doctoral degrees in Chemistry & Science Teacher Education from the University of Maryland. He has worked as a science teacher across the K-12 levels and as a national, state and local science curriculum and professional development specialist.
- MA, PhD, University of Maryland at College Park
- BA, Thomas More College
- BSCS 5E “intelligent” CIA model (Engage-Explore-Explain-Elaborate-Evaluate)
- Real-world relevant FUNomena-first, discrepant events and Science Technology-Society issues
- Cognitive, evolutionary and social psychology
- Pre-service and in-service science teacher professional development
- 360-degree, transformational K-12 educational leadership for all school stakeholders
- Science Teachers Association of New York State (STANYS) Fellows Award, 2016.
- Collaborative, funded grants for science curriculum and professional development work totaling more than $4.6M, 1987-2008.
- New York State Science Education Leadership Association, NYSSLEA Outstanding Leadership in Science Education Award, 2004.
- SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching, 1999.
- New York State Association of Teacher Educators (NYSATE) R. Neal Appleby Award for New York's State's Outstanding Teacher Educator, 1999.