Dr. Marion Nesbit’s eclectic background and interests are well suited for teaching across the University and advising a range of interdisciplinary, entrepreneurial students who want to make a difference in the world. Coming from a liberal arts background in psychology, education, and the arts (art history and music), she served as a teacher before completing an American Psychological Association model scholar-practitioner program that emphasizes clinical and organizational consultation skills. Because of her focus on primary prevention, her minor concentration was community psychology. She further studied public interest law and policy through participation in coursework and an internship at the University of Texas Law School in the fields of child and family law, educational law, privacy rights, and juvenile justice.
On receiving her doctorate, Dr. Nesbit was invited to serve as Chief State Consultant for Program Development in TEA, the Texas State Department of Education, in the Division of Special Education and Pupil Appraisal, where she integrated psychology, education, and law to interpret legislation and litigation into state program development and Federal program planning for public school administrators, psychologists, teachers, and parents in Texas. Among her responsibilities were completing the Federal Annual Program Plan, training large and small groups of specialists, serving in a small group to construct a new State service delivery model, and writing the Parents Rights Handbook for parents of all identified special needs children in Texas.
Over the years, Dr. Nesbit has served as a leader for organizational development initiatives. She co-founded and was the first president of a family business. She has served as a consultant for early childhood and juvenile agencies and participated as an active community servant and leader. She serves on the following boards:
• Harvard Chapter of Phi Delta Kappa, Board President
• Creative Arts Advisory Board, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
• Christopher’s Haven, for children undergoing treatment in Mass General Hospital’s Proton Beam Center and their families
• Minuteman Regional Technical High School, Early Education Advisory
Dr. Nesbit’s research is dedicated to the scholarship of teaching and learning. From perspectives of leader/mentor/ colleague, she addresses higher education pedagogy, thesis development, and thesis advisement as well as institutional partnerships in program development and evaluation. She has focused on the relationship of cultural factors and life transitions in educational achievement and on psychosocial and organizational factors in teaching and advisement that contribute to student success. Recent work focuses on cultivation of 21st Century skills of collaboration and creative problem solving and the transferability of research skills from coursework and thesis development to the workplace, specifically how research knowledge and skill contribute to individuals’ perceptions of their power/agency to address concerns in their professional environments through data-informed creative problem solving initiatives.
On a systems level, Dr. Nesbit chaired an institutional research initiative to determine faculty priorities in making fiscal decisions.