Division of Interdisciplinary Inquiry: Interdisciplinary Studies
Professional Title: Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies
Areas of Academic Focus and Expertise: Community Psychology, Public Interest Law and Policy, Education
Area of Work and Concentration at Lesley: Interdisciplinary Studies, School of Education
Representative List of Recent Courses Taught: Dr. Nesbit’s primary teaching responsibilities are with interdisciplinary graduate students in the Self-designed Master’s Program (SDMD) who develop innovative projects and write thesis documents. Each year, though, she crosses into the School of Education to teach courses for the pre-k to 8 teaching certification programs in Psychosocial Perspectives and Human Development and Research, including collaborative action research. As one of the founders of the PhD Program in Educational Studies, she also enjoys working with doctoral students and teaching doctoral courses from time to time.• SDMD Self-designed Master’s Degree and CAGS individual teaching• Action Research Seminar: the culminating research course for Curriculum and Instruction and Literacy Licensure Programs• Psychosocial Perspectives in Education
Education: Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
Representative List of Recent Publications / Exhibitions:
PublicationsNesbit, M.J. (2010). Independent Study Degree Program alumni, In C. F. Brown and M. Forinash (Eds.), Lesley University, Celebrating Excellence 1909-2009 Centennial Publication.
Nesbit, M.J. (2009). Educating graduate students to become collaborative researchers, Proceedings of ICIERI2009 Conference. Madrid, Spain. ISBN: 978-84-613-2955-7.
Nesbit, M.J. and DeCristofaro, S. (2007). Creative arts as companion therapy in cancer treatment. Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, and Practice, 12. Awards GSASS Research FellowshipEDULEARN –International Board Member 2010Harvard Phi Delta Kappa Service Key AwardWho’s Who recognitions, National to Cambridge
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.
MA in Interdisciplinary Studies
M.Ed. in Interdisciplinary Studies
MA in Mindfulness Studies
MA in Interdisciplinary Studies: Peace and Conflict Transformation
Interdisciplinary Studies: Lesley in Guyana
Advanced Professional Certificate in Mindfulness Studies
Advanced Professional Certificate in Peace and Conflict Studies
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