Ph.D. in Education Student
School of Education
January 1, 2014
Researches Experiences of Student Veterans in Higher Education
Brandy Jenner is a 2nd year Ph.D. student in the School of Education specializing in Educational Policy and Social Context (EPSC). She comes to UC Irvine with a B.A. in Anthropology and Classical Studies from Scripps College and an M.A. in Social and Cultural Analysis of Education from CSU Long Beach.
Brandy’s background in higher education student affairs was obtained through her previous work with the Student Center for Professional Development at CSU Long Beach, where she coordinated two mentoring programs for undergraduate business students. After earning her master’s degree, Brandy spent two years in Boston, working with a corporate mentoring program, before returning to California to begin the Ph.D. in Education program at UC Irvine.
During her time at CSULB, Brandy became interested in the educational experiences of student veterans in higher education, and in the evolution of veterans’ educational benefits over time. These interests culminated in Brandy’s M.A. thesis, titled “Educational Opportunity, Democracy, and the Free Market: A Genealogical Examination,” which focused on an exploration of the 1944 G.I. Bill’s educational provisions.
This project motivated me to learn more about how changes in the G.I. Bill over time have impacted successive generations of student veterans, and led to my interest in the educational experiences of current student veterans in higher education. My father and grandfather both served in the U.S. military, which has instilled in me a respect for our military veterans and the conviction that society needs to do more to integrate servicemen and women back into society and to thank them for their service.
As a doctoral student, Brandy has served as a Teaching Assistant in the School of Education for several terms.
I have gained experience in the classroom and particularly enjoy the mentoring and one-on-one teaching aspects of the TA position.
Brandy recently completed a fieldwork methods project involving parent-child interaction at IKEA. She will be presenting the findings from her research at the Pacific Sociological Association’s annual conference this spring.
Brandy currently is working in collaboration with the Santa Ana College Veterans Resource Center and Veterans Upward Bound Program to study student veterans in higher education. She plans to survey, interview, and observe students and staff at the center and use this research to gain insight into the experiences of student veterans in higher education .
My goal is to inform best practices for student affairs practitioners and to continue this line of research in the future by expanding the project to include other higher education institutions in the Southern California area.