Michelle L. O'Brien

Public Engagement


I approach public engagement as a critical stage of the research process. In order for social research to have impact on policies and programs, the findings need to be translated for diverse audiences.

I have presented research findings to such audiences as: internal stakeholders, policy-makers from the Department of Defense, the United Nations Development Programme, union workers preparing to meet their representatives, K-12 educators incorporating international perspectives in their curricula, and public audiences.


Podcast recordings of the following presentations are available from iTunes:
"The Rise of Neo-Nationalism in Russia"
"Tipping Points in Soviet History"

Opinion Pieces


"COVID-19 Will Have Long-Lasting Effects on Migration"

Public Service


I am a member of the Advisory Board of Lifting Hands International, an organization committed to providing humanitarian aid to refugees at home and abroad.

Selected Evaluations:


The following are excerpts from years of teaching undergraduate courses at the University of Washington. Full sets of student evaluations are available upon request.

"I feel better equipped to analyze and critique data presented to me. I can better understand scholarly articles, both in their implications and limitations."
"Michelle's attitude and personality was awesome, a nice balance of Subject Matter Expert (formal) and Human (informal) communication style."
"Michelle taught an amazing class. Her expertise and witty style ultimately made the dark and grim study of war interesting and creative. She has a unique ability to boil down an incredibly dense subject so it can foster good discussion."
"Michelle organizes her lectures in a way that is clear and easy to follow. She is always willing to answer any and all questions and she keeps the information relevant and interesting."