Brendaly provides managerial oversight to the Guided Study Groups program which offers collaborative learning environments to help students succeed in challenging large lecture and foundational courses. Her responsibilities include training and development of program staff, assessment and enhancement of program effectiveness, and program promotion and expansion.
Before joining the Penn State Learning staff, Brendaly acquired a B.A. in history from Vassar College and was a business professional in sales and marketing. She held various positions including District Sales Manager for Verizon Information Services and Accounts Manager for tmp.worldwide. Her experiences volunteering at an adult literacy center in Brooklyn inspired her interest in literacy, the social context of learning, and African American males and education resulting in a career change to academia. In 2012 she acquired her doctorate in adult education from Penn State State University. Brendaly is a recipient of the Alumni Dissertation Award and shares the Wedemeyer Award for Outstanding Scholar in Distance Education (2013) for a collaborative work. She has several publications including a book chapter entitled "Culture, conditions, and the transition to adulthood" and is co-editor of two New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education volumes: Swimming Upstream: Black males in education and Swimming Upstream 2: Agency and urgency in the education of Black men. In addition, she is one of the founding editors of the online journal: Discourses in Social Justice: An Adult Education journal and a manuscript reviewer for several journals including Journal of Research in Rural Education and Adult Education Quarterly. Brendaly has also been an invited instructor on qualitative research and an affiliate instructor for the adult education program.
Penn State Learning brings together her interests in the social context of learning, educational equity, and research. Brendaly envisions the Guided Study Group program as a learning space for promoting student success and developing lifelong learners, critical thinkers, and 21st century leaders.
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