Who's Who Top Educators

Patrick J. O’Brien, PhD

Title: Senior Lecturer and Administrator for the Department of French and Italian
Company: University of Minnesota
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Patrick J. O’Brien, PhD, retired senior lecturer and administrator for the Department of French and Italian at the University of Minnesota, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Educators for dedication, achievements, and leadership in language education.

Dr. O’Brien is a distinguished faculty member of the University of Minnesota in the Undergraduate Advising Office. He also served as an administrator, as an undergraduate advisor to all 72 majors in the College of Liberal Arts, and as Chair of the C.L.A. Scholastic Appeals Committee.

Dr. O’Brien earned a Doctor of Philosophy in French from the University of Minnesota in 1985, and Master of Arts in French from Loyola University of Chicago in 1976. He is a former member of the Modern Language Association.

Dr. O’Brien attributes his longevity and success to his willingness to learn, try new things, and take risks. The toughest thing he learned from dealing with students was “how to be open-hearted without being bamboozled.”

Dr. O’Brien is a respected member of the academic community, earning a Distinguished Teaching Award. Additionally, one of the plays on which he based his thesis, Pierre Corneille’s L’Illusion comique, was performed at the Guthrie Theater, where he had the opportunity to address the board of directors on the show’s opening night.
Throughout his career, Dr. O’Brien learned valuable lessons in his field. He witnessed changes and advancements in the study of French language and literature. Dr. O’Brien believes that these changes have the potential to shape the future of language learning, encouraging new approaches and perspectives in practical education.

A strong advocate for the arts and human relations, he authored and researched articles for Gutherie Preview, Parade Magazine, and other publications. He also actively engaged in philanthropic causes, including editing Building Blocks (the donor publication for Minneapolis Children’s Medical Center) and acting as an on-air fundraiser for KTCA, the Twin Cities Public Television station. He also served as Director of Fundraising and Publications for the Minnesota/Dakotas Regional Office of the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

Dr. O’Brien is a member of the Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) since 1984. Notably, he has done numerous TV commercials and industrial videos.

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