SUNY Board of Trustees
Dr. Kenneth P. O’Brien, Associate Professor of History at the College at Brockport and President of the Faculty Senate, joined the SUNY Board of Trustees July 1, 2009.
Professor O'Brien received his AB degree from Rutgers College and his PhD in American history from Northwestern University. A member of the College’s teaching faculty for more than three decades, he specializes in modern America, with teaching emphasis on 20th century American history. He has taught courses on every level of the college curriculum and in 1981, he received the Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence.
Professor O’Brien has served the College, the University, and the public in a variety of positions over the years, including chair of the history department, Director of the College Honors Program, Monroe County Historian, two terms as President of the Brockport College Senate, chair of numerous College-wide committees, and member of several recent SUNY-wide committees on Honors education, system wide assessment and system transfer. In addition to his recent responsibility for the Honors Program, he has served as Director of Transfer Articulation. In 1985, he was appointed to the Motion Picture Association Ratings Board for a two-year term, and in 1998, he received a gubernatorial appointment to the New York State Historical Records Advisory Board, on which he still serves. He received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service in 2005.
An active scholar, Dr. O’Brien’s most recent publications include SUNY at 60, a co-edited volume on the history of the State University of New York (SUNY Press) and “The United States, War and the Twentieth Century” in The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Culture (Cambridge University Press). Recently, he jointly authored a short pictorial history, The State University of New York College at Brockport (2005) and earlier he co-edited The Home-Front War; American Society and World War II (Greenwood Press, 1995). His current projects include two pending co-authored articles, one on working women in Monroe County during World War II and the other an analysis of the transformation of SUNY College at Brockport from a state teachers college into a public comprehensive college. He also served in 1991-1993 as the Associate Director of “Lest We Forget,” an NEH-funded ($250,000) Public Humanities project, and directed four other grants.
He and his wife, Diane, live in Brockport, and their daughter, Meghan, earned her second baccalaureate degree the Stony Brook University Physician Assistant program in 1998.