Dr. Marita O'Brien | Franciscan University of Steubenville
  • OBrien

    Dr. Marita O'Brien

    Assistant Professor of Psychology

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    Short Bio:

    Dr. O'Brien is an assistant professor of psychology at the Franciscan University of Steubenville. Her specialization is in engineering psychology which investigates the capabilities and limitations of humans to sense, store, process information, and act so that the design of technologies, processes, and training can be improved. Dr. O’Brien earned her Ph.D. in engineering psychology from Georgia Tech with a minor in cognitive aging. She also holds an M.S. in Telecommunications Engineering from the University of Colorado and an A.B. in Math from Duke University. Her main research interests are everyday decision-making and human error, everyday technology design and learning, disaster preparation, and human resilience. Prior to her academic career, she spent more than 10 years advising Fortune 500 clients on the design of customer interfaces at Deloitte Consulting and Morgan Stanley & Company.


    • Ph.D. - Georgia Institute of Technology, Engineering Psychology (2010); Minor: Cognitive Aging
    • M.S. - Georgia Institute of Technology, Engineering Psychology (2006)
    • M.S. - University of Colorado, Boulder, Telecommunications (1994)
    • A.B. - Duke University, Math/Economics (1988)

    Professional Experience

    • Assistant Professor of Psychology, Franciscan University of Steubenville, August 2014 – present
    • Assistant Professor of Psychology, University of Alabama in Huntsville, January 2010 – May 2014.
    • Medical Device Fellow,
      Human Factors, Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH)
      U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Rockville, MD
      May – September 2006
    • Senior Manager,
      Deloitte Consulting, Atlanta, GA and Sydney, Australia
      1994 – 2003
    • Network Analyst,
      Morgan Stanley & Company, NY
      1988 – 1992

    Professional Affiliations

    • Human Factors & Ergonomic Society (HFES)
    • Association for Psychological Science
    • American Psychological Association, Division 20 and 21
    • Fellowship of Catholic Scholars
    • American Meteorological Society


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