Brenda Hackett

Collegiate Learning Specialist

Brenda creates opportunities for her students to shine. By focusing on their strengths, students start to realize they are more capable than they have been led to believe. Through this lens, students can envision and reach new goals. She has been working with a diverse population of college students for more than fifteen years. She meets students where they are and values hearing about their experiences, history, and perspectives.

Trust is the basis of her relationships in which she challenges students to break out of their familiar patterns. “Because they can be stuck in their own self-limiting beliefs, many students are unwilling to experiment. I am good at building enough trust so that they can leap into new ways of being.”

Brenda began her career in higher education as a Learning Specialist at Becker College where she helped students develop the academic skills they needed to become more confident and successful. She was instrumental in developing the Supplemental Instruction Program, instructed the First Year Experience course, and eventually became the Director of Student Support Services.

Student engagement is the foundation and the result of her work. “There is no magic wand,” she says. “Student engagement is where the magic lies. When students feel supported well enough—but not too much—they can be empowered to create the change they need to move forward.”

As adjunct faculty, she designed and taught Cognitive Psychology and instructed CORE Developing an Entrepreneurial Mindset. Brenda’s most recent position was Director of Accessibility, Inclusion and Disability Services at Community College of Rhode Island. She also was responsible for supporting students under Title 9 Pregnancy and Parenting. She holds an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Assumption University, and a B.A. in Psychology from Assumption University.

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