University of Minnesota
Office of Human Resources

Jane O'Brien

Jane O'Brien

Associate Director

  • Campus Phone: 612-625-3885
  • Email:
  • Office: University Office Plaza Suite 400, Room 407


  • B.A. College of St. Catherine, Philosophy and English Literature. Member Phi Beta Kappa.
  • M.A. College of St. Thomas, Teaching
  • Additional graduate coursework, University of Minnesota, English as a Second Language, Comparative and International Development Education

Teaching Interests

My educational background is in language and teaching and I am broadly interested in language acquisition, higher education pedagogy and ethics. I also worked for many years in health care administration before returning to education. My recent teaching includes GRAD 5105 – Practicum in Language and Teaching in Higher Education and a course in ethics for students pursuing a certificate in surgical technology. I am also involved in immigrant and refugee issues in the Twin Cities area and serve as a volunteer for the Center for Victims of Torture. Other areas of teaching interests include:

  • Internationalization
  • Assessment and evaluation of teaching

Current Projects

I am currently working with two colleges on program evaluation projects and with the Graduate School on online career resources. Recently I have become interested in podcasting and am developing a series on just-in-time teaching tips. Areas of special interest in individual consulting include:

  • Feedback, assessment and grading
  • Matching active learning teaching techniques to learner outcomes
  • Domestic and international diversity
  • Spoken English

Research Interests

I am interested in cross cultural teaching and internationalization of higher education. Other areas of research interest include:

  • Grading in general and issues in validity in performance testing in language
  • What constitutes evidence in the scholarship of teaching and learning

Selected Publications and Presentations

Ruhe, V., O’Brien, J., Lindgren ,J. (2006). Using Messick's Framework to Validate a Teaching

Performance a Rubric for Rubric for International Teaching Assistants, In To Improve the Academy. Boston, MA: Anker Publishing Company Inc.

“Building on Strengths; Working with Survivors of War Trauma” Minnesota Literacy Annual Conference, Minneapolis, MN February, 2009

“Supporting International Faculty” (with Theresa Pettit of Cornell), Professional and Organizational Development Network,, Reno, NV, October 2008

“Faculty Issues in Study Abroad” (with Jeff Lindgren) NAFSA Annual Conference, Minneapolis, August 2007.

“Are we passing the same students?” (with Susan Greene and Miki Mendelson of Princeton), Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Annual Conference, Tampa, FL, March 2006.

“Continuous calibration for testing”, (with Jeff Lindgren), Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD, March 2005.

“Using software for language teaching”(with Kate Martin) ,Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Annual Conference, Tampa, FL, March 2006.

“Educating the Teachers: Cross-Cultural Training for Teachers Working with U.S. Students Abroad and International Students in the U.S”. (with Joyce Weinsheimer and Anders Uhrskov), Council for International Educational Exchange Conference, Santa Fe, NM, November 2004.

“Student Satisfaction with ITAs” (with Laurie Frazier), Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, UT March 2003.