IMG_4718-Lyddon-5MB_cropWelcome, and thank you for visiting my website.

I am an applied researcher and research architecture manager, currently serving as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Brown University, where I work  on the Brown-based component of a multi-institution, multi-year Study of Educational Standards. I specialize in normative democratic theory, civic education, and qualitative education policy research.

I am also an Academic Program Fellow at the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy, a research center within the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown.

My research focuses at the intersection of normative democratic theory and applied research in education policy, in particular on the critique and improvement of civic education policy, curricular standards, and support for improving instructional practice in the United States. More broadly, I am interested in curricular innovation and development, civic engagement, capacity building and mentoring practices in education, and the public mission of colleges and universities.

I earned my Ph.D. in Political Science at Brown, where I taught for a number of years and with increasing responsibility at undergraduate level and, more recently, in the Master of Public Affairs program at the Watson Institute. I have also taught in pre-college summer programs at Brown and Yale.

As a first generation graduate (B.A., M.A., and Ph.D.), I am passionate about the transformative power of higher education and improving access and support for underrepresented students. I also have a strong background and professional interests in research management, strategic development, advocacy, leadership and mentoring in higher education.

At this site, you can read about my work in higher education teaching and mentoring, my scholarly research, and my professional experience. My CV is also available for download.

My Scholarly Research

‘Crafting Citizens’ – my public talk for Brown’s 250th Anniversary Graduate Symposium, ‘Research Matters!

My graduate training centered on normative democratic theory, particularly political liberalism and normative debates on civic education. I am most interested in how a liberal civic education can prepare citizens for their political responsibilities while supporting and respecting their affirmation of a range of conceptions of the good life, and the range of identities and lived experiences they encounter. This question implicates the design and function of liberal democratic political institutions and practices, particularly education infrastructure and policy, and was the focus for my doctoral dissertation, ‘Value Integrity Civics: A New Approach for Crafting Liberal Democratic Citizens.’

My work now focuses on connecting my normative research with education policy, in particular the development of curricular design, policy, and practice in civic education, and broader questions of education policy responses to inequity, and the role of higher education institutions in promoting civic engagement and empowerment.

Read more about my research »

Teaching, Civic Education, and Leadership Training

Teaching, advising and mentoring are central to my motivation and professional identity as a teacher-scholar. My teaching experience includes service as a Graduate Teaching Fellow and in Teaching Assistantships at Brown, and for two years, as a Senior Instructor in the Young Global Scholars program at Yale University.

My teaching interests include: normative democratic theory, education policy (particularly citizenship, leadership, and social justice education), American political thought, ethics and public policy. I am also an experienced student advisor and mentor (including having advised an honors thesis, and provided writing support and mentoring to Master’s students).

I also maintain a professional interest in Citizenship and Leadership training, having originated a summer course in the Brown Leadership Institute program, and co-authored a civic education resource package in the UK.

Research Management and Professional Administration in Higher Education

I have a strong experience base in higher education administration, drawing on experience at Cardiff and Brown Universities and in the following areas:

  • research architecture management (grant and award management, data infrastructure and protocols, research team management)
  • academic strategic development (in research and teaching)
  • community and stakeholder engagement
  • course and program development and approval
  • marketing and student recruitment (with a speciality at the graduate level), including management of promotional and educational events
  • committee governance and staffing
  • student government and advocacy

Read more about my professional experience »

Background and Education

I grew up in the Bridgend region of southern Wales (UK) and am a graduate of Cardiff University (B.A., 2003; M.A., 2006). I earned a Master’s Degree at Brown University (2011) and received my Ph.D. from Brown in 2016. Prior to commencing my graduate work at Brown, I served for several years in postgraduate marketing and student recruitment positions at Cardiff. I maintain professional interests in the administration and governance of higher education institutions, in public service, and in organizational leadership and strategic communication.

Contacting me

I can be reached using the contact form on this site, via linkedin, academia.edu, or by email to lyddonmj@gmail.com.