Jennifer Silva Brown, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology
Dr. Silva Brown, assistant professor of psychology, has been a member of the Drury faculty since 2009. She earned her Ph.D. in adult cognition and health psychology from Louisiana State University in 2009. She also attended the University of New Hampshire, where she earned her B.A. (2005) and M.A. (2003) degrees in psychology with a specialization in behavioral neuroscience. She enjoys every minute of being in the classroom and feels passionate about teaching students. Dr. Silva Brown teaches introduction to psychology, research methods, health psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, and advanced behavioral research courses. Prior to coming to Drury, Dr. Silva Brown worked for the Louisiana Healthy Aging Study and conducted research identifying the determinants of successful aging, as well as the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on resident’s health and psychosocial well-being. She has co-authored research that is published in The Journal of Applied Social Psychology, The Handbook of Clinical Psychology, Lifespan Perspectives on Natural Disasters: Coping with Katrina, Rita, and other Storms, and Pharmacology, Biochemistry, and Behavior. She has also presented symposium sessions at the Southeastern Psychological Association and Gerontological Society of America conferences.
Dr. Silva Brown initiated the Joplin Impact Project to assess the well-being of the city’s resident’s following the catastrophic May 2011 tornado. All disasters bring catastrophic destruction, personal suffering, and health risks for people who reside in the affected area. The psychosocial consequences of natural disasters, including disruptions to social networks and threats to physical and mental health, are well documented. Nevertheless, the investigation of the psychological and social characteristics that may lessen vulnerability and promote adaptation to post-disaster life is essential for community recovery. The Joplin Impact Project is vital to the development of evidence-based interventions designed to reduce suffering and promote effective preparation and post-disaster management. The recent tornado, while heartbreaking, affords behavioral scientists the opportunity to examine how people and communities respond to a traumatic stressor. The knowledge gained from the Joplin Impact Project will provide remarkable insight into the characteristics that promote healthy adjustment, so clinicians and health professionals can encourage successful adaptation to post-disaster life, which is vital for Joplin’s recovery.
On a personal note, Dr. Silva Brown is a Boston native and is an avid Red Sox and Patriots fan. She loves traveling back to New England to visit her mom, dad, and brother during the summer months. However, on most weekends you can find her and her husband, Tony, playing with their mischievous crew of rescue animals, two orange tabby cats, Mack and Morris, and a 4-year old, border collie-beagle named Abby.
B.A., University of New Hampshire, 2003
M.A., University of New Hampshire, 2005
Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 2009
Drury University faculty member since 2009
Associate Professor since 2015