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O’Brien, Patricia J. (1935-) | Morse Department of Special Collections

Name: O’Brien, Patricia J. (1935-)
Variant Name: Pat O'Brien


Historical Note:

Patricia J. O’Brien was born on April 1, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois to John P. O’Brien and Edna M. Massow. She attended Nicholas Senn High School, graduating in 1953, and then worked at the Illinois Bell Telephone Company as a plant engineering clerk from 1953 to 1960. Concurrently, Pat attended Wright Junior College and graduated in 1960 with an associate’s degree in art. She then attended the University of Illinois, graduating with a bachelor’s of art in anthropology in 1962 and a Ph.D. in the same subject in 1969. Her dissertation was, “A Formal Analysis of Cahokia Ceramics: Powell Tract”. O’Brien was an interim anthropology instructor at Florida Atlantic University in 1966-1967, and became an assistant professor of archeology and sociology at Kansas State University (KSU) in September 1967.

O’Brien worked at KSU for 31 years, retiring as a professor emerita in 1998. She has published seven books and over forty articles, and has presented regularly while at KSU. She has been involved professionally, including in the American Anthropological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and Sigma Xi. In 1989-1990, O’Brien was an Honor Lecturer at the Mid-American State Universities Association, and the following year she received the Conoco Distinguished Graduate Faculty Award and Sigma Xi deemed her a Distinguished Research Lecturer. She was a Fulbright Senior Lecturer in 1994-1995 at Würzburg, Germany, and was a guest professor in 1996 at Munich, Germany. In 2009, the Plains Anthropological Society recognized her lifetime achievement of Plains-related research, teaching, scholarship, and service by awarding O'Brien with the Distinguished Service Award.

Note Author: Amy Wedel





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