Brandon holds an M.A. in social anthropology from York University (2017) and a B.S. in anthropology and history from Central Michigan University (2014). His undergraduate research focused on the daily habits of university students with ADHD as well as global variations and understandings of attention disorders. His master’s research focused on digital anthropology and discourse of individuals living with psychiatric comorbidity.
At Notre Dame, Brandon’s research focuses on the activity surrounding study drug use by university students to enhance academic performance as well as the wider social entanglements these drugs are placed in. He seeks to develop an understanding of how pharmaceuticals and educational institutions work to produce certain type of citizens as morally responsible actors. First, through an examination of the ways in which the structure of the American university may contribute to the use of study drugs via student mental health services and the high pressure to attain competitive grades and how this may put youth at risk. And secondly how parents, faculty, or the bureaucracy of the university understand the use of study enhancement drugs and/or inadvertently facilitate in the creation of a study drug environment. Brandon also seeks to develop cross-cultural comparisons of study drug use between North American universities and Nordic universities, seeing Nordic universities as potential rich sites of contrast and comparison in relationship between higher education, study drug use, university students, and health-care systems.
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