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 while his master’s research thesis used digital anthropology to understand online discussions of identity and self among individuals living with psychiatric comorbidity.
At Notre Dame, Brandon’s research initially focused 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 sought to develop an understanding of how pharmaceuticals and educational institutions work to produce certain type of citizens as morally responsible actors through examining these attitudes and practices towards these drugs in the United States and Norway.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Brandon pivoted his dissertation research to understand how university students’ daily lives were reshaped through higher education’s response to the pandemic and how this moment in time may disrupt the status quo in American higher education. His research interests include psychiatric anthropology, digital ethnography, discussion of the social organization of time and work, and the anthropology of higher education.