About Me

Dr. Tricia Brainard joins Xcalibur as Director of Research and Evaluation. She has over 35 years of experience educating at-risk children, youth, and adults. Dr. Brainard has a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis in math and a minor in Early Childhood Education, a Master’s in Adult Education with an emphasis in literacy and English as a Second Language, and a doctorate in Adult Education with an emphasis in Social Justice. She has taught and been an administrator in a variety of alternative education venues such as juvenile detention facilities, adult prisons, non-profit organizations, K-12 schools, community colleges, and institutions of higher education. She was instrumental in Wisconsin when the Department of Public Instruction first created performance measures for Early Childhood Education and alternative high school programs for youth and adults. She has managed and evaluated several federal grants in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and New Mexico. Dr. Brainard has created data management systems and assisted teachers, administrators, and community stakeholders to use data in strategic planning, improving instruction, and increasing student achievement. In addition to her work with GEAR UP, her research projects include Early Childhood Nutritional assessments, Homeless Conditions in Chicago, Transgender issues in the Workplace, White Privilege and Cultural Responsive Instruction, and Teen Moms Entering Post-secondary Education. Dr. Brainard is currently involved in a qualitative study of GEAR UP participants as they reflect on their experiences and the effect  those services have had on their post-secondary journey. She has also been involved in GEAR UP’s College and Career Readiness Evaluation Consortium (CCREC).

Dr. Brainard previously held the position of internal evaluator and then GEAR UP Director for GEAR UP New Mexico. This experience assisted GEAR UP New Mexico in establishing accountability protocols and standards for program delivery. Dr. Brainard's collaborative style, grant administration, and experience in evaluation and research will assist Xcalibur to expand our capacity to support GEAR UP programs as the Nation enters the most critical years of  proving that GEAR UP Works! Dr. Brainard has presented GEAR UP Annual Conferences and GEAR UP West conferences.

Organization Affiliations

  • American Evaluation Association
  • ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development)
  • Correctional Education Association
  • Commission on Adult Basic Education
  • American Association for Adult and Continuing Education
  • Family Literacy Alliance
  • National Even Start Association

Meet The Team

We do some amazing work together!