Jeff O’Brien is the Director of the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) National; a program of Northeastern University’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society (CSSS) and the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS). The multi-racial, mixed gender MVP Program is the first large-scale attempt to enlist high school, collegiate and professional athletes in the fight against all forms of men’s violence against women.
He holds a BA in English and MS in Education from Canisius College in Buffalo, New York and is currently pursuing a Ph. D. in Sociology from Northeastern University. At Canisius, O’Brien was co-captain during his senior season and a four-year starter at tight-end. He was an All-ECAC and All-America selection following his junior and senior seasons and remains the school record holder for career receptions and touchdowns. Jeff was inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.
He first began utilizing his status as an athlete to achieve positive social change through volunteer work with Canisius College’s Athletes Helping Athletes program. From 1987-1989 O’Brien spoke at Buffalo area middle schools and high schools about the importance of goal setting, decision making and balancing academics and athletics.
In 1991, Jeff was named Director of the Athletes Helping Athletes program at Canisius, coordinating the community outreach efforts of the athletic department and for all campus National Student-Athlete Day activities.
The following year he developed and organized the first dating violence workshop series for sports teams at Canisius. Peer educators facilitated mixed gender workshops with every student-athlete on campus.
In 1995, O’Brien became the initial director of Canisius’ AmeriCorps program – Athletes in Service to America (AIS). AIS utilizes former college student-athletes as role models for urban youth on the subjects of gender violence prevention, conflict resolution, cultural diversity, and media literacy. During his tenure, program participants volunteered over 85,000 hours of service to resource-poor communities in Buffalo.
Jeff joined the CSSS/NCAS staff in 1998 as Massachusetts Director of the MVP Program, and quickly retooled existing curriculum and managed the development and implementation of comprehensive leadership, education, and awareness initiatives. He was promoted to the position of MVP Director in September 1999.
He is a published author, a part-time Sociology Lecturer, has presented at numerous professional conferences and organizations, appeared on television and radio shows, and serves as a consultant for the MVP Strategies-US Marine Corps and Navy Training Programs.