Bridgette Brawner

Faculty Fellow

Dr. Bridgette M. Brawner is an Assistant Professor in the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing, and a Senior Fellow in Penn’s Center for Public Health Initiatives. She graduated from Villanova University in 2003 (#NovaNation) with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. While working as a Neonatal Intensive Care nurse at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, she earned a Master’s of Science in Nursing from Penn as a Psychiatric-Mental Health Advanced Practice Registered Nurse in 2005—specializing in working with children and families. She earned a Doctorate of Philosophy in Nursing from Penn in 2009, and was selected as the University’s inaugural Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow immediately upon completion of the degree.


She is passionate about urban women’s physical and mental health, and works toward sexual health promotion in disenfranchised communities. She views research as an advocacy tool wherein scientists have the privilege and responsibility to use their findings to address abhorrent international social injustices. Her personal motto is “changing the world, one community at a time”. Dr. Brawner’s unique, multi-method lines of inquiry integrate innovative methodologies—such as GIS mapping and biobehavioral measures—to answer complex questions. Her current HIV prevention work takes a novel, multi-level approach to better understand risk contexts and intervene across individual, social and structural levels. One of her research studies, “Project GOLD,” helps youth gain knowledge and skills to improve their physical, sexual and mental health: She “stays young” working with this population, and leading a diverse team of rising scholars from high school through postdoctoral fellows.


While Dr. Brawner is an accomplished intellectual (she has almost 30 publications, has received more than $1 million in federal research funding and is an internationally recognized HIV prevention scientist), she prides herself in being a well-rounded individual who knows when to “unplug” and enjoy life. You will often here her say: “work hard, so you can play harder”; she is undoubtedly a hard worker with the multiple roles she plays in her personal and professional lives. She Brawner loves to travel and experience life from different cultural perspectives. She attributes this to her upbringing in Brooklyn, New York where she developed relationships with people from around the world and all walks of life. She has almost made it to every continent and has two left on her bucket list. She is thrilled to serve as a House Fellow for the New College House and is looking forward to getting to know our Penn students more intimately over the coming years. If you like dancing, debating hot topics, writing poetry, kickboxing, playing videos games, experimenting with new recipes, popping popcorn, meditating, watching TV/movies (e.g., NCIS), going to Times Square in NYC….as you can see the list goes on! If you like anything, you’ll enjoy spending time with her both in the house and out in the community. Follow her on Twitter @DrBMBrawner and subscribe to “Project GOLD” on YouTube!


Courses I will be teaching Fall 2016

NURS 526 - Child and Adolescent Mental Health