Dr. Brandi Odom Lucas is highly accomplished in the field of education, and her career is a testament to her dedication in progressing diversity, equity, and inclusion in academic institutions. Brandi’s courage of conviction and strength in her faith have been driving forces in her efforts to shape the future of education.
Fascinated by the connection between the mind and body, Brandi received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychobiology from the University of California. After her graduation, she worked as a Research Assistant with Charles Drew University of Medicine, studying the effects of meditation on cardiovascular disease in older African Americans. She additionally served as a volunteer high school math and science teacher with Charles Drew Saturday Science Academy, applying her knowledge of biology and scientific concepts to a learning environment.
After only a few years, Brandi launched her full-time career as a teacher with Verbum Dei High School, teaching biology and psychology. She integrated online lessons and created and implemented lesson plans which deepened student understanding of psychology concepts, including ESL and ELL students. In addition to teaching, Brandi served in multiple roles which strengthened the academic success of students, including Director of Student Success Service Center, Dean of Students, and Math and Science Administrative Coach. In these roles, she was able to apply research-based solutions directly to students in the areas of tutoring, coaching in emotional and behavioral health, and customized lesson planning to meet individual needs.
After delivering positive results in student coaching and learning, Brandi eventually took on leadership roles within Verbum Dei – after two years as Assistant Principal, she took on the role of Interim Principal, and then Principal. In these positions, she was able to integrate DEI initiatives school-wide. In January, 2023, Brandi joined the community of St. Mary’s Academy in Inglewood, California. As an academic leader, Brandi strongly supports teacher development through the creation of onsite professional development committees and coaching cycles. She is persistent in her work for equity through consistent (re)assessment and (re) evaluation of policies, procedures, and practices.
Understanding the importance of lifelong learning, Brandi obtained her Master’s degree in Catholic School Administration and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership for Social Justice. Her doctoral dissertation, “Sweet Spirit: The Pedagogical Relevance of the Black Church for African-American Males” discussed the tie between church and pedagogical practices among African American males. She also collaborated in authoring “Can’t Turn Around!”: The Road to Equity in Catholic School Leadership, a chapter in the book titled Conscience & Catholic Education and an article published in the Journal of Catholic Education entitled “Transformation from within: Grounded practice of teachers amidst cultural changes.”
As an advocate for equitable education practices, Brandi expands her work beyond Verbum Dei. She currently serves as part-time lecturer at Loyola Marymount University. She has also served as Equity Consultant for the Diocese of San Jose and the Diocese of San Diego. Other titles she holds are President of the Site Leadership Council for Gonzalez Elementary School, Member of the High School Leadership Council for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.