Osburn is Associate Director of CONNECT at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, which adapts theatrical training techniques to enhance the communication skills of engineering students. The core workshop, Communication Dynamics, works with actual teams working on projects and presentations. Follow-up workshops and seminars address vocal, physical, group and written expression, content, decision-making, visual presentation, and cross-cultural communication. Osburn co-developed the program and built a facilitation team drawn from the performing arts, academia, and corporate training.
Since 2015 he has been Coordinator of Professional Development Workshops and Seminars, of which CONNECT is a core component. He was integral to successive redesigns of the program that consolidated it as an experience and made connections to multiple campus programs.
An Instructor in Drama and Dramatic Literature at New York University, he teaches Realism and Naturalism, Theory of Drama, Shakespeare on Film, and periodic special topics. He taught at The New School’s Eugene Lang College and was Visiting Assistant Professor of Drama at Vassar College, Preceptor in Expository Writing at NYU, and Assistant Director of the Center for Writing and Speaking and Team Teacher in Language Skills at the Cooper Union.
Osburn’s scholarship on theater and performance in law, journalism, and engineering education has appeared in Theatre Journal, American Journalism, International Journal for the Semiotics of Law, and The Journal of Business Strategy. He has reviewed books for Modern Drama (45:2, 46:1) and Theatre Journal (54.4, 56.1) and been interviewed on The State of Shakespeare: listen. His doctoral dissertation at NYU presented a theory of the news as “continual drama.”
He has presented at the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, American Society for Engineering Education, Mid-America Theatre Conference, Southwest/Texas and American Popular Culture Association, Theatres of Science: Crossovers and Confluence, Forum on Assessment in Arts Education, American Communication Association, Center for Engineering Education and Practice, Gateway/SUCCEED Project, and Product Development and Management Association.
In 1999, He was Co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation grant in support of CONNECT and was key to fulfilling the three-year federal grant that established the program in 1997.