Awards & Honors
- 2011 Lambda Pi Eta, the National Communication Association Honor Society
- 2007 Publicity Club of New England Bellringer Award
- 2005 Most Distinguished Alumnus Award from Salem State College
- 2001 The Strong, Smart and Bold Award from Girls, Inc.
- 1997 Nominee for the Anna Quinlan Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families given by the Child Welfare League of America
- 1997 Appreciation Award from Deana’s Fund, an anti-dating violence foundation
- 1995 Finalist for Women’s Sports Foundation Journalism Award
- 1995 Special Commendation Media Award from Massachusetts Commissioner of Mental Health Eileen Elias
- 1994 Community Service Award for “sensitive media coverage and challenging editorial comment” from Help for Abused Women and Children
As Senior Reporter for the Justice Brandeis Innocence Project at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism, Driscoll is helping to investigate cases of likely wrongful convictions in which there is no DNA to test. In particular, she is researching cases in which someone has been jailed for life for a murder that he or she appears not to have committed. Her work involves double-checking facts and documents, locating and re-interviewing witnesses, visiting locations, and conducting other on-site research that the defense attorney may have neglected. She has been part of the Justice Brandeis Innocence Project team of professional journalists and student research assistants probing these wrongful conviction cases since 2006.
An author, journalist, and licensed social worker in Massachusetts since 1979, Driscoll has covered a wide range of social issues, including criminal justice, health, homelessness, education, and child development. An award-winning journalist, she was a columnist for the Boston Globe between 1993 and 2000. Over the past thirty years, she has reported for the New York Times, Baltimore Sun, People, Teen People, Health, Real Simple, Parenting and CosmoGirl. Her series of guidebooks for girls, "Girl to Girl," were based on research she conducted on girls’ development in the US, England, Ireland, Canada and Australia. She was the primary criminal justice reporter for Ottaway’s Essex County Newspapers between 1980 and 1984.
Driscoll’s work investigating public health and human rights issues affecting women and girls has been repeatedly acknowledged. Her extensive reporting on domestic violence was recognized by Deana’s Fund in 1997 and by Help for Abused Women and Children in 1994. Her mental health coverage earned her a special commendation from the Massachusetts Commissioner of Mental Health Eileen Haas in 1995. Driscoll received a Strong, Smart and Bold Award from Girls, Inc. in 2001; was a nominee for the Anna Quinlan Award for Excellence in Journalism on Behalf of Children and Families in 1997; and was a finalist for the Women’s Sports Foundation Journalism award in 1995.
She has been an instructor or adjunct professor of journalism at North Shore Community College since 1986.
From 2001 to 2002, Driscoll was a Research Associate at the Salem State College Center for Advanced Research and Development, where she worked with graduate social work students and led a study on the impact of gender on girls and boys in schools. The study was a collaborative initiative between the college’s Social Work and Education departments. During the same period, she was a participant in the Girls Forum, an ongoing project researching therapeutic models for court-involved girls initiated by the North American Family Institute, which provides services to more juvenile delinquent girls than any other organization in the US.
In 1999 and 2000, Driscoll wrote a series of guidebooks for young girls, entitled "Girl to Girl: The Real Deal on Being a Girl Today," "Girl to Girl: Sports and You," and "Girl to Girl: Friends and You." The books have been recommended as a resource for the Raising Confident and Competent Girls curriculum developed for middle school girls by the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women.
In 2011, Driscoll published a new edition of “Girl To Girl: The Real Deal On Being A Girl Today” (PFP Publishing), available in paperback and e-book.
A girl power book for pre—teens, “Girl to Girl: The Real Deal on Being a Girl Today” spills secrets of keeping friends, cracks the code of boyspeak and gives the skinny on body image.
The first book in the series was endorsed by Mary Pipher, author of “Reviving Ophelia,” David Sadker, author of “Failing at Fairness,” and Caryl Rivers, author of “Selling Anxiety: How the News Media Scare Women.” This breakthrough self-help series was based on surveys of more than 100 girls ranging from Australia to Ireland. Published by Element Children’s Books in 1999, the books validated girls’ relational nature and its original formula of extensively using girls’ own voices served to confirm them as experts on their own lives and put them in connection with one another. The first book was described by Publishers’ Weekly as “a girl power book for pre-teens” and picked up by Scholastic Book Club, where it sold 80,000 copies in the first year of distribution.
The second book in Driscoll’s series, "Girl to Girl: Sports and You," repeated the popular formula of surveying girls about their lives and including their voices. The book drew on the burgeoning research done post-Title IX, suggesting that girls who play sports benefit emotionally, physically, mentally and academically. Donna Lopiano, former chief executive officer of the Women’s Sports Foundation, commented, “For girls and by girls, this inspirational, interactive book shows that when it comes to sports, girls are not alone in their questions and concern.” John Bryant, columnist for the Times of London, added that the book “chronicles the most significant revolution in school sport we have seen in a century.”
The third in the series used the same approach to survey girls in English-speaking countries about their friendships and relationships. Driscoll found that, among other things, the fact that girls are playing sports in greater numbers than ever before has profoundly changed the nature of the relationships between girls and boys.
Driscoll has also contributed to "101 Careers in Social Work," published by Springer Publishing Company in 2008, "Writing in the Works," published by Houghton Mifflin in 2007, and "Women’s Health and Wellness 2005," published by Oxmoor House in 2005. Driscoll’s work has been the subject of stories or reviews in Publishers Weekly, National Education Association, The Times of London, and The Times Educational Supplement. She has also been interviewed about her work by print, television, and radio outlets, both in the United States and abroad.
The Sordid Side of Strength Training Among Teens
“Juiced Up,” published in People magazine on May 31, 2004, was cited as one of the top five most-read People stories of the year. In this article, Driscoll revealed that, contrary to conventional wisdom, steroids are not just a problem in pro sports. In a quest for bigger, stronger bodies, ordinary teen boys and twenty-somethings are shooting up too—sometimes with tragic results. Driscoll investigated the dark, illegal world of steroid use and uncovered users willing to talk about their drug habits and show her how they inject steroids.
The Sad, Sadistic Side of Paradise
“The Dog Rescuer,” published in People magazine on April 28, 2008, uncovered the routine abandonment, torture and killing of dogs on a sandy stretch of shoreline nicknamed Dead Dog Beach and the man whose mission it is to save them. Within ten minutes of arriving at Dead Dog Beach in Yabucoa, Puerto Rico, Driscoll found five trash bags with the decaying remains of four dogs and a horse. The story of dog rescuer Steve McGarva received widespread notice and generated an enormous humanitarian response of donations and offers to rescue dogs.
Driscoll is a frequent public speaker who has given talks to students, parents and educators in England, Ireland, Northern Ireland and the US, on gender and relationships and other social issues. She has been a guest lecturer at Boston University, Salem State College, Endicott College and North Shore Community College, as well as at health symposiums, conferences, public forums, churches, lyceums and libraries.
"Betty Anne Waters' Conviction Kept Her Going," Huffington Post, October 19, 2010.
"Journalists Use World Cup Hoopla to Spotlight Human Trafficking," Tonic.com, June 17, 2010.
"Lights! Camera! College! YouTube is the Gateway to Admission," Tonic.com, February 22, 2010.
"The American Red Cross, a $10 Text Well Spent," Tonic.com, January 22, 2010.
"A Cold Case Comes To Life," People, April 13, 2009.
“The Dog Rescuer,” People, April 28, 2008.
“Juiced Up,” People, May 31, 2004.
“Not the Girl He Seems,” People, September 16, 2002.
“Equal Pay Victory Is Sweet, at Last, for Charwomen,” Women’s ENews, September 9, 2001.
"Girls are Playing Their Own Kind of Game," Boston Globe Magazine, February 6, 2000.
“Giving Girls a Sporting Chance,” Boston Globe Magazine, October 24, 1999.
"Girl's Record Makes a Point on Sports," Boston Globe Magazine, February 2, 1997.
“A Little Quiz for the Comfortable,” New York Times, May 7, 1989.
“Ex-Marines Returning to Vietnam to Aid in the Removal of Mines,” New York Times, November 27, 1988.