Dreeben School of Education Welcomes Assistant Professor Lisa R. Brown, Adult Education Researcher

September 2, 2021

Dr. Lisa R. BrownLisa R. Brown, Ph.D., has joined the faculty in the Dreeben School of Education’s Graduate Studies Department as Assistant Professor of Education. She earned her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Chemistry and M.P.A. specializing in Program Evaluation from the University of Akron and received her Ph.D. in Adult Education, Learning, and Organization Development from the University of Georgia. She was invited to serve as visiting scholar at the Universidad Católica del Maule in Talca, Chile, where she conducted doctoral field research on graduate students and civic engagement. This opportunity ignited her passion for seeing economically and socially disadvantaged children and adults gain access to opportunities to enhance their lives and communities.

Prior to arriving at UIW, Dr. Brown was named Faculty Diversity Fellow at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike, Ohio. She taught courses designed to prepare future teachers, principals, and school superintendents in the Education Studies program.

“My initiation into higher education professionally was as the inaugural administrator for the University of Akron’s first minority recruitment and retention program called the Peer Counseling Program which continues today to be one of its most successful student matriculation initiatives. My administrative tenures have included being a minority admission and financial aid officer at Miami University of Ohio and Director of Intercultural Relations at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania (EUP). During my time at EUP, I created a community partnership with Lake Erie College of Medicine to increase the enrollment of black students into careers as physicians. I also introduced a community-based K-12 academic enrichment program that included an annual summer in-residence stay on campus where impoverished children from low-wealth families were mentored and given learning experiences from select university faculty,” said Dr. Brown.

Dr. Brown’s research and scholarship include adult education, adult learning and development, civic and community engagement, leadership, equality, and reparations for black American descendants of slaves, social justice and entrepreneurialism. She is on a National Reparations Planning Committee working with a new $300,000 grant-funded research and service project from the William T. Grant Foundation led by Dr. William A. Darity Jr., a distinguished professor of Public Policy and director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. Through this initiative, she will be working on a chapter in a new book with scholars across the U.S. focusing on adult education connecting it historical to civic engagement and enslavement reparations for Black American descendants of enslaved persons.

When asked about her teaching philosophy, Dr. Brown said, “I hold to a mix of constructivism and progressivism in my philosophical orientations. My teaching philosophy holds that all ideas are worthy of consideration and hold value toward critical deconstruction. For example, my use of peer-facilitated, in-person and online learning platforms has allowed for deep discussions and freed my students to exchange diverse ideas. It has also allowed them to engage in challenging beliefs and subject matter which is foundational to productive adult learning. I encourage reflexivity among my students that has led to their gaining increased capacities to anticipate likely reactions among their classmates. Such an approach allows students to frame questions and responses that lead to optimal academic engagement and mutual respect.”

“My Christian family background (maternal and paternal) is very strong with ancestral lineages stretching from Georgia and Texas/Oklahoma. I have family members who have founded black churches and pioneer towns in the Southwest during Jim Crow segregation. I am sure that my rich history of faith and service is born of those connections. Attending to my spiritual growth and development remains an important part of my life as a Christian. God has truly blessed my family and lifepath in so many ways and I am excited that it has now been led to the hallowed grounds of the University of the Incarnate Word. I am so excited to see what the next phase of my destiny will reveal.”