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Rose M. Brewer - Award Statement

Rose M. Brewer, Professor of Afro American and African Studies, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, is recognized for her outstanding contributions to reforming the sociological curriculum to better incorporate the intersections of race, class, and gender.  Brewer previously received the University of Minnesota’s Morse Alumni Teaching Award for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education, the Outstanding Achievements in Education Award from the African American Student Association at Northeastern State University, the African American Learning Resources Center Award for teaching excellence, the Faculty Member of the Year award from the University of Minnesota Black Student Union.  Moreover, she was named a Macarthur Program Faculty Fellow in 2002 and inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers in 1999.

Brewer has been a leader in the movement to create a multicultural curriculum in Sociology and beyond.  Her scholarship in this regard was showcased in the 2007 publication of The Critical Classroom:  Education for Liberation and Movement Building (with Walda Katz-Fishman and Lisa Albrecht).  Her current book projects, including an introductory text on race theory and one on the sociology of African Americans will continue her efforts toward a more inclusive social science.  Brewer   has also published dozens of articles and book chapters on intersectional analysis and its applications to teaching and learning.  In addition, she has generously shared her insights in over thirty workshops on curriculum transformation and multicultural education.  Her impact was first observed at the University of Minnesota, but over the past 25 years, Brewer’s influence on the teaching and learning of sociology has reached far beyond the local level. 

Brewer has been instrumental in enhancing the professional training of graduate students and faculty by serving as co-director of the University of Minnesota’s Multicultural Teaching and Learning Fellowship Program for the past four years and as the current Faculty Director of the University Center for Teaching and Learning.  Several of Brewer’s former graduate students and colleagues attest to the transformative effect of her instruction and mentoring on their own teaching careers.

Throughout her career Brewer has worked tirelessly to join the academy and the community.  Her current efforts in this regard exemplify the best of community engaged teaching and learning.   Brewer arranges service learning placements for her students to discover firsthand the history of civil rights activism of the Twin Cities area as well as the critical issues confronting the current African American community. Moreover, Brewer asks her students to apply their sociological imaginations in identifying new avenues for creating change in their communities.   

Brewer is given the 2013 Distinguished Contributions Award in recognition of her comprehensive impact on teaching in the social sciences. As indicated by her nominator (Bernice McNair Barnett),

“Professor Brewer’s contributions go beyond her department and her university.  For example, over the years I have had the pleasure of attending her regional and national ASA workshops on teaching race, class, gender and found her workshops,  lectures,  teaching materials, handouts and  innovative strategies  to be enormously helpful in my own teaching here at  Illinois. In my observation Professor Brewer has made a commitment to teaching not only at the department, university, regional, and national levels, but also at the international level as reflected in her teaching, lecturing, and workshops in Latin America, Africa, and other countries."