Dr. Heather Brown has been named the Director of the Women’s Center at St. Cloud State University, effective July 5.
Dr. Brown holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lake Forest College and a Master of Theological Studies degree from Harvard Divinity School – both focused on women’s studies in religion. She earned a Doctorate of Education in Adult and Higher Education with a graduate certificate in Women’s and Gender Studies from Northern Illinois University. Dr. Brown’s research focuses on improving academic outcomes in under-served and stigmatized populations, with a specific focus on exploring the connections between weight and learning in women.
Dr. Brown began her career working for community-based organizations serving immigrants and refugees, particularly women and young people. She then worked in higher education administration with a focus on research development and grant writing. She has facilitated more than $20 million in research and program grants in her career. Dr. Brown also served as Executive Director of the Women + Girls Research Alliance at University of North Carolina Charlotte for several years, a position for which she received the 2018 Women’s Center Committee Emerging Leader Award from the National Women’s Studies Association.
Dr. Brown’s research has appeared in Sex Roles, Resources for Gender and Women’s Studies: A Feminist Review, and Fat Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Body Weight and Society, as well as in The Fat Pedagogy Reader: Challenging Weight-Based Oppression in Education, Thickening Fat: Fat Bodies, Intersectionality, and Social Justice, The Routledge Companion to Gender and Fat, and Community-Based Qualitative Research: Approaches for Education and the Social Sciences.
Her first co-edited book, called Weight Bias in Health Education: Critical Perspectives for Pedagogy and Practice, was published by Routledge in 2021. Dr. Brown currently serves as a co-editor of Adult Literacy Education: The International Journal of Literacy, Language, and Numeracy, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. She was previously a co-editor of the Journal of Research and Practice for Adult Literacy, Secondary, and Basic Education and the editorial assistant for Adult Education Quarterly.