Lisa M. Brown, Ph.D., '81 is a professor of psychology and dean of social sciences at Austin College, the oldest institution of higher education in Texas, and one that prides itself on being "majority minority." COVID-19 has sent most students home but like educators everywhere, Lisa continues teaching, supporting students, and helping lead her institution -- though remotely, and with some new challenges.
"As a Dean, I am fielding new categories of student petitions. For instance, some students have lobbied forcefully for the college to drop all grades this term, but they fail to realize the negative effect that would have on the subset of their peers aiming for grad school, and those with outside scholarships contingent on specific GPAs as well as students working hard to get off of academic probation through graded courses. There are long-term repercussions we need to examine, as we work to position all our students for secure futures."
She notes that the COVID crisis has made national disparities more obvious. "Black and Latino folks are more likely to die; it's a fact. Often there is the illusion that all college students are alike when some of our students are food insecure at home or don’t have a home to go to." For Lisa, as well as countless others working in education, helping students of underserved backgrounds forge better, more secure futures for themselves and their communities is not just a profession; it's a calling. We are proud to count Lisa as a Shady Hill grad. #changemakers