Aaron Brower


Professor, Provost and Vice Chancellor of UW Extension


 Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Aaron: Professor of Social Work and Integrated Liberal Studies, and is Vice Provost for Teaching & Learning, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1980, and by 1985 went on to receive his M.S.W., M.A. in Psychology, and Ph.D. in Social Work and Psychology from the University of Michigan. Brower's early work focused on small groups and social cognition, producing four books, including Social Cognition and Individual Change and What's Social about Social Cognition? both by Sage Publications. His work evolved to study group and community processes related to college life as experienced by students from diverse backgrounds, student drinking, and college student success.

Brower's research finds that academic and social outcomes are produced when college environments blend in-class and out-of-class learning and experiences to create communities of students, faculty, and staff who share common learning goals (i.e., learning communities). He has been instrumental in the creation of many residential and nonresidential learning communities at UW-Madison and across the U.S., including first-year student transition programs, summer "bridge" and orientation programs, undergraduate research scholars programs, and living-learning programs. Along with his colleague, Karen K. Inkelas, he has created the first national survey and study of living-learning programs, the National Study of Living-Learning Programs.

And here's what wikipedia doesn't say: Aaron's parents owned a day camp for grade school-age kids northwest of Chicago, and he lived year-round at camp until he was in high school. Aaron met his wife, Nancy, because they lived on the same floor in a residential learning community-like dorm when they were first year students at Michigan. They have two sons, one who graduated college and one who's just about to graduate. You could say that small groups and community living are in his blood.