ASPiRE Director, Erin Burke Brown, Ph.D, Named "Top 40 Under 40"
ASPiRE Director Erin Burke Brown, Ph.D, was named to Style Weekly's "Top 40 Under 40" list for 2018. The annual issue highlights 40 individuals in the greater Richmond area who are under the age of 40 and deserve recognition for their "focus, determination and hard work for the betterment of Richmond."
Brown's work with VCU's ASPiRE program was a focus of her nomination. In her interview for the issue, she said, "We have partners, nonprofits and other community groups. Our students are in 20 to 25 activities such as mentoring or food banks. It makes [their education] more relevant. When students reach out to the community, children might see people who look like them planning to be a doctor, or a lawyer or a nurse."
Brown was named director of VCU ASPiRE in 2015, and in this role, she provides leadership and oversight for all operations of the program, its staff and curriculum. She previously worked in VCU's Service-Learning office within the Division of Community Engagement (DCE), supporting service-learning faculty, students and community partners in the development of quality courses that integrate meaningful service experiences into the academic curriculum. Brown joined the DCE in 2008 as the coordinator of the AmeriCorps and America Reads Programs. Prior to VCU, Brown worked at a local nonprofit with children of incarcerated parents, and she participated in the Teach for America program where she served as a 5th grade teacher in Baton Rouge, La.
Brown holds her doctorate and master's degrees in public policy and administration from VCU and her undergraduate degree in English literature and African American studies from the University of Virginia. Brown’s research and teaching interests include service-learning, inclusion and diversity, community partnerships and university student development.
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