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New Faculty: Margaret Brower

Submitted by Natalie Mc Martinez on September 20, 2022 - 9:28am
Margaret Brower
Margaret Brower

Margaret Teresa Brower is an incoming assistant professor in American Politics. Her research investigates how institutions and policies reproduce inequities, particularly across intersecting identities of race, ethnicity, class, gender, and sexual orientation. Her work also identifies activism, advocacy, and policymaking that aim to transform these institutions to be more equitable, just, and representative of a diverse polity. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in Educational Policy, Distinct Identities II, Daedalus, Education Policy & Leadership, College & Character, Change Magazine, and Diversity & Democracy. Her work also has been discussed in various media outlets such as: NPR, MSNBC live, Washington Post, WGN, and WBEZ Chicago.

Margaret is currently finishing a Postdoctoral Fellowship with the Inequality in America Initiative at Harvard University. Prior to this fellowship, she completed her PhD at the University of Chicago. Her dissertation was on how women’s advocacy groups have intervened movements to end gendered violence to strategically advocate for interventions that account for how people can be marginalized across multiple axes of gender, class, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. She found that these groups are reimagining the American state and fundamentally transforming it by reconfiguring its policy institutions. Her current book project is based on this dissertation.

Before graduate school at the University of Chicago, Margaret worked with Nancy Thomas to establish the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE). In this role, she co-lead the development of the National study for Learning Voting and Engagement (NSLVE), a dataset of college student voting rates. She also led national campus climate studies for learning and political engagement. This past year, she collaborated with IDHE to do a campus climate study on closing the gaps among students of color in political engagement. She has a forthcoming paper in the journal of Educational Policy that presents the results of this work.

Before IDHE, Margaret received an MA from the University of Michigan in higher education and public policy. At the University of Michigan, she led community participatory research in Detroit with the National Forum for the Public good. She also traveled to Malaysia to lead independent research on access to higher education. Before graduate school, Margaret was a field manager for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). She took on this role after graduating from Colgate University with her BA in political science and education. At Colgate, she was president of the debate team, which was ranked 13th in the world at that time. She is always up for a good-hearted debate.  

Beyond academia, Margaret is also committed to addressing gender related issues. She sits on the advisory board for the organization “Women Employed” which advocates for better policies in the workplace for women, especially women of color. Additionally, she works closely with other advocacy organizations. This year she conducted research with advocacy groups that were addressing gendered violence and produced a report that was shared with over 250 of these organizations to help inform their practices and approaches to policy.

When Margaret is not working, she is cooking new recipes with her partner Anthony, painting on a blank canvas, curating a new Spotify playlist, writing poetry, finding someone to play basketball with, holding a yoga pose, looking for the next show in town, and buying too many candles. Margaret loves nature, but not hiking and hoping Seattle will change that for her. When she arrives in person in September 2023, come stop by and say hello.