Cheryl A. Brown, Associate Director

Cheryl BrownDr. Cheryl Brown’s passion for African American Studies started as an undergraduate at UCSB where she earned a B.A. in Black Studies. After completing her B.A., she enrolled in UCLA’s Afro-American Studies masters and teaching credential programs. The combination of her coursework in Afro-American Studies and Education and site visits and student teaching in low performing schools engendered her desire to begin a research agenda involving issues of educational access and equity.

After completing her Master’s degree she enrolled in a doctorate program in UCLA’s School of Education. While in the Higher Education and Organizational Change program she examined college access issues and worked with the young Black scholars program. During this period she began to notice that some Black students who were successful gaining access to college struggled to stay in school and complete their degrees. Therefore she began a research agenda that looks at the types of involvement that enhance the experiences of Black Students who attend traditionally white universities. Her dissertation examined the experiences of Black students in African American Studies programs at two highly selective traditionally white universities. This research provided empirical evidence of the significance of culturally relevant curriculum and faculty support to the retention of Black students. It also provided evidence of the need for mentorship and spaces that promote intellectual growth and leadership.

Her work experiences include working as a research assistant for UCLA's CHOICES project and at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning, and as a TA for UCLA's high school advising program. After completing her doctorate she worked at St. Mary’s College as a research consultant examining issues of diversity and inclusion on their campus. More recently, Dr. Brown worked at Santa Clara University where she taught classes, advised students and managed a program for first generation college students. She assumed her role as Associate Director in the Summer of 2009 and has enjoyed advising AAAS majors and minors and teaching in the program.