With a diverse background from both coasts of the U.S., Mr. Lewis A. Brownlee, M.Ed. joins the Edinboro University School of Education in the Department of Middle and Secondary Education & Educational Leadership program for his tenure as Frederick Douglass Scholar.
Brownlee, who has a significant interest in Social Justice and Critical Pedagogy and researching systematic relationships dealing with race, arrived in Edinboro prepared to honor the American icon from which the position received its name.
“Being a Frederick Douglass Scholar gives me an opportunity to honor the life’s work of a man born into slavery that declared his own freedom and became unapologetically against slavery and in support of women’s rights,” said Brownlee, who comes to Edinboro after spending his formative years in Georgia and Arizona.
Brownlee is currently a doctoral candidate in the University of Arizona’s Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy program. Prior to doctoral studies, he received his Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Religious Studies from Arizona State University, with a minor in Sociology. He originally earned an Associate of Arts Degree and Certificate in Drafting and Design, with an emphasis on architecture and engineering, from Clayton State University in Georgia.
Expecting to earn his Ph.D. in 2018, Brownlee is currently preparing his dissertation, “Why are non-white scholars noticeably absent from the philosophy of public education for an increasing cultural diverse student population?”
At Edinboro, Brownlee instructs college-level reading courses for exploratory students and multiculturalism in American schools. He will also serve as a liaison between Edinboro University and Erie High School for dual-enrollment students. One item on his instructional checklist is to enhance pre-service teacher understanding of diversity in the classroom.
“I want teachers leaving here understanding that there are many other narratives out there other than the ones they’ve grown accustomed to,” he said. “We need to challenge educators to take down their hubris and use a critical lens of the education process, so that we can take part in our students’ success.”
Prior to joining higher-education faculty, Brownlee served as an honors-level engineering teacher at Metro Tech High School, an eighth-grade classroom teacher at Glen L. Downs School and a religious studies teacher at South Pointe High School – all in Phoenix. He also taught college-level religious studies courses at Rio Salado in Tempe, Ariz.
In 2015, he earned both the Engineering Teacher Rookie of the Year Award through the University of Arizona’s Engineering High School – a college-level course for high school students – and the Teacher of the Month Award from Metro Tech High School.
While teaching in Arizona, Brownlee earned Department of Education certifications in Career and Technical and Emerging Technologies, History and Social Studies, and also his official principal certificate.
Brownlee has two children: Athelyn Asenath Aisha Brownlee and Phoenix Lewis Asante Brownlee.