BOONE, N.C. — Dr. Denise Brewer has been named chair of the Department of Family and Child Studies (FCS) in Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education (RCOE). Her appointment began in May.
Brewer earned a Ph.D. in special education with a focus in early childhood from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and an M.Ed. in early intervention and family support from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition, she is an alumna of the department she now chairs, earning a B.S. in birth through kindergarten from Appalachian. Brewer also holds a North Carolina teaching licensure in birth through kindergarten.
“I am honored to serve as FCS chair and excited about the department’s many future opportunities,” Brewer said.
She joined the RCOE faculty in 2004 as a lecturer and was promoted to assistant professor in 2006 and associate professor in 2013. She has served as interim department chair since 2016.
Prior to coming to Appalachian, Brewer was an educational specialist and a developmental disabilities specialist with Mecklenburg County Infant/Toddler/Preschool Services, as well as an assistive technology contact for Mecklenburg County with the Assistive Technology Resource Center.
She is the author or co-author of numerous publications in peer-reviewed, professional journals and a regular presenter at regional, national and international conferences. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and Division of Early Childhood (DEC), and served as a board member for the North Carolina Association for the Education of Young Children (2006–08) and the Down Syndrome Association of Greater Charlotte (1997–99).
Brewer actively engages in service to the university and the community. She currently serves on the RCOE Core Revision Committee and as a faculty transfer mentor. She is also the faculty advisor for the Appalachian chapter of the Alpha Phi fraternity. Brewer serves or has served on community task forces and councils with a focus on early childhood education.
Her research interests include authentic assessment in children from birth through age 5; developmentally appropriate practices for young children; individualized family service plans (IFSP) and individualized education plans (IEP); and working with families.
About the department, Brewer said, “We just completed an overhaul of both the child development and birth-kindergarten plans of study that will be implemented in the fall of 2018.”
She added that reviews of this kind keep the programs up to date with best practices and expand course selections for students. She also commented on the Lucy Brock Child Development Laboratory School (LBCDLS), which is operated by the Department of Family and Child Studies.
“The department’s vision for the Lucy Brock CDLS is for it to be a place where teachers and administrators from across the state can engage in community-based, experiential learning about current, research-based practices for working with young children and their families,” she said.
About the Lucy Brock Child Development Laboratory School at Appalachian
The Lucy Brock Child Development Lab School (LBCDLS) at Appalachian State University is a laboratory program operated by the Reich College of Education’s Department of Family and Child Studies. The school serves as a professional development site for individuals planning to work with young children. As a university lab intended to provide the highest quality education and care for regional children, the school staff model evidence-based practices in the field of early childhood education and apply innovative approaches that contribute to new definitions of recommended practice. Learn more at https://lucybrock.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Family and Child Studies
The Department of Family and Child Studies prepares students to assume professional roles working with children and families in school and non-school settings. The department focuses on the developmental study of families and children in all areas of society and in all cultures. Learn more at https://fcs.appstate.edu.
About the Reich College of Education
Appalachian offers one of the largest undergraduate teacher preparation programs in North Carolina, graduating about 500 teachers a year. The Reich College of Education enrolls approximately 2,400 students in its bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degree programs. With so many teacher education graduates working in the state, there is at least one RCOE graduate teaching in every county in North Carolina. Learn more at https://rcoe.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.