Charles L. Brewer
Charles Brewer received his BA degree in psychology from Hendrix College and his MA and PhD degrees in experimental psychology from the University of Arkansas. He also did graduate work at Indiana University and postdoctoral work at Harvard University and the University of Michigan.
After teaching at The College of Wooster in Ohio and Elmira College in upstate New York, he joined the faculty at Furman University in 1967, was promoted to the rank of Professor in 1970, and was named the William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Psychology in 1998. He received the first Meritorious Teaching Award at Furman in 1969 and served as chair of the Psychology Department from 1972 until 1984. He received the American Psychological Foundation's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1989, an Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Arkansas in 1990, the American Psychological Association's (APA) Distinguished Career Contributions to Education and Training Award in 1995, the South Carolina Psychological Association’s Outstanding Teacher Award in 2001, the South Carolina Governor’s Distinguished Teacher Award in 2002, the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Hendrix College in 2004, and the Distinguished Teacher Award from Rhode Island Teachers of Psychology in 2004.
Edited by Stephen F. Davis and William Buskist, a book titled The Teaching of Psychology: Essays in Honor of Wilbert J. McKeachie and Charles L. Brewer was published in 2002. In 2003, the American Psychological Foundation (APF) named its teaching award the Charles L. Brewer Distinguished Teaching of Psychology Award to honor his eminent contributions to education in psychology, indicating that “Charles Brewer epitomizes what this award stands for.” Endowed Funds honoring Charles were established at Furman University in 1999 and at Hendrix College in 2002. Income from these endowments will enhance the teaching and learning of psychology in perpetuity. A symposium at the 2005 APA convention in Washington, DC, was titled “Affecting Eternity: Honoring the Contributions of Charles L. Brewer.” Charles received a 2005 APA presidential citation honoring him as “one of our discipline’s most esteemed colleagues” and “in recognition of his extraordinarily distinguished career and, through his teaching and personal example, for making psychology a household word across generations of students.” He received APA’s Raymond D. Fowler Award for his outstanding contributions to APA and psychology in 2008, a presidential citation from the Society for the Teaching of Psychology in 2009, APA’s Education Advocacy Distinguished Service Award in 2009, and Furman University’s Meritorious Advising Award in 2010.
Charles has been president of the Council of Undergraduate Psychology Departments, chair of APA’s Committee on Undergraduate Education, president of APA’s Division 1 (General Psychology) and Division 2 (Society for the Teaching of Psychology), president of the Association of Heads of Departments of Psychology/Southeastern Psychological Association (SEPA), and member-at-large of the Executive Committee and president of SEPA. In other APA governance, Charles was a member of the Council of Representatives (Division 2), a member of the Board of Educational Affairs (BEA), chair of the Membership Committee, and a member of the Board of Directors (2001-2003). He is a member of APF’s Board of Trustees (2006-2010). Charles is a Fellow of APA’s Divisions 1, 2, 3 (Experimental), 26 (History), and 52 (International). He is a Charter Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, the Eastern Psychological Association, and the Midwestern Psychological Association.
He served on the Board of Directors for the Consortium of Social Science Associations (2001-2003) and is APA’s Delegate to the American Council of Learned Societies (2003-2012).
During 1985-1996, Charles was Editor of Teaching of Psychology, the official journal of APA's Division 2, and was named Editor Emeritus in 1996. He is coeditor of Handbook for Teaching Introductory Psychology (Volume 1 and Volume 2), Handbook for Teaching Statistics and Research Methods (1st ed. and 2nd ed.), and Teaching Psychology in America: A History. He has been an Advisory Editor for Contemporary Psychology; has published numerous book chapters, articles, and reviews; and is an editorial consultant for 12 publishers of psychology textbooks.
Instrumental in organizing and sustaining APA's Teachers of Psychology in Secondary Schools (TOPSS), Charles was a college faculty representative on that organization's Executive Board and served as editor for its unit plans and National Standards for the Teaching of High School Psychology. He served as chair of the Advanced Placement Psychology Test Development Committee during 2001-2003.
An authority on John Broadus Watson, the "founder of behaviorism" who graduated from Furman University in 1899, Charles has presented many lectures on Watson throughout North America. His chapter, "Perspectives on John B. Watson," appears in Portraits of Pioneers in Psychology (1991).
Charles has presented numerous invited addresses on teaching at regional and national meetings, including a G. Stanley Hall Lecture, "Teaching Research Methods: Three Decades of Pleasure and Pain," at the 1990 APA convention. He served as chair of the Curriculum Group for APA's National Conference on Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Education in Psychology at Saint Mary's College of Maryland in 1991 and wrote the Curriculum chapter in Handbook for Enhancing Undergraduate Education in Psychology, which summarizes that conference. He participated in APA’s National Forum on Partnerships in 1999 and in all of APA’s Education Leadership Conferences since 2001. He was on the Steering Committee to plan APA’s national conference on undergraduate education in psychology held at the University of Puget Sound in July 2008. He coauthored the chapter on “The Undergraduate Psychology Curriculum: Call for a Core” and the chapter on “Principles for Quality Undergraduate Education in Psychology” in the book, Undergraduate Education in Psychology: A Blueprint for the Future of the Discipline, that summarizes the Puget Sound Conference. He has participated in almost every important conference concerning undergraduate education during the past 30 years, including a keynote address at the 2002 International Conference on Education in Psychology held in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was Chair of the Program Committee for the Third International Conference on the Teaching of Psychology held in St. Petersburg, Russia during July 2008, and he gave the keynote address for the opening plenary session at that conference. He has been a consultant on psychology curricula and on the teaching of psychology for many colleges and universities throughout the country.
He served on the Planning Committee and was co-leader for sessions at Summer Institutes in Psychology sponsored by Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) and funded by the National Science Foundation in Keystone, Colorado (2000), Snowbird, Utah (2001), and Williamsburg, Virginia (2002).
Charles’s beloved wife for 45 years was Marjorie Suhs Brewer, a pianist and master teacher, who died in April 2007. His daughter, Stephanie Foley, is curator of a museum in Gormley, Ontario, Canada.
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