Sustainability scientist Sara Brownell, an associate professor of undergraduate biology in Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences in The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, has been named the 2020 LGBTQ+ Educator of the Year by the National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals.
Brownell’s research, leadership and personal commitment to improving science education, especially for underrepresented minorities, led to the organization’s recognition.
One of her studies looks at how active learning classrooms present challenges for LGBTQ+ students. In a second study, Brownell looks at the impacts and reasons why LGBTQ+ biology instructors decide to reveal their identities to their students. For Brownell, it’s a privilege to share her identity with the next generation of LGBTQ+ students. She hopes her actions will help LGBTQ+ students feel more comfortable and accepted in the classroom.