Margaret Teresa Brower is a Political Scientist, Public Scholar, and Educator.

Email: mbrower@uchicago.edu  

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Political Scientist.

Margaret Brower is a PhD candidate at the University of Chicago. Her research involves the study of formal and informal political institutions that shape the political behaviors and opinions of marginalized subgroups in the United States. Her work highlights the differences in age, gender, class, race, and ethnicity.

Margaret has studied the effects and impacts of these structures on public opinion and political behavior by engaging in numerous types of projects that highlight how marginalized populations in the United States are impacted differently by political institutions and respond in varying ways to reconfigure and reimagine them.: 

  • A national study of how higher education institutions structure the political development and behaviors of college students,

  • An urban study that examines how Chicago political institutions create different opportunities and incentives for political behavior among young adults by neighborhood, race, ethnicity and gender

  • A policy project analyzing the relationship between social, economic policies and women’s socioeconomic positionality

  • A dissertation project on women’s advocacy organizations and how differences in collective social identities result in varying political strategies for framing and policy action. 

Margaret has published book chapters and articles on these topics and projects (see her publications). She holds a Master of Arts in Political Science from the University of Chicago, a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Public Policy from the University of Michigan, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Education from Colgate University.

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Public Scholar.

Margaret Brower has worked on numerous public projects over the course of her career. As a graduate student at the University of Michigan she worked for the National Forum for the Public Good in designing and conducting participatory action research. Through this project, she held focus groups with community members of Detroit to better understand the needs of residents for education opportunities, workforce skills, and neighborhood improvements. The results of this project were written up into a public report and shared a local nonprofit organization in the area. 

She also worked for the Institute for Democracy and Higher Education (IDHE) at Tisch College where she helped develop a national database of national student voting rates, called the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) and lead a national large-scale qualitative project on college student political learning and development. This research informed the multiple public reports and articles she authored to improve political educational opportunities for students. 

Most recently, with GenForward at the University Chicago, Margaret co-led an urban qualitative study of Chicago with Cathy Cohen and David Knight. This project examined why and how place-based political conditions of the city determine disparaging political, social, and economic outcomes for young adults by race and ethnicity. A public report was developed, published, and circulated widely in the Chicago area, for which Margaret participated in multiple media interviews and radio broadcasting shows to discuss the findings.

Learn more about her public engagement.

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Educator.

Margaret takes very seriously her role as an educator. As a first-generation college student, she has learned first-hand how important educational spaces can be for young people and is personally invested in ensuring that these places are supportive and encouraging for all students across differences in sexuality, class, gender, race and ethnicity. 

With a scholarship background in the political development of college-level students, Margaret has written multiple book chapters and articles on best practices, pedagogies, curriculum programming for student political learning, and engagement in democracy. At the University of Michigan, she also worked on numerous projects with the National Forum for the Public Good on developing better educational resources for marginalized students, especially for those who are undocumented. 

Beyond conducting research and scholarship on college-level student development, she has also taught courses serving different populations. Margaret taught a course at the University of Boston, Massachusetts on community engagement working with students who were mostly first generation and from low-income backgrounds. At Colgate University, she served as a residential adviser for a summer bridging program advising and supporting young adults from marginalized backgrounds how to transition to an elite and predominantly white institution. Finally, at the University of Chicago, Margaret has served as a teaching assistant for professors at the University of Chicago for the courses: Introduction to American Politics, Race and Politics, and African American Politics. At this institution, she also teaches as a graduate preceptor. In this role, Margaret developed her own methods curriculum sequence for undergraduate students pursuing an honor’s thesis and advises them individually to pursue their individual research projects.