• Swearer Center Staff

Julie Plaut

Director, Engaged Scholarship
Visiting Lecturer, Sociology

Ph.D. History, 2003, Indiana University
M.A. History, 1995, Indiana University
B.A. Urban Studies, 1991, Stanford University

Julie Plaut develops Swearer Center collaborations with other centers, departments, initiatives, and offices across the university, in order to advance campus-community partnerships, support faculty and staff interested in community-engaged teaching and research, and connect people across campus with community priorities and and partners. She co-chairs Brown’s Engaged Scholarship and Broader Impacts Working Group, staffs the Community Engagement Council, and is a non-voting member of the College Curriculum Council. As a first- and second-year student advisor and Engaged Scholarship Certificate advisor (and a former part-time Assistant Dean of the College), she also supports undergraduate students in navigating the university and defining their educational paths and goals beyond college. In every aspect of her work and life, she aims to contribute to purposeful, loving, liberatory learning spaces.

Born in Providence but raised primarily in Blacksburg, Virginia, Julie also spent a couple of years growing up in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Hamburg, Germany, which sparked her social and political imagination. Julie’s undergraduate experiences at Stanford University--with the Haas Center for Public Service, Stanford in Washington, and the Urban Studies Program--started her on the path of engaged scholarship, with a primary focus on education and social policy. She earned a Ph.D. in History from Indiana University, where she also helped to establish and lead the campus office for community partnerships and taught community-engaged courses in American Studies. Then based in Minneapolis for nineteen years, she led a higher education coalition dedicated to democratic community engagement and worked with nonprofit organizations focused on educational equity, community organizing, and racial justice. Julie joined the Swearer Center in 2018.

"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." – Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s