Brennan oversees research, connected learning

Carolyn Brennan
Carolyn Brennan. Marc Studer photo

Carolyn Brennan, who has been directing research support at the University of Washington Bothell since 2006, is taking on additional responsibilities in a new position that coordinates research with the University’s high-impact learning opportunities.

Brennan continues as the assistant vice chancellor overseeing the Office of Sponsored Research, which is now self-supporting. This summer, she was also tapped to oversee the newly formed Office of Connected Learning.

Combining research and connected-learning activities makes better use of resources, Brennan said. It also “nestles” the administration of grants and other research funding closer to related high-impact practices.

“If you’re a Community-Based Learning and Research fellow and you get a Seed grant, we’re going to be able to consolidate and focus support because we’re going to know who you are,” she explained.

Faculty, students benefit

Titles aside, Brennan sees her role as coordinating the work of five offices and their directors:

As for faculty members, said Brennan, they can expect to receive more coordinated support for their scholarly investigations. Even at a largely undergraduate campus, Brennan said, “Research is huge. We’re all part of the University of Washington.”

For students, the new organization will give them a virtual one-stop shop on the UW Bothell website for most high-impact practices, Brennan said.

“Having these practices together will help us advise students more effectively,” she said, “and assist them with experiences that can help them find their way to a major and to be more successful.”

Brennan’s oversight also encompasses learning communities — the faculty and staff circles that share and enhance teaching strategies. Last year, 13 such communities formed. This coming academic year, learning communities are forming with the help of Karen Rosenberg, who leads the Academic Learning Center, which includes the Writing & Communication Center and the Quantitative Skills Center.

With staff support

Brennan’s appointment as assistant vice chancellor for sponsored research and connected learning is part of a reorganization announced in June by Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs Sharon A. Jones. To better serve students, the campus and community, Jones is focusing on the priorities of student success, connected learning and faculty development. In June, Jones also named Cinnamon Hillyard to the new position of associate vice chancellor for student success, effective July 1.

Alongside faculty and administrators, UW Bothell staff have an important role in realizing the University’s mission to support students in their academic journeys, Brennan said.

“We’re not students and we’re not faculty, but we’re going to be the glue that makes those connections work better,” she said.

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