Brian Chapman, HDFS Faculty Spotlight, April 2024

Brian ChapmanBrian began working at UConn (at the Hartford Campus) in 1994 while a graduate student at Columbia University. In those early days, he taught in the pre-collegiate Student Support Services Program and worked in academic and student affairs. Brian learned about many aspects of the University through his work at nearly all UConn Campuses including UConn Health. According to Brian, “UConn has been and continues to be an integral part of my career; I have worked on all campuses except the Law School.” One of Brian’s longest and most rewarding experiences was as founding Director of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UConn. He built the program and brought in $1.6 million to the University. The institute attracted over 800 students (ages 50-98) and offered well over 100 courses and special programs annually during the 10 years he led the Institute. The program also provided work and internship experiences for undergraduate and graduate students and alumni.

Brian currently serves as HDFS Regional Campus Coordinator. He works collaboratively with HDFS and all regional campus administrations to develop academic schedules, staff courses, and support faculty on each campus.

Brian has taught in HDFS for nearly fifteen years, at the UConn Hartford, Stamford, Storrs, Torrington, and Waterbury campuses. He has developed two online HDFS courses in collaboration with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning. While Brian’s academic focus is Gerontology, he is committed to lifespan education and strongly supports Early Childhood Education as a national priority. Brian is passionate about quality-of-life issues for women, minoritized populations, and sexual and gender minorities.

“Community engagement is in many ways the hallmark of my career at UConn,” Brian states. He served on many boards in Waterbury for ten years in areas related to community improvement including arts and culture, economic development, children and families, education, hunger, and other needs. Brian is the recipient of the 2009 Provost’s Award, Excellence in Outreach & Public Engagement, and the 2015 Waterbury Neighborhood Council. Brian served as the Director of Outreach, UConn Waterbury and a member of the Public Engagement Forum for ten years.

Brian has presented publicly and published on topics of aging, intergenerational programming, and student development. He led aspects of a summer medical research program for high school students at UConn Health. Brian co-edited a serial publication on dual/concurrent enrollment and conducted a national study on minority faculty recruitment. Currently, Brian is a proud co-PI of the recently completed study, “Drag Expression and how it interfaces with Dragism, Coping, Resilience, and Generativity.” Brian is particularly excited about the number of graduate and undergraduate students who have served as research assistants on this study and some recent interdisciplinary initiatives that have emerged from this work. He credits colleagues Alaina Brenick and Laura Donorfio for their mentorship in the project.

Brian enjoys spending time in NYC cabaret clubs, as he likes the intimacy of the venues and the “American Songbook” genre of music. He also spends time on the outer reaches of Cape Cod. Brian is interested in nutrition and completed a certificate in Plant-based Nutrition through eCornell.

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