Dr. Joel R. Brouwer’s goal is to empower his students with knowledge.
It’s a passion that has kept him in the classroom for 44 years teaching English and communications.
“I teach because I love working with students who have aspirations and goals,” he says. “They’re on their way to discovering that knowledge is power and that they can create knowledge, not just memorize what someone else has said.”
Brouwer earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Calvin College, a Master of Arts in English from Chicago State University and a Ph.D. in English, specializing in film theory, from Michigan State University.
He has taught a variety of English and communications courses at Montcalm Community College since fall of 1996, including Freshman English 1 and 2, Children’s Literature, Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Introduction to Literature and Introduction to Film. He also has provided leadership in creating new courses at the college.
Prior to joining MCC, Brouwer taught full-time at Chicago Christian High School in Palos Heights, Ill., and Unity Christian High School in Hudsonville, Mich. He has also taught part-time at Mott Community College, Jackson Community College, University of Michigan – Flint and Michigan State University.
“Students come to MCC because they want a rich and full life; they learn that they have the power to make that happen for themselves. I have the opportunity to participate in their journey, to facilitate their learning and to celebrate with them as they grow,” he says.
Brouwer focuses on the quality of instruction in literature, writing and communications, with a stronger emphasis on communications.
“None of my full-time colleagues teach the courses, so I volunteered to shift my focus to the communication area. This means that I’ll not only teach the courses, but I’ll also participate in hiring and mentoring part-time communication instructors. I’ll also continue to teach literature courses,” he says.
Brouwer is a member of the college’s Assessment Committee and Instructional Technology Advisory Committee. He is also interested in online learning and has taught online for MCC since the summer of 1999.
Brouwer resides in Lansing with his wife, Rosanne. They have three children and five grandchildren.