Robert Brewer – The Wildlife Society Student Chapter Advisor of the Year

Robert Brewer – The Wildlife Society Student Chapter Advisor of the Year

Andrea Byerly
Thursday, July 20, 2023 12:00 AM
Academics, Employees, All, Press Releases

CLEVELAND, TN - Cleveland State Community College announces that Robert Brewer, Associate Professor of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, has been selected as The Wildlife Society’s (TWS) 2023 Student Chapter Advisor of the Year. This national award is presented annually to one TWS student chapter advisor for exemplary contributions to the development of young professionals. The award will be presented in November during The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.

A Knoxville native, Brewer has a bachelor of science in wildlife and fisheries science and a masters of science in ecology and evolutionary biology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). He also has a certificate in surveying technology from Pellissippi State Community College.

Before coming to Cleveland State, Brewer spent a few years in surveying, then worked for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He moved up to assistant store manager, but said, “I stayed in such a bad mood that I had to find something else. I happened to see an advertisement for a biology instructor at Cleveland State, and they hired me.” That was 2003.

Over the years, he developed courses in wildlife biology and started the only two-year program for Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries (FWF) in the state of Tennessee. That program was named the 2019 Outstanding Instructional Program by the Community Colleges of Appalachia. Brewer was also named the 2019 Conservation Educator of the Year by the Tennessee Wildlife Federation and earned the 2019 Distinguished Faculty Award at Cleveland State.

Brewer co-founded The Student Wildlands Adventure Program (SWAP). This program provides natural resources students with a summer learning experience that is coordinated and facilitated by forestry, wildlife, and fisheries professionals from across the country. The students are immersed in field-based education to provide new ways to think about nature, conservation, wildlife and ecology in hopes of expanding their future career goals. In 2022, SWAP won The Wildlife Society Diversity Award.

Brewer and a handful of students started the Cleveland State Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society in 2012. Currently, the chapter has close to 50 members, and the majority of the students transfer to a four-year university after graduation. The club participates in Wounded Warrior Hunts for disabled veterans with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). They volunteer at the Sandhill Cranes Festival in Birchwood and the East Tennessee Retriever Club trials among other service projects.

Nominated for this award by student, Krystal Enlow. Her nomination stated, “I would just like to say that Mr. Brewer has done an exceptional job with the FWF program development at CSCC. His classes are challenging, but not impossible. His involvement in the student chapter of The Wildlife Society and his student’s endeavors is truly honorable. He doesn’t make you feel like you’re just a number, but as though you are someone who could make remarkable strides in this field. It has been an absolute honor to be taught by, who I believe, is one of the best.”

A certified wildlife biologist, Brewer enjoys teaching, “getting students where they want to be and giving them direction to pursue this career field.”

“We are so proud of the excellent opportunities that Robert Brewer provides for his Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries students,” said Karen Wyrick, Dean of STEM/Advanced Technologies. “He is truly deserving of this award as he spends a tremendous amount of energy on this program and The Wildlife Society. This past March, he hosted a very successful TWS Conclave on campus, which showed everyone the dedication and effort he puts forth on a daily basis. We are lucky to have him at Cleveland State.”  


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