Cindy Brewer appointed associate dean for faculty affairs at the College of IST

Cindy Brewer appointed associate dean for faculty affairs at the College of IST

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Cindy Brewer has been named associate dean for faculty affairs in the Penn State College of Information Sciences and Technology (IST), effective Aug. 1. She has been a faculty member in the Department of Geography in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) since 1994, where she was promoted to full professor in 2007.

In this role, Brewer will advise college leaders and faculty on a wide range of issues; support faculty career development and mentor new faculty members; and promote faculty achievement in all areas of teaching, research, and service. Her position includes a joint appointment as professor of geography and information science and technology.

“Cindy has demonstrated her leadership as a teacher, researcher and administrator,” said Andrea Tapia, dean of the College of IST. “Her extensive knowledge of college policies and best practices for faculty engagement, combined with her unique perspective and commitment to interdisciplinary collaboration, will better position our faculty to expand their own impact and strengthen the position of our college.”

Since joining the College of EMS, Brewer has served in a variety of administrative and leadership roles. She served as chair of the Department of Geography and director of the Peter R. Gould Center for Geography Education and Outreach from 2014 to 2021. She was the E. Willard Miller and Ruby S. Miller Professor of Geography and an administrative associate in Penn State’s Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

“My deep experience leading an academic department and serving on faculty-related university committees gives me a wide range of experiences to draw from,” Brewer said. “I look forward to getting to know IST’s faculty and helping them advance their careers. With several new faces in the university’s leadership, this is a great opportunity to identify the best ways to support these scholars, Dean Tapia, and IST’s strategic initiatives.”

Brewer’s research interests include cartographic communication and visualization, map design, color theory, atlas production, multi-scale mapping, and topographic map series. She is best known for her ColorBrewer online tool for selecting map color schemes.

She is the author of over 30 peer-reviewed articles and 60 additional publications and cartographic design resources. She is also the author of four books, including the popular Designing Better Maps, the third edition of which is in production for publication in Fall 2024. Her contributions to cartography have been recognized with the 2023 Carl Mannerfelt Gold Medal from the International Cartographic Association, the 2019 O.M. Miller Cartographic Medal from the American Geographical Society, and the 2013 Henry Gannett Award for Distinguished Contributions to Topographic Mapping from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Before joining Penn State, Brewer was an assistant professor of geography at San Diego State University and a visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara while pursuing her doctorate. She received her doctorate in geography with an emphasis in cartography from Michigan State University in 1991, under the supervision of Judy M. Olson.