Mary-Ellen Brown is an associate professor in the School of Social Work of the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions at Arizona State University, and the founder and director of ASU's Office of Community Health, Engagement, and Resiliency. Through varied experiences in Brown's academic and professional history, she has a robust background in research and evaluation, community health, positive youth development, and neighborhood planning and revitalization. Brown's scholarship is focused on the effects of poverty and violence as related to the resiliency, health and well-being of underserved communities, including Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and urban Native American populations.
Dr. Brown's areas of specialized research include examining social determinants of health embedded in components of equitable community development, community health, and systems that perpetuate poverty and community stress and trauma. This line of investigation includes a special emphasis on developing valid and reliable measures for determining the effectiveness of community-engaged prevention and intervention efforts in promoting resiliency and positive health outcomes to combat minority health inequities and related risk factors.
In 2019, Dr. Brown was recognized with the Emerging Community Solutions Scholar Award and also the Community Solutions Research Team award from the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions for her community-engaged action research. In 2020, Brown was recognized by NASW-AZ Branch II as Social Worker of the Year, and by the Association for Community Organization and Social Action (ACOSA) with the 2020 Emerging Scholar Award. In 2021, her research unit, ASU's Office of Community Health, Engagement and Resiliency received the ASU President's Medal for Social Embeddedness.