UTEP lecturer helps students land their own tricks


Annabella Mireles

University 1301 Lecturer Steven Brown learned to skate when he was 11 and says trial and error on the skateboard is therapeutic to him.

Itzel Giron

Alberto Silva Fernandez, Photographer

Editor’s note: This is the second of a three-part series on professors who skateboard at UTEP.  

Impacting students’ lives has always been a priority for UNIV 1301 lecturer, Steven Brown. Brown originally began working at UTEP as an academic advisor, but after receiving his master of arts (MA) in leadership studies, he was able to begin his career as a lecturer.   

Brown’s desire to impact students has continued to motivate him through the ups and downs of his career.   

“Ever since I was young, I wanted to impact lives and help students avoid the obstacles that I went through,” Brown said. “It took me a lot of research and a lot of networking. (It was the) same thing with skating. I kept getting rejected and the more I kept persevering I eventually landed the trick and was able to get an opportunity.”  

When Brown was 11, a friend introduced him to skateboarding. It was not a traditional sport like football or basketball, but he fell in love right away. Since then, skateboarding has become not only a form of stress relief, but a way to remind himself that he will succeed in the end regardless of how many times he has to pick himself up.  

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  • Brown says that skateboarding was a way to help him repair his mental health and help his students overcome their own battles.

  • Brown says he feels he does not have to lose his hobby of skating despite him growing as a professional.

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“It’s therapeutic in the sense of not only do I get to practice trial and error when it comes to falling and getting back up, I take that same philosophy to my classroom,” Brown said. “With skateboarding, you don’t just become good off of one trick. You have to keep practicing and practicing and that ties into life.”  

Brown understands that as he grows older and grows as a professional, the act of skating can be perceived as unbefitting of someone in his position. However, he believes he does not have to give up the hobby he loves as it is something that helps him with his mental health. It also became the way he teaches new college students to overcome their own obstacles. 

“I know that once I grow older I do have to dress more professional, I do have to act more professional,” Brown said. “But this is a part of me, who I am, part of my mental health.”   

Regardless of his busy schedule, Brown says he always finds time to go longboarding, mostly during his lunch break around campus.  

To Brown, skateboarding became the way he was able to learn about falling and getting back up. It also became the way he teaches new college students to overcome their own obstacles.  

“To look back and see that I fell a lot of times, I broke a lot of bones, I got rejected a lot. But now to see that I made it to the end goal,” Brown said. “I have to keep on pushing and never lose track of my main goal and that is to help students overcome their obstacles, impact their lives and make sure they can land their tricks.”   

Read more about from this three-part series on professors who skateboard at UTEP.

Part I: Brian Jarvis, Ph.D. 

Part III:  William “Bill” Robertson Ph.D.


Alberto Silva Fernandez is a staff photographer and may be reached at [email protected]; @albert.sf08 on Instagram; @albertosilva_f on twitter.