Selected Student Evaluations

1. “Professor Harrison’s class is a true example of why I chose a liberal arts college: I had thought provoking conversations that will stay with me long after the class has ended with a small but amazing group of individuals.”

2. “The passion Dr. Harrison has for American Politics is tangible and he tries his best to infuse the same love for the subject into his students. I have found that I now think about government in a whole new way, which is exciting and provides me with new insight into the political process.”

3. “Professor Harrison clearly enjoys teaching and is very good at it. He was knowledgeable and was able to answer clearly any and every question any of us asked of him. His passion for the subject combined with his passion for teaching made my experience in his class a pleasure.”

4. “His ability to create a positive class dynamic which encouraged intellectual risk-taking and growth was impressive. He was the perfect mix of approachable and professional. Prof. Harrison’s is the type of new blood that makes me optimistic about the future of government-based academia in this country.”

5. “Professor Harrison is not only a great teacher but also a great person. He promotes both enthusiastic learning and self growth in the class.┬áHe’s passionate about the subject and teaches it in a way that makes every student passionate as well. He talks with the students, not at them, and makes classes interesting and engaging.”

6. “[Professor Harrison] also is very honest about the course material, often times providing alternative, less-biased interpretations of data we see in class. He is incredibly organized, easy to talk to, and very knowledgeable about public opinion and voting behavior.”


(1) Complete Teaching Portfolio
(2) Sample Syllabus #1 (Introduction to American Government): Introduction Syllabus
(3) Sample Syllabus #2 (LGBTQ Politics): LGBT Politics Syllabus
(4) Sample Syllabus #3 (Empirical Research Methods): Empirical Research Syllabus

Weinberg College Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award

Brian is proud to be the winner of the 2012 Weinberg College Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Award, recognizing him as the top teaching assistant in all of the social sciences at Northwestern University. Each year the College selects three teaching assistants to receive Weinberg College Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher Awards, one per Division (social sciences, humanities, math and science). A student-faculty Committee on Teaching Awards evaluates nominations from departments and the Student Advisory Board and recommends candidates to the Dean.

Teaching Philosophy

My overarching goal in teaching is to catch my students off guard and to challenge them to look at politics and government with a fresh perspective. Active learning involves much more than rote memorization and successful completion of examinations; it is a collaborative integration of information that results in meaningful, long-lasting changes in knowledge, behavior, and understanding. When I teach, I bring my passions for teaching and for American politics to the classroom, emphasizing the normative importance of being informed and engaged with politics and government. Continue Reading

Courses Taught

Northwestern University

  • Urban Politics (Fall 2016)
  • LGBTQ Identity and Politics (Winter 2016 and 2017)
  • Introduction to American Government (Spring 2016)

Fairfield University

  • Public Opinion, Political Parties, and Interest Groups (Spring 2015)

Wesleyan University

  • Introduction to American Government and Politics (2 sections)
  • Gay and Lesbian Politics
  • Empirical Research Methods
  • Intersecting Identities in Public Opinion and Policy

Northwestern University (as teaching assistant)

  • Congress and the Legislative Process
  • The Presidency
  • Public Opinion and Voting Behavior
  • Political Parties and Elections

Loyola University (as lecturer)

  • Communication Processes
  • Public Speaking and Critical Thinking

DePaul University (as teaching assistant and instructor)

  • Introduction to Public Relations
  • Communication Campaigns

Georgetown University (as teaching assistant)

  • Constitutional Reform
  • U.S. Public Policy