As a proud alumnus, Bryan Beverly, Ph.D., ’06 has a strong commitment to cheering on current Comets. As a pillar in the Lansing community, he often has the chance to do just that.
Bryan is a Lansing native and naturally found his way to nearby Olivet when pursuing his goal of a college degree. As a nontraditional student, Bryan came to college backed by professional experience and eager for academic challenges.
“At the time, my father was an assistant professor at Olivet in the education program, so the transition was feasible and exciting,” Bryan explained. “I remember sitting in the Office of Admissions office filling out enrollment paperwork that asked me to check a box next to a potential major. I thought it would be interesting to study people and dive into human interaction, so I checked the box next to sociology/anthropology. The value of that degree has lasted over many years.”
Bryan’s time at Olivet was highlighted by his relationships with professors and out-of-the-classroom academic opportunities. He even represented OC at a Michigan sociological conference and helped facilitate a symposium on affirmative action. Still today, Bryan proudly regards Cea Noyes, J.D., chair of the Social Science Department, professor of sociology/anthropology and director of the Betsy Dole Women’s Resource Center, as a close friend and mentor.
“Professor Noyes is still one of my most favorite people in the world,” Bryan emphasized. “I engaged with her not just in class, but as an advisee and alumnus after graduation. I still talk to her all the time about things like ‘Game of Thrones’ and career and personal interests. I think we really connect as people because we appreciate each other’s spirit and thirst for knowledge. Now, we’ve been connected as friends much longer than we were connected as student and professor.”
Professor Noyes also encouraged Bryan to take advantage of study abroad opportunities and helped him discover the Michigan Leadership Development Program and an internship in the office of former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm.
Later in his career, Bryan jumped at the chance to teach Self and Community at Olivet as an adjunct professor. He also worked with Provost Maria Davis, Ph.D., to develop strategies to help faculty become more engaged with students.
“Now that I’m in a position to encourage students to attend Olivet, I share that there is a family atmosphere at the College,” Bryan said. “As a student, you have access to faculty and staff members that you don’t get at larger institutions. It is an intimate learning experience and becomes a deeper learning experience because of that.”
Today, Bryan serves as the director of the Office of K-12 Outreach in the Michigan State University College of Education where his work is centered on school turnaround efforts and instructional leadership. He is an alumnus and co-coordinator of Michigan’s Educational Policy Fellowship Program and is an elected member of the Lansing Board of Education. In honor of his dedicated work, Bryan was named the 2018 Youth Advocate of the Year by the Uplift Our Youth Foundation in its 16th Annual Awards Celebration, where they honor organizations and individuals who focus on making an impact on youth in the community.
Bryan adds that he’s also the proud fellow Comet of Lansing Superintendent Yvonne Caamal Canul ’73 and is thankful for the ways in which Olivet serves as a partner to the Lansing School District through programs like the Lansing Promise.
While he’s already experienced significant career success, Bryan plans to keep striving toward personal and educational improvement. He credits Olivet College in planting another important seed in him as well — the passion for a career in academics.
“I had a class with former Olivet College President Don Tuski, Ph.D., on people, resources and the world,” Bryan said. “That’s the first time I thought about working in higher education, and I’m interested in being a college president — that’s my goal for later in life. I see the impact that you can have on a large number of young adults as a college president. Olivet helped prepare me by showing me more opportunities and highlighting what was possible.”
Bryan also credits his father, adjunct faculty Walker Beverly, IV, as being a positive role model, leading a life based on public service or individual and social responsibility — a mission further emphasized during Bryan’s time at Olivet. In his work, especially with the Lansing School Board, Bryan says it’s always about “we,” not “me.”
“A goal of mine is to continue to make an impact on my community,” Bryan concluded.
Learn more about Olivet College by contacting the Office of Admissions at 800-456-7189 or firstname.lastname@example.org.