Bryan Beverly, a 2006 The University of Olivet graduate, is passionate about his education. So much so, that he’s spent his entire career working to ensure others have the same opportunities he was given.
A lifelong Michigan resident, Beverly spent his k-12 years in the Lansing School District before earning his bachelor’s degree in sociology/anthropology from Olivet. He also holds a master’s degree in higher, adult and lifelong education administration from Michigan State University (MSU) and is pursuing a doctorate in educational policy from MSU.
“I take pride in the quality of education I have received,” Beverly said. “And I’m passionate about providing similar treasured experiences to students in today’s urban schools.” For that reason, Beverly leaps at chances that allow him to make a true impact in the field. His most recent endeavor: on Election Day, he was voted to the Lansing Board of Education.
“I’m a product of the Lansing School District and now my daughter is attending pre-kindergarten in Lansing schools,” Beverly said. “I think we can improve the perception of the school district, which in turn will get more families to stay in Lansing.”
Beverly has been involved with local schools since graduating from Olivet. He currently serves as coordinator of the Fellowship for Instructional Leadership at MSU’s Office of K-12 Outreach. In addition, he is an adjunct instructor of Self & Community at The University of Olivet, and has partnered with the college on research that explores student perceptions of success factors and their correlation to retention.
“I spoke at The University of Olivet’s Multicultural Awards Celebration two years ago, and Dean Davis and President Corey approached me about the possibility of teaching,” Beverly said. “I was really happy about coming back to Olivet. The strong connection with faculty members is something I personally benefited from.”
In fact, President Steven M. Corey, Ph.D., and Dean and Provost Maria Davis, Ph.D., asked Beverly to team up with some of his former professors, as well as other college staff members, to create a systemized approach to ensuring student success.
“We held a focus group on campus to talk to students about how they felt they were doing in class, what resources they know are available to them, and reasons they choose to stay or leave,” he said. “It’s easy for college students anywhere to slip through the cracks — we’re looking at what systems we can put in place to make sure we’re communicating with and reaching out to students who may be at risk.”
If anyone can speak to the benefits of an Olivet education, it’s Beverly. “Attaining my bachelor’s degree at The University of Olivet allowed me great intellectual freedom,” he said. “I was able to take a myriad of courses in my major, study abroad in London, enhance my academic interests through internships in the governor’s office and a teaching assistant practicum, and blend my social science interests with several interdisciplinary courses.
“Olivet emphasizes a global perspective and the importance of diversity in culture and thought,” he continued. “This has been very influential in my work with education systems and municipalities – it’s allowed me the ability to communicate effectively across varied contexts.”
Nowadays, Beverly helps his own students see the value of expanding their horizons globally. “By exposing yourself to something different you begin to look critically at your own environment,” he said. “Olivet provides many opportunities to do so — students just have to consider the possibilities.”