Beverly Beyer, M.S. ’03, associate director at Illinois State’s Stevenson Center for Community and Economic Development, was awarded the Distinguished Administrative Service Award at the 2016 Founders Day on Thursday, February 18.
For the last 12 years, Beyer has devoted her time and energy to expanding the already stellar Stevenson Center programs that directly benefit the local, national, and even global community. Students enrolled in Stevenson Center programs spend a year in study, then a year working with local, regional, national, and international development organizations during their master’s training through Illinois State University.
Beyer’s position requires long hours, dedication, and creativity. A brief accounting of her work includes: recruitment and interviewing of prospective students, advising of admitted students throughout their time with the center, reporting on the center’s activities to other units at ISU and to community partners around the country, coordinating with partner departments on campus, connecting alumni to the center and to ISU, supervising other staff and student interns, and advancing new initiatives.
These are only a sample of the many responsibilities Beyer handles on a day-to-day basis, and her work truly touches every facet of the Stevenson Center’s operations. A prominent example is her integral contribution to the process for placing Fellows students in their professional practice positions.
Under Beyer’s guidance, in 2004 the Stevenson Center transformed the then fragmented placement process into the highly effective form it exists in today. Doing so resulted in a far more consistent and efficient placement of Fellows, a greatly expanded network of community partners to host Fellows, and—ultimately—in far more successful second-year Fellowships, which launch the careers of Stevenson Center students.
Beyer is known for her professionalism, effective collaboration, attention to detail, commitment to the ideals of community development, and—most importantly—the exceptional care she demonstrates for all students, admitted and prospective alike. She also serves within the community as a member of the Mid-Central Community Action board of directors and volunteers frequently with WGLT, the Ecology Action Center, and Soroptimist International.
Beyer holds two master’s degrees, one from Illinois State and the other from the College of William & Mary. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Bulgaria), has served with AmeriCorps and other nonprofit organizations, and continues to advocate for development initiatives whenever she can.