Evangel University names new Vice President for Student Development
June 2, 2014 | Ashli O'Connell
SPRINGFIELD, MO — Dr. Sheri Phillips has been named vice president for student development at Evangel University after serving as interim in this capacity during the 2013-14 academic year. Phillips is a 1981 Evangel graduate and has served the university in a number of both student development and faculty capacities since 1985.
“As interim vice president, Dr. Phillips has performed with exceptional skill and has proven to be a valuable member of the president’s cabinet during this transitional year,” said President Carol Taylor. “She has brought her strong institutional understanding and experience to the job, along with clear leadership ability.”
Phillips joined the Evangel staff as a residence director in 1985. Since then, she has served as assistant to the dean of students, director of student life and director of career development.
In addition, Phillips has served as a faculty member, teaching several undergraduate and graduate courses in psychology and leadership.
“Joining the administrative team during the pivotal first year of an historic three-school consolidation has been exciting and humbling,” said Phillips.
The vice president for student development reports to the president, serves as a member of the president’s cabinet and university planning council, and represents the area of student development to the university and its constituents. The vice president also acts as a liaison between administration and students. At Evangel, student development is focused on holistic development — spiritual, social, cultural, emotional, physical, vocational and intellectual.
“I have spent the majority of my career recognizing student needs and creating programs that provide experiences to help them grow into the persons they were created to be,” Phillips said. “So, in many ways, serving in the VP role simply extends my passion to help students develop. This year, I have worked with an incredible team of directors and administrators who share the vision to serve students well.”
Phillips holds a Ph.D. in higher education leadership with an emphasis in student development from Azusa Pacific University. She earned her B.S. in psychology from Evangel and an M.A. in counseling psychology from Wheaton College.
Phillips has deep roots in the Springfield community. She graduated from Kickapoo High School (Sheri Kean) in 1977, attended Missouri State University (then Southwest Missouri State) and graduated from Evangel in 1981. Her mother, Jeanne (Sonyk) Kean, also attended Evangel and taught for many years in the education department. Her father, Stan Kean, attended Central Bible College, which is now consolidated with Evangel. She also had an aunt, Dr. June Kean, who served as one of the first faculty members hired by Evangel in the 1950s.
Phillips’ passion for the community extends beyond her commitment to Evangel.
She has served on numerous coalitions and community, church and ministry boards such as the Missouri Partners in Prevention Coalition, Hillcrest High School A+ Program, Teen Challenge of the Ozarks, New Life Church and Solid Rock Church. She was also a School to Work program host for the Springfield Chamber of Commerce.
“I believe that Dr. Phillips’ rich institutional history, strong competence as a student development professional, deep spiritual life and demonstrated ability to work well with an executive team will serve Evangel well as we move into the future,” concluded President Taylor.
Leading under pressure
“This year I have observed Dr. Phillips stepping into challenging student situations and bringing calm and reassurance,” said President Carol Taylor.
“At the end of fall semester during finals, there was a major power failure on campus. The temperatures were too low to allow students to remain in the one dorm that was without power.
“I stood in the back of the chapel and watched as she calmly led her team and the students in finding temporary housing on a Friday night. She also made the necessary connections with the academic area to ensure that no students were disadvantaged in their finals. She led with skill and grace.”
For more information, contact Paul K. Logsdon at (417) 865-2811, ext. 7292.