The College of Education and Integrative Studies is a learning community focused on meeting the present and future needs of students in our communities. We educate students to become highly qualified and significant leaders in our society. We are committed to the principles of diversity, ethics and social justice, and life-long learning. Central to our mission are innovative and integrative thinking, reflective practice, collaborative action, and learning by doing.
Dr. Stephen Bryant to Retire After 14 years in Liberal Studies
The Liberal Studies Department is saying good-bye to one of its most beloved faculty members. Dr. Stephen Bryant came to Cal Poly Pomona in 1984 as a faculty member for the Biology Department in the College of Science. In the Biology Department, Bryant introduced many students to gel electrophoresis for genetic analysis, and collaboratively conducted research on Drosophila ecological genetics, which was published in the American Naturalist, Evolution, Genetics, PNAS, etc. While in Science, Bryant worked with the Liberal Studies Department as a math/science advisor for Liberal Studies students.
In 2000, Bryant came to the Liberal Studies Department as chair after Dr. Joe Block stepped down. When asked about how the Liberal Studies Department has changed since he became chair, Bryant reflected, “Liberal Studies was nearly exclusively a program for pre-elementary teachers in 2000, and our majors grew to over 900 in the early 2000s as there was then a teacher shortage. Now, many of our majors wish to pursue careers other than teaching with their Liberal Studies degree. Liberal Studies has also added 4 courses, and has a full-time staff advisor for majors.” For the last fourteen years, Bryant has been an advocate for Liberal Studies students. He has developed Liberal Studies articulation agreements with seventeen community colleges and has tirelessly traveled to community college partner campuses to advise students on efficient transfer.
In 2010, Bryant entered the “Faculty Early Retirement Program” and received the honor of Professor Emeritus, though he has continued as department chair. Since 2010, Dr. Christina Reyes-Chavez has served as associate chair of Liberal Studies with Bryant. Christina Reyes-Chavez noted:
One of Steve's legacies I will vehemently carry on is student advocacy. Some of my strongest memories of Steve are images of he and students sitting in his office feverishly pouring over a curriculum sheet with a pink highlighter marker. He would look up and over to his computer screens to gather or verify information then continue his pink pursuits. The telling part of the story was how relieved or happy students were when they left his office. Whatever problem or complication with which they entered was now a faded memory. I also witnessed the tireless (and tiring for me whenever I walked along side) bounds from pointy building to building 94 to building 5 as he personally sought a signature or made a compassionate appeal on part of a student. There are not others cut from his khaki cloth. He is definitely one of a kind.
As the Liberal Studies Department prepares for Bryant’s departure in June 2014, the faculty and staff are preparing for his retirement party on May 22nd. While they are sad to see Bryant go, he will get the proper khaki send off that he deserves. In honor of Bryant’s retirement, a scholarship for Liberal Studies students has been established in his name. For more information about this scholarship, please contact Kristen Jaoui.