University of Phoenix Graduation Speaker Finds Success in Cleveland, Rather Than New York City

Jun 11, 2010, 10:38 ET from University of Phoenix-Cleveland Campus

CLEVELAND, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Plan B has worked out pretty well for Kimberly Bryant of Cleveland.  

Bryant is scheduled to speak to her classmates at the University of Phoenix-Cleveland Campus graduation ceremony on Sunday, June 13, Severance Hall, as she receives her Doctorate of Business Administration.  It's a career detour for the Akron/Cleveland native, who serves as General Manager and Administrator in the Cleveland Mayor's Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO).

"My initial career plans were to sing on stage in New York City, but when that didn't turn out for me, I pursued a career in business," Bryant explains.  "But after working for the city with 13 bosses in 11 years, and after being passed over for promotion by people who had advanced degrees, I realized pretty quickly that just my specialist degree wasn't enough to pursue my goals." Bryant began to work for the City during Mayor White's administration, who she says placed particular emphasis on education as a path to personal and professional growth.  While she had a specialist degree from Southern Ohio College and several years later completed her bachelor's degree in psychology from Cleveland State University, Bryant understood that more would be required of her if she were to truly advance her career.  "I could see clear evidence around me that while work experience is important, experience with an advanced degree provides far greater job security and advancement opportunities," she explained.

Bryant is anxious to put her doctorate training to work at the City.  In her position, she meets with business owners seeking certification to bid on City contracts as Cleveland Area, minority, or female business enterprises.  "I interview every business owner before a decision is made on initial certification, and I'm so passionate about helping them succeed.  I'm not just certifying that they truly are a Cleveland area, woman-owned or minority-owned business, but my team assists them with other resources the City and similar programs offer that can help them.

Bryant says she will share these lessons from her own work and education experiences during her speech.  "I want to describe that while we're all graduating and have completed our education, by no means are we 'done.' Now we have to apply what we've learned to add value to our world," she said.  "I'll also challenge all of us to understand that learning is never finished, and that today it's more important than ever to learn about different cultures, traditions and languages so we're in a better position to survive as a city in our region.  Leadership requires a listening ear to ideas and on understanding that since we're all connected, our decisions affect not just us as individuals, but the whole community."

Even though her aspirations at work drove her to return to the classroom several years after earning her first degree, it was an experience she truly enjoyed.  "Through my online classes, I met people from all over world who had the same objectives I did, to complete this very difficult program.  My team experiences were tremendous, and the flexibility was important to me as I was still working full time.  All I needed was my laptop and I could do my schoolwork anytime, anywhere I was.  I'm a workaholic, and once I got into the online program, I couldn't stop until I went all the way to earn my doctorate."


Kimberly Bryant is General Manager and Administrator in the Mayor's Office of Equal Opportunity (OEO) for the City of Cleveland. Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Cleveland State University, majoring in psychology, and earned a master's degree in business administration and human resource management from the University of Phoenix in 2006 and her Doctorate of Business Administration with the University of Phoenix in 2010. Kimberly Bryant is a former member of the singing group Black Magic of Strictly Rhythm Records, New York; with hits such as Freedom (Make it funky), Let it Go, and Dance (Do that thing). As a member of ASCAP, New York, Kimberly performed in the ensemble cast of the play Ragtime the Musical under the direction of Director and Producer Fred Sternfeld of Northeast Ohio, performed as one the of leads in Kalliope Stage play Christmas Carol Rag as Ghost of Christmas Present singing "Go Tell It on the Mountain", which her performance received rave reviews by critics including Roy Berko, a member of the American Critics Association and Dance Critics Association. Kimberly is a member of the Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church in Cleveland; and a member of its Gospel and Mass Choir. A native of Akron, Ohio, Kimberly has one son, Desmond who is a graduate of Kent State University and is now pursuing his master's degree. Kimberly is the daughter of Eddie and Eloise Fain, who currently reside in Akron, Ohio.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As of February 28, 2010, 458,600 students were enrolled at University of Phoenix, the largest private university in North America. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world.  University of Phoenix-Cleveland Campus serves students online and at locations in Independence, Beachwood and Westlake/Crocker Park.  To learn more, contact University of Phoenix at 216-447-8807, or 800-MY SUCCESS, or


Joel Goldstein

Goldstein Group Communications


SOURCE University of Phoenix-Cleveland Campus