The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College’s Kim Beyrer takes on new role
Kim Beyrer is taking leave of her position as City College’s Faculty Coordinator of Student Leadership and Development, though she is still working at City College, Feb. 25, 2019. Photo by Freedom Riley | Staff Photographer | [email protected]

by Alex Cortez | Staff Writer | [email protected]

Room 226 in the South Gymnasium building accommodates an information desk with a welcoming student behind it, cubicles and the former office of Kim Beyrer, City College’s faculty coordinator of Student Leadership and Development.

Beyrer recently cleared out her office: Nails in the walls remain, where Beyrer said plaques given to her by students hung, as well as a bulletin board with wrapping paper and a few pins, and a partly empty bookshelf.

After dedicating 19 years of her career to SLD, Beyrer stepped aside as the faculty coordinator March 1 but remains on campus as an adjunct counselor for the Disabled Services and Programs for Students.

To Beyrer, working and supporting students was the best part of the job because as the first in her family to go to college, she said she was blessed to find a support system that helped her get through graduate school. That influenced her ultimate career choice.

“I remember all my peers in this graduate program wanted to be vice presidents and president, but I didn’t want to do that,” said Beyrer. “I want to work with students. That’s what I love, and that’s my passion.”

Beyrer channeled that passion into student development for almost two decades but said that her new position as an adjunct counselor is the right fit for her.  

“It’s bittersweet,” she said. “I was there so long it’s like my whole world changed.”

Beyrer began working with students when she was the residence hall director at San Jose State in 1993. She served as the assistant director of residential life at the University of Southern California before coming to City College in 1996. She said Southern California wasn’t a good fit, leaving her at a crossroads.

“I got an offer at UC Davis in their residential life program, and I got an offer here,” said Beyrer. “I thought if I take one more job in residential life, that’s going be the rest of my career.”

Beyrer, who spent part of her childhood in Napa, trusted her instincts, moved back to Northern California and became the SLD faculty coordinator in July 1999.

“When I got this job, I said it was as close to my dream job as I was ever going to get,” said Beyrer.

Beyrer said serving as an adviser to City College’s student government has been a great opportunity to do what she loves, which is supporting students’ success by helping them carve their own path.

As the faculty director for SLD, Beyrer oversaw the Student Associated Council, which includes the Student Senate and the Club and Events Board.

“I (did) a lot of training and development with our student leaders, voter registration, and also all the administrative duties like budget and union planning,” said Beyrer.

Beyrer said her tenure was filled with memories of working with students like former Student Senate President Marianna Sousa, who still has a close relationship with Beyrer.

“[Sousa] kind of called me Momma Kim, and it wasn’t until years later I realized what an honor that was,” said Beyrer.
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Sousa, who is now a journalist and author, said that Beyrer was a big part of why Sousa was successful at City College.

“She put tender love and care, and that’s where I coined Momma Kim,” Sousa said. “In the traditions I come from, that’s an honor because that means you care for me in a special way.”

Over the course of her years in SLD, Beyrer saw many changes in students and her own job.

Vice President of Student Services Melanie Dixon said in 2014 a district-wide classification changed positions like Beyrer’s from faculty coordinators to student life supervisors.

Dixon said, “How that agreement worked is that the district said we’re going change this classification, but the people who are in the roles will maintain their status, and upon their retirement, we would reclassify them.”

Dixon said that an interim SLD adviser hasn’t been chosen, but City College is accepting applications to find fill the interim position until next semester.

Debbie Gambrell, an adjunct counselor at City College, advised student government for 16 years before Beyrer took the job, as Gambrell was leaving the position, Beyrer just came in.

“She used to have this little calendar, and she would put everything in that,” said Gambrell. “[Beyrer] would say, ‘Yeah, it’s so that I can have and remember everything I need.’”

Gambrell also recognized Beyrer’s dedication, adding that she has been student-oriented, liked student feedback and loved one-on-one meetings.

“I wish her the best for whatever her plans are because I know she has a lot left to give,” said Gambrell.

Beyrer said that maintaining patience and perspective while balancing the present task with a vision for the future were crucial to her job in SLD.

“We’re at this precipice now of this was the first 20 years (of SLD). We’re going through a lot of change right now on our campus,” said Beyrer. “What are the next 20 years going to look like? Somebody else is going to have to shepherd that in.”

Beyrer said it was a team effort to oversee SAC with other faculty advisers.

“I would do a lot of training and development with our student leaders. I taught the student government class,” said Beyrer. “We’re trying to teach and empower students to do their jobs and advise them how to make their plans happen.”

Beyrer said that with the help of her colleagues, SLD has improved its strength and focus by shifting to an academic foundation that helps students become high-trust leaders.

“It’s a unique job that not a lot of people could do, I think, so I feel good that I’ve been able to do it for almost 20 years,” said Beyrer.

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