A typical morning for most University of Miami professors means waking up, grabbing coffee and sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-95. For mathematics lecturer Joy Beverly, her daily commute is much shorter.
Dr. Beverly has been a part of the UM faculty since 2001. Her family bleeds orange and green, as all three of Dr. Beverly’s daughters attend the university. As a senior residential faculty member in Hecht Residential College, Dr. Beverly lives on campus. In her case, that doesn’t mean squeezing her family into a tiny bedroom with two twin-size beds — it means having a home complete with a living room, full kitchen and multiple bedrooms.
Dr. Beverly was selected to move into one of the residential colleges when her oldest daughter was already a ’Cane and her second oldest was beginning her freshman year. Gabriela “Bria” felt the largest impact as she had to adjust to this new lifestyle at only 15 years old. “In high school, I always thought it was weird,” said Bria. “I thought people weren’t going to believe me when I told them, so if they asked me where I lived I would say Coral Gables.”
Although it may have been unconventional at first, the family quickly adjusted to life on campus. One of the benefits for Beverly was eating at the dining hall. “As residential faculty, you keep your full-time job, then you add on the job of being residential faculty,” said Dr. Beverly. “For me, it was so many more hours per week, so going to the dining hall meant that I didn’t have to shop or clean up.”
The family started to make UM’s campus its home in Pearson Residential College in 2013, when Dr. Beverly was made associate residential faculty. The family later moved to Eaton Residential College, where Dr. Beverly served as Senior Residential Faculty until they moved to Hecht.
There are many facets to Dr. Beverly’s job, one of which includes organizing engaging events for students. However, her primary role is to be an academic mentor for those on campus. Dr. Beverly goes above and beyond in her role in the residential college, hosting an array of formal programming and organizing events such as “Math Mondays” in the study room for students hoping to receive help in their math courses.
Resident masters help students bridge the gap between professors and students, proving that teachers aren’t intimidating and unapproachable. Instead, they’re often just people with families who walk their dogs each morning. Although the entire Beverly family was offered housing, Beverly’s daughters lived in other dormitories on campus while attending the university so that they could get the full college experience.
After living on campus for almost seven years, the Beverly family has witnessed several change, from campus construction projects to the rising popularity of Uber. “I think for me the change has been learning the whole scope of campus,” Dr. Beverly said. “I’ve been learning so much more about everything.”
Bria said having her parents on campus is not an issue. “I love it,” she said. “I like to come over, get free food and pet my dog. It’s great.”
The Beverly family has enjoyed their time living on campus, and they’re excited for what’s to come.
This article was published in Distraction’s spring 2020 print issue.
words_samantha velez photo_gabriela nahous