As a freshman in 2006, David Bevevino didn’t know exactly what he wanted to do with his life.
But he knew he had an itch for higher education.
Five years later, after a college career that included time on the golf team, Roosevelt Institute and student government, Bevevino works in higher education policy with the Washington D.C.-based Advisory Board Company.
But he took time away Thursday to return to campus and see his passion project — the academic plan — appear before the Board of Trustees.
The plan wasn’t just a collegiate pursuit for Bevevino. After seeing something special in the 2009-10 student body vice president, the University hired Bevevino to work as administrative assistant to the Academic Plan Steering Committee.
“He is somebody to watch,” said Dr. Ron Strauss, executive associate provost.
As a member of the committee, Bevevino continued the work he did as student body vice president to help shape the next decade of education at the University.
Bevevino was just about to graduate when the steering committee was looking to hire a staff member. And committee co-chairman Bill Andrews, senior associate vice dean for the fine arts and humanities, said she wasn’t about to let him slip away.
“The timing couldn’t have been better,” Andrews said. “We snapped him up right away.”
As a former student, Bevevino became an ambassador for students. Sue Estroff, committee co-chairwoman, said Bevevino became involved in every aspect of the academic plan, from gathering information and typing notes to weighing in on content.
“We’ve often referred to him as the other half of our brain,” Estroff said.
Estroff said Bevevino’s involvement was central to the timely completion of the academic plan.
“We might have been able to get the plan in by the date, but it wouldn’t have been so coherent,” she said.
Bevevino said he enjoyed working on the plan, but the process challenged him.
“Anytime you are trying to plan for something 10 years down the road when you don’t know what next week will look like in terms of budget … it’s a challenge,” he said.
But he said he and the committee worked hard to respect and consider each proposal.
He said the steering committee, a group of 18 faculty, staff and students, worked to represent all of the voices on the campus and work that input and outside research into a unified plan.
“He is a really thoughtful and compassionate person,” said junior Lily Roberts, who is Bevevino’s girlfriend and will serve as Student Body President-elect Mary Cooper’s senior adviser. She said those qualities aided him in his goal of helping to create a well-formed plan.
Bevevino said he became involved with the plan — and more interested in higher education policy — through his work in student government.
He joined student government after working closely with it through the Roosevelt Institute. He said that both organizations made him feel at home at UNC as an out-of -state student from outside of Pittsburgh.
After serving on several student government committees, Bevevino became student body vice president for Jasmin Jones’ administration.
“As vice president I always looked at it as my responsibility to understand more than the student perspective,” he said.
He said that experience helped him when he moved into his more specific University position.
“It was one project instead of everything student government handles,” he said. “I could go a lot deeper into each proposal.”
But his experience with student government didn’t just lead to his University job and solidify his interest in education policy — it also made his college career.UNC
“Or procrastinating, as the case probably was,” he said with a laugh.
Administrators said they saw anything but a procrastinator in Bevevino.
“He is a wonderful, hardworking, charming, insightful person who just has a love for Carolina in his heart,” Strauss said.
He said that those qualities helped Bevevino land his new job in Washington, D.C.
Strauss said he believes Bevevino will excel in his future in higher education — and Estroff said she would consider him for any open position in her department.
“David has a way of being present and being a part of things without making them about him,” Estroff said.
Contact the University Editor at email@example.com.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.