Kevin Sydnor appointed director of MSU's Upward Bound Program

Posted at 8:42 AM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-02 08:42:18-04

The Office of the Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education at Michigan State University has named Kevin Sydnor director of the MSU Upward Bound Program, effective Sept. 12.

Established in 1966, the MSU Upward Bound Program was created to assist high school students who are low-income, and in some cases, first-generation students, develop the skills and motivation necessary to enroll in and graduate from college. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education to provide services to students who attend the three Lansing-area high schools.

Sydnor, who joined MSU in 2008, is the assistant director for the Office of Supportive Services. Prior to joining MSU, Sydnor served as a program associate for Detroit Public Schools and as both the director of student support services and the assistant director of the Upward Bound program at Wayne State University. Sydnor earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in educational psychology from MSU.

“I have enjoyed being an alumnus and administrator at MSU,” Sydnor said. “I am thrilled with the opportunity to continue in the tradition of success of the MSU Upward Bound Program, which has established itself as the embodiment of commitment and excellence for the past 50 years.”

Upward Bound helps prepare qualified students for a successful college experience when they may not receive that encouragement and guidance from any other source. Despite many challenges unique to students in a low-income environment, Upward Bound participants are three times more likely to complete a college degree in six years than those who did not participate in college access services, according to the Pell Institute, a non-profit educational research organization.

“Our Upward Bound program has an outstanding record of graduates, with more than 95 percent of its seniors typically graduating on time and being accepted to college,” said Sekhar Chivukula, associate provost for undergraduate education and dean of undergraduate studies. “Kevin has a demonstrated record of leadership in promoting student success. His many years of guiding students in their academic endeavors – from preparing high school students for college, to helping college students adjust to and successfully handle the workload of college courses, to moving college students toward graduation and finding an occupation – have prepared him well for this position. I look forward to working with Kevin to continue our program’s extraordinary success.”

Sydnor succeeds Glenda Hammond as director of the MSU Upward Bound Program, which she has led for the past 35 years. Hammond is retiring from MSU in December.