Beverly Warren talks change leadership as Kent State University’s new president

The Warren File:

NAME: Beverly Warren
TITLE: President
COMPANY: Kent State University

Born: Statesville, North Carolina

Education: Bachelor of science degree, University of North Carolina at Greensboro; master of science degree, Southern Illinois University; doctoral fellowship, University of Florida; doctor of education, University of Alabama, with an emphasis in administration of higher education; and doctor of philosophy, Auburn University, with an emphasis in exercise physiology.

What is it that you find appealing about sports? Well, I’ve always been someone who has enjoyed an active lifestyle. I love sports because of its combination of competition and cooperation. I think we focus too much on the competition — the winning and the losing — but when you look at teams as they compete, there’s just a whole psychology of how cooperation and collaboration leads to the greatest success. I just find sports fascinating; I find it fascinating to watch, fun to watch. And from a psychological perspective, just really fun to analyze.

How would you define what it means to be a good coach? I think a good coach is one that brings out the best in people, both personally and in relationship to contributions to the sport. I think sport is such a great way to learn life skills and leadership skills, and so the best coaches, to me, are those that really work with players to kind of develop and evolve life skills.

What do you find is key to staying driven in your professional life? I really am energized by the people with whom I work. And even on my days of fatigue, if I’m able to engage with the people who live, work and play with me in this environment, I just have a passion for trying to make a difference, and those people always remind me of that. So I feed off the energy of the people I serve and work with.