Phyllis A.Holmes-Breland is the current president of the Tri-State Consortium and an 1980 Arthur O. Eve Higher Education Opportunity Program graduate of Hamilton, and received her Masters of Education in Instructional Design in 2003 from the Intercontinental University.
She came to Hamilton as a HEOP student and was active with the Black and Latinx Student Union and the Judicial Board. She was the first female class speaker at Commencement, and the first African American/womanto be inducted into the all-male senior Honor Society called Pentagon. Active as a member of the Hamilton and alumni communities, her/alumni/leadership volunteer roles include Multicultural Alumni Relations Committee (MARC) mentor, MARC Reunion Planning Committee Chair, Class of 1980 Reunion Planning Chair, and numerous roles on the/Alumni/Council. In 2001, she was appointed director of the Opportunity Programs at Hamilton, a position she held until her retirement in 2020.
Her professional accomplishments include serving as president of the New York Higher Education Opportunity Program Professional Organization. At Hamilton, in addition to directing the Opportunity Programs, she served as Interim Chief Diversity Officer, Director of the Days-Massolo Center, and as Hamilton’s POSSE mentor and liaison. In 2018 she received the Tobin Award for outstanding administrator, and in 2019 she received Hamilton’s Ellie Wertimer-Patsy Couper Award recognizing a staff member who goes beyond the call of duty for Hamilton students. Before her retirement last year, the/Alumni/Council selected Phyllis as the 2020 Distinguished Service Award recipient.
She was also the winner of the Arthur O. Eve lifetime achievement award at HEOP’s 50th-anniversary conference. Most recently, Hamilton College and Class ’80 Alumni established the Phyllis Breland Scholarship Fund in support of low-income high achieving students in recognition for being an exceptional member of the Hamilton community for over three decades. Her work experience includes program development, marketing, assertiveness training women’s empowerment, volunteer recruitment, health education, quality assurance, motivational speaking, facilitating difficult conversations, and policy development. Her affiliations include the YWCA, Mohawk Valley Junior Frontiers, Boys and Girls Club of Mohawk Valley, Upward Bound, Utica Young Scholars, Liberty Partnerships and United Way Mohawk Valley. She works closely with junior high schools, high schools, churches, community groups and organizations support access to academic and personal enrichment. She also conducts workshops designed to facilitate building foundational inclusion programs.
Areas of expertise: Program Development, Training, Effective Learning Strategies, Strategic Planning and Presentation, HigherEd Administration, Policy, Motivational Speaking