Dr. Eliot B. Sykes
September 02, 2022

Phillips Academy announces new (MS)² director

Eliot B. Sykes ’97 brings expertise in social work & supporting students of color

After a thorough community-based process and nationwide search, Eliot B. Sykes ’97, PhD, LCSW, MSW, a Phillips Academy alumnus, has been chosen as the next director of the school’s (MS)2 program, also known as Mathematics and Science for Minority Students. Sykes will officially join the (MS)2 team in January 2023.

With direct experience in curriculum development, school-community partnerships, mentorship, supporting students of color, and program evaluation and research, Sykes brings an impressive range of skills and talents to Andover.

“Eliot is uniquely equipped to lead this program and to advance the (MS)2 mission,” said Beth Friedman, director of Outreach and Summer Session.

Raised on the Andover campus, Sykes was a 1992 Summer Session student, a graduate of the Class of 1997, and a 2004–2007 Summer Session faculty member; he has been assistant director of the Andover Bread Loaf (ABL) Lawrence Student Writers Workshop since 2016. Having witnessed the 40-year Andover tenures of his parents, Rebecca and Elwin, Sykes is deeply familiar with (MS)2 and the importance of the Outreach programs to Phillips Academy’s broader mission and to the Andover community at large. Sykes counts as his mentors former (MS) 2 directors Walter Sherrill and Temba Maqubela and ABL directors Louis Bernieri, Jineyda Tapia, and Amaryllis Lopez.

A 2001 graduate of Johnson & Wales University with a BS degree in marketing, Sykes left the food service industry to work in wilderness therapy and later at an in-home family intervention program. After earning a master’s degree in social work from the University of Utah in 2011, he pursued a career as a therapist, working for the Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray Reservation, and then as a research analyst at the Utah Criminal Justice Center at the University of Utah. In 2019, Sykes founded 635 Community Health Collective, which supports BIPOC and LGBTQ+ clients utilizing a trauma-sensitive approach, as well as conducting program evaluations and leading community-based research teams. In 2021, Sykes completed a PhD in the Department of Education, Culture and Society at the University of Utah’s College of Education. His doctoral work focused on Black males along the K–16 pathway; he also served as an instructor in the university’s Ethnic Studies program.

(MS)2 is one of four programs that support the Academy’s endeavor to be “a private school with a public purpose.” The Institute for Recruitment of Teachers (IRT) addresses the lack of diversity in the nation’s teaching faculties by recruiting outstanding students of color and other scholars, counseling them through the graduate school application process, and advocating for sufficient funding for advanced study. Andover Bread Loaf (ABL) partners with schools, community organizations, and cultural institutions to develop educational and cultural workshops, programs, and events for youth, educators, activists, and community organization staff. PALS (Phillips Academy, Andover, and Lawrence Schools) is a summer and academic-year enrichment and high school preparation program for middle school students from the city of Lawrence, Mass.

(Photo by Louis Arévalo)

Categories: Outreach

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