Joining the U.S. Army to support her education, Shirley Boykins Bryant chose to pursue a career in behavior counseling and human resources after realizing that there was a need for people to take on that kind of work. Achieving a master’s degree in human resource management from Columbia Southern University, she then joined Touro University Worldwide, where she earned a Master of Business Administration and a Doctor of Philosophy in human and organizational psychology, summa cum laude. She also holds a diploma in modern applied psychology and has been certified in diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and inclusive and ethical leadership by the University of South Florida as well as in corporate training and professional education, as an emotional intelligence practitioner, and as a cognitive behavior therapist.
Following 23 years with the U.S. Army, Dr. Bryant became a federal employee in 2013 as a senior human research specialist in the Office of Civilian Human Resources for the Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C. In 2019, she became the supervisory human resources specialist for staffing and placement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In this role, she developed a strong passion for protecting the environment and fighting climate change in order to leave the Earth in better condition for future generations. Dr. Bryant left the USDA in 2021 to serve as the strategic staffing policy portfolio manager for the United States Department of the Treasury, a role that she holds to this day. Looking toward the future, she hopes to rise to a role in the federal government’s Senior Executive Service, a group that provides oversight for government programs and leadership within the various agencies.
Attributing much of her success to her internal drive and her desire to always be better than she was the day before, Dr. Bryant knew that she needed to stay involved in fighting climate change following her departure from the USDA. To that end, she founded Educate Our Youth, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to educating young people on climate change, in 2021. As the chief executive officer, her goal is to instill a passion for the environment in those who participate in the organization’s programs so that they will then go on and share that passion to others as well as to bring in financial support and sponsorships to provide resources to fight climate change. In addition, Dr. Bryant recently established Let’s Talk About It-Behavior Coaching in 2022, where she provides personalized, one-on-one coaching for clients.
Alongside her primary career responsibilities, Dr. Bryant has contributed her skills to a number of other endeavors. An active member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. for over two decades, she has spent time as a volunteer appointed strategic planner for the sorority’s eastern region, the regional director for the Pacific region, the state director for the Asia-Pacific state, and the chapter president of the Pi Eta Zeta chapter. Other memberships of hers include Blacks in Government, Federally Employed Women, and Toastmasters International, where she was the conference manager for the 2022 Annual Toastmasters District 86 Conference. Furthermore, Dr. Bryant is the author of the chapter “Tools for Spiritual Endurance” in the anthology “The God-fident Woman: Testimonies of Unshakeable Faith” as well as “Relieved Experiences of Federal Human Resources Professionals During the COVID-19 Pandemic,” her doctoral dissertation.
Having accomplished much over the course of her career, Dr. Bryant considers the highlight of her career to be the eight weeks she spent as a drill sergeant in the U.S. Army, training young recruits in military life. Not initially wanting the position, it became the best job she ever held during her time in the military. She is incredibly proud of the role she played in the development of these young people and it has been a joy to watch them go on and excel in their careers. For her excellence, Dr. Bryant has been featured in several articles and received a number of awards for her federal service.