art | sci magazine

Navigation + Search


Arthur Evenchik cultivates the best in others

Briana Sealey (CWR ’17) was thriving as a PhD candidate in integrative biology at The University of Texas at Austin but felt stressed as her doctoral qualifying exam approached.

In need of advice, Sealey stared at her phone and thought, “I’ll just call Arthur.” 

a headshot

Arthur Evenchik Photo by Mike Sands

That’s Arthur Evenchik, coordinator of Case Western Reserve University’s Emerging Scholars Program (ESP). He’d been a steadfast advisor and champion during Sealey’s years as a first-generation college student and ESP participant. She knew that even five years after graduating she could still count on him.

Evenchik helped calm Sealey and brainstorm solutions. He also mobilized her CWRU faculty mentors, who all reached out. Following their advice, Sealey successfully navigated her next steps, passed her exam and is on track to complete her PhD in ecology, evolution and behavior next year.

“Arthur is a marvelous, stupendous mentor,” Sealey said. “I feel like he will always be there for me.”

Evenchik, a former urban high school tutor, co-created ESP in 2011 to help Cleveland-area undergraduates—many of them first-generation students or from low-income families—excel at CWRU.

He also was the founding editor of this magazine, “telling amazing stories that captured our true spirit for supporting students and advancing research,” said College of Arts and Sciences Dean Joy K. Ward, PhD.

After 17 years, Evenchik has stepped down from art/sci to focus on ESP and projects for Ward. “He represents the very best of us in the college and I am honored he will continue to advise me,” she said.

In recognition of his work, Evenchik received a CWRU President’s Award for Distinguished Service last year.

A mentor, advocate and advisor, Evenchik tutors ESP participants in writing, helps them apply for scholarships, internships and graduate programs, and introduces them to potential faculty mentors. He often works in public places on campus so that he can have impromptu conversations with students as they walk by, underscoring that he’s always available if they need something.

“Arthur is the heart and soul of the Emerging Scholars Program,” said Stephen Haynesworth PhD (GRS ’87, biology), an associate professor of biology and ESP’s co-creator and director. “He expects a lot from our students because he knows they are capable. At the same time, he provides them the support they need to perform at their potential.”

Students are clearly benefiting. Since the program’s inception, 93% of the participants have graduated in six or fewer years. 

ESP’s alumni include doctors, nurses and software engineers. More than one-third are seeking or have obtained advanced degrees.

This year, with donor support, ESP will enhance its summer bridge session for entering students. While taking introductory courses and participating in college-success workshops, the students will live on campus instead of commuting each day. Evenchik can’t wait.

“We’ll build strong relationships with our students right from the start,” he said.

“Arthur has played a major role in building the Emerging Scholars Program, which stands among the best models in the country for advancing student success.” 

—Dean Joy K. Ward

Page last modified: March 17, 2023