Difference Makers: Zac ’01 and Toks (Olowola) ‘04 Brown

November 17, 2017 – Major: Mathematics: Secondary Education (Zac) and Mathematics: Computer Science (Toks)

Dr. Zac Brown ‘01 and his wife, Toks (Olowola) Brown ’04, are shining examples of Bryan Difference Makers. They met at college, both deeply involved in campus life and ministry, and married in 2004. Their career paths since graduation have been a testimony to the Lord’s provision and direction.

Zac’s career journey reveals his heart for serving students who do not have a strong support system, and his inspiring personality encourages all those he comes in contact with to achieve more than they may have ever deemed possible. After earning a B.S. in mathematics from Bryan, his career in education began with a position as a mathematics teacher and wrestling coach at Rhea County High School. Since then, he has served as principal at East Ridge High School, executive principal at Howard High School, and assistant superintendent of operations for Hamilton County Schools. He earned his Master of Arts in instructional leadership from Tennessee Technological University and a Master of Arts in mathematics education (5-12) from Western Governors University. In August 2017 Zac earned his Doctor of Education in Leadership and Professional Practice from Trevecca Nazarene University.

According to his bio from the Hamilton Country Department of Education, “During his three years at The Howard School, Brown increased the graduation rate, created an English as a Second Language program, increased the enrollment by over 200 students, and transitioned the school to a 1:1 (one student, one device) technology school.” He has also helped to build a mentoring and leadership program between The Howard School and the Lookout Mountain Conservancy, a partnership empowering students to gain leadership, academic, social, and conservation skills and aid them in post-high-school job placement. Zac is currently the director of secondary opportunity schools for Hamilton County Schools.

After her graduation from Bryan in 2004 with a B.S. in mathematics, Toks served as Bryan’s director of human resources while working toward her MBA from the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga. The Lord then led her to a position with the Social Security Administration, where her career has remained ever since – first as a social insurance representative and now as a claims specialist. Here Toks has received yearly awards for her work, which includes settling matters related to retirement, disability, Medicare, and Medicaid. Her heart for others shines through in both her career path and the many ways that she has been involved in volunteer work over the years.

The Browns have been married for over 13 years now and have precious young twin daughters, Isabella and Julianna. They currently reside in Ooltewah, Tenn., and are members at Silverdale Baptist Church.


Alumni Feature: Olivia Kezer ‘17

April 3, 2017 – Major: Business Administration; Minor: Communications.

When Olivia Kezer first arrived at Bryan College as a freshman, she quickly knew she had found her home for the next four years. She also soon discovered opportunities on campus to foster her spiritual gifts and grow deeper to God.

“A wise teacher once told me that picking a college is less about picking where you’re going to get a degree because you can get a degree in a given subject pretty much anywhere; what you’re actually choosing is who you’re going to grow with and who is going to influence you for four years,” Kezer said. “I can think of no other place I would want to grow or be influenced than at Bryan with the people here.”

During her freshman year, Olivia became involved with Student Government Association (SGA) and fell in love with the group’s sense of community and opportunities to learn new skills. She eventually worked her way up to becoming SGA President her senior year and has continued to foster relationships with students and staff around campus.

“Being on SGA has taught me what servant leadership truly looks like, how to endeavor to handle conflict and confusion with grace, and how to be strong in my convictions,” Kezer said.

After graduation, Olivia hopes to work for a non-profit organization in a business administration role.

“Community may be a buzzword at Bryan, but that’s only because it’s true,” Kezer said. “I have found forever friends and mentors here who have walked alongside me and helped me grow in ways I’m absolutely positive wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”


Alumni Feature: Katherine Fraizer ’16

Kathryn Fraizer in Soccer Uniform with Soccer ballApril 13, 2017 – Major: Christian Ministry: Youth Ministry; Minor: Biblical Studies

When it came to my undergraduate studies, I chose Bryan College, because I fell in love with the campus and atmosphere when I visited for the first time during Scholarship Weekend. Plus, who wouldn’t love looking at the mountains all the time?

I have too many favorite things about Bryan to pick just one. Some of my top choices would be the friends, professors, opportunities to go on mission trips, play soccer, and pursue photography.

I currently work as the Discipleship Coordinator at Brown Missionary Baptist Church. After my interview for the job, they actually customized the job for me because of my degree and the experiences I had during my time at Bryan.

I’m currently part of the AGS program and working towards an MBA with a Ministry specialization with my anticipated graduation in 2018.


Alumni Feature: Donna Commers ’16

Donna Commers HeadshotApril 13, 2017 – Major: Business Administration

I chose Bryan College because I wanted a Christian education and Bryan has an excellent reputation. Numerous colleagues recommended Bryan because they had attended Bryan and had a good experience. I liked the way that Bryan tied a Christian worldview into all of the lessons as well.

My favorite part about Bryan College was the availability of the instructors. Any time that I had a question or needed assistance, the instructors responded promptly. They were always very helpful and seemed to really care. I also loved the fact that while attending the onsite classes, the instructors always opened class with prayer.

Bryan made it easier to accomplish obtaining my bachelor’s degree, because the faculty and staff were so supportive every step of the way. I feel that by attending Bryan College I was able to grow spiritually as well as academically.


Alumni Feature: Adam Abbott ’15, ’17

Adam Abbot HeadshotApril 13, 2017 – Undergrad: Business Administration; Graduate: Business Administration – Human Resources specialization

With a family of five and full-time job, finding a school that offered flexibility was key for Adam Abbott’s search to finish and continue his education.

Adam currently works at Whirlpool and has received two promotions since he graduated from Bryan.

“I appreciated that the school shared morals that were very close to my own, yet offered tuition at a much lower price than that of the other schools in the area that might offer the same,” Abbott said.

“The staff has been nothing, but friendly and responsive. While I completed my MBA online, I completed my BS in the classroom. The faculty was always very familiar with the curriculum, and encouraged participation in the classroom. Through the adult studies program, this took place in 4 hour blocks once a week, but the involvement in the classroom made the time pass very quickly, and the material interesting.


Alumni Feature: Jubilee Lofgren ’17

Jubilee Lofgren HeadshotApril 7, 2017 – Major: Christian Studies – Bible

The great community and low professor to student ratio helped me choose Bryan College. My favorite part is how I have been challenged in and outside the classroom to grow spiritually, relationally, and mentally.

I have been an intern with the Worldview Initiative for the last two years and on the Worldview Initiative team for three years. Being on the Worldview Initiative team has grown me in so many ways. I have learned what it means to love people, to be confident in who God has made me to be, and how think and discuss complex ideas. I would not be the same person I am today if it were not for the Worldview Initiative!

After I graduate, I want to be a Bible Translator and translate the Bible for groups of people that don’t have a Bible in their mother tongue.


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