14th Oct2011

Malcolm Seth Bevel, MSPH – Prairie View A&M University

by Staff

“The other part of my experience, motivation, stems from the love I received from my closest friends and the three “baby” cousins in my family. Whenever I felt like giving up due to the natural stresses of college, my true friends wouldn’t let me stop. My cousins also needed another example of what it means to be a black man, despite what society may think a black man should be.”

C/O 2009

Major: Biology & Pre-Medicine

Masters of Science in Public Health from Meharry Medical College (SOGSR)

Personal Contacts:




How did you decide to become a student at Prairie View A&M University?

My cousin (a sophomore in 2004) was attending Prairie View when I was finishing my senior year in high school. She told me that Prairie View had a great Biology program and although it wasn’t for her, she told me to check it out. My family and I visited Prairie View in November of 2003 and I was instantly sold!

The family-oriented environment, the labs, the research with other institutions, and the class sizes are what made me want to attend a place that proudly produces productive people.


What professors at YOUR HBCU left the most impression upon you as a student and/or person? What did they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?

George E. Brown (Ph.D., distinguished professor) and Harriette Howard-Lee Block (Ph.D., Department Head) are probably two of the smartest people I’ve known to date. Their passion for teaching young black students the sciences and their determination to see us succeed is a rare gift that I was blessed to receive.

Dr. Block (in the yellow) participating in the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students – Image Courtesy of ChristopherArnette


They, as well as the rest of the department, cared about the well-being of their students BUT they did not allow us to do less than what was expected of us. They saw the potential in each and every student that crossed their path, and instead of treating us like regular “students,” we were like family.


What is the story of your “experience” at Prairie View A&M University given its heralded status as a stellar and prestigious HBCU?

My “experience” at Prairie View A&M University is that of growth and motivation. I grew as a man in many ways in this environment (the “dirty South”) that I truly believe I wouldn’t of experienced had I stayed in the Midwest. I learned that a real man works hard no matter what the circumstances may be, that humbly serving your community reaps long-term rewards, and that patience is truly a virtue.

The other part of my experience, motivation, stems from the love I received from my closest friends and the three “baby” cousins in my family. Whenever I felt like giving up due to the natural stresses of college, my true friends wouldn’t let me stop. My cousins also needed another example of what it means to be a black man, despite what society may think a black man should be.


Where were the spots to go to if you wanted to cuddle with your boy or girlfriend?


The Stands of Blackshear Stadium – Image Courtesy of Onnidan 1 Forum

The main spots (that I knew of) were either at the stands at Blackshear Stadium or around the fountain in the middle of campus. I chose the latter…the fountain seemed more romantic haha.


What were the best restaurants on and near campus? Which dishes did you enjoy the most?

I never knew Chick-Fil-A existed until I got to Texas, and I’m glad it exists!

Image Courtesy of PVAMU

The Panther Grill was pretty good too, but the best place to get the BEST loaded baked potato on or near campus was at Waller County Line BBQ!! Good memories!

Yeah that baked potato does look delicious! – Image Courtesy of Waller County Line BBQ


What were the chants heard most often at the sporting events?

The classic chant was when one person would shout “P-V!!!!” and the crowd would respond with “YOOOOUUUU KNOW!!!”


Who was your College crush?

Haha…I never thought I would be asked this. I’ll answer this another time 😀


How did you overcome your nervousness about going to college?

I don’t think I was particularly nervous about going to college. Even though it was practically a culture shock for me, I fit in very well with my new environment.


What was your major? and Why did you choose it?

My major was Biology Pre-Medicine and I chose it because I’ve always wanted to be a pediatric physician.

We found a great website, BlackExperts that features melanin-efficient physicians. We also located two other sites BlackDoctor and TheBlackMarket) – Logo Courtesy of BlackExperts.com

What has been your proudest moment @ Prairie View A&M University?

Although it didn’t necessarily occur at Prairie View, my proudest moment during my college years is when I came to realize that I wanted a better life overall…and the only way to do it was to accept Jesus Christ in my life in 2008. I’ve been a better man with God in my life, and my friends at Prairie View supported me throughout my spiritual struggle before I came to know Him. It was truly humbling and the best moment of my life.


What was your saddest moment @ Prairie View A&M University?

When I received the news that my great-grandmother passed away in 2008, that was the saddest moment at Prairie View.

Much Honor and Praise to your Great-Grandmother and the wisdom she imparted upon you. Remember that she lives forever through you and we are honoured to know her spirit through your words Mr. Bevel – Image Courtesy of Ankh Pendant

I honestly almost didn’t want to finish but I knew that giving up would not have pleased her…so I stuck through it and finished in 2009!


What did you pledge? And why? And if not, why not?

I didn’t pledge anything because I honestly didn’t feel that I had the grades necessary to be a strong candidate for any fraternity to accept me. My Dad always told me that he would rather me have a successful life without “letters” than to be in a frat and not have done anything with my life.


How were you positively active on campus? (e.g. clubs, SGA, etc.)

I was a student ambassador/campus tour guide in the Office of Recruitment and Marketing at Prairie View A&M University.

I also was involved in spoken word on campus through the organization called Triple-P (Prairie View Productive Poets).


Where was the “yard” located?

Basically the whole campus was the “yard!” However, I would think that it was mainly at the fountain.


What and where were the historical places on campus?

Well there are so many but the main one that sticks out in my mind is the slave cemetery in the back of the University past the Phase 3 dorms/apartments. Prairie View A&M University was founded on a former slave plantation (the Alta Vista plantation), and a former slave owner’s widow wanted eight young African-American men (the Unknown 8) to have an education. The story is that before they could even officially start learning any subjects, they had to bury their fellow brothers and sisters (former slaves) in the back of the old plantation, and the cemetery has been recognized as an historical place.


Are there any ghost stories involving buildings or spots on campus?

Not that I know of!


How many “firsts” did you have at college ? What were they? (e.g. first road trip, first job interview, first love, first “F or A”, etc.)

I had several firsts at college, but to name a few: first road trip, first love, first F (seriously regret that), first shot of tequila, and that’s all I care to name right now haha.


If you could speak to those family members that have risen but that live forever through you, what words would you speak?

“The plan is progress, not perfection.”


What situation in your life made you feel like you had arrived into woman or manhood?

I wouldn’t call it a situation per se, but more so of a revelation. I felt like I came into manhood when I realized that my actions could have very critical future implications.

If I wanted the best for my future wife and children, then I had to put away childish things which is perfectly stated in 1 Corinthians 13:11.


When and how did you discover your passion in life?

I’m still considered young so I haven’t completely discovered my passion in life, but I do know that it involves helping underserved communities in the health arena.


What sports and/or extra curricular activities did you do in High School? And why?

I was a four-sport athlete (football, baseball, basketball, and track), and I was also involved in the school orchestra (cello). I loved being physically and mentally active and my parents encouraged such activities.


Whats your take on life (in the philosophical sense)?

I know it sounds cliché but life is what you make of it. Despite the trials and tribulations we all may encounter, if you make the best out of life, you’ll more than likely get the best that life has to offer. Realistically things won’t always work out as you plan it, but honestly it’s not about “our” plan…it’s about God’s plan for us. The best thing to do: just live life.


How do you deal with racism if you encounter it?

I try to remain as humble and calm as possible because despite another person’s racist comments (therefore exposing their flaws), I know I’m not perfect. Of course I speak up against racism but there is a way to address it in order to achieve minimal conflict.


If you could only speak two sentences to the youth coming after you what would you say?

Keep your eyes on the prize and your heart with God and He’ll never steer you in the wrong direction. Do not let ANYONE OR ANYTHING keep you from doing what the Lord may call you to do.


This interview really impacted us, on  at least three occasions we stepped back and reflected. Malcolm’s “HBCU Experience” shows that PVAMU accepted a young man freshly graduated from high school and crafted him into a leader in the medical field (we definitely need it). Mr. Bevel we are honored that you spend time with us and forever greatly for those lives you touch with your wisdom. Much Respect and Strength as you continue your journey.


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Graduate of an HBCU and true believer in HBCUs being the best at giving a well-rounded education academically and personally.




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