January 2020 Ashford Faculty of the Month: Dr. Trevor Belcher
The next time you hear that familiar pop-pop, pop-pop, pop-pop of a Harley-Davidson beside you, take a second look. Especially if you’re somewhere near southwest Virginia. It may just be Dr. Trevor Belcher, an Associate Dean of Ashford University’s College of Health, Human Services, and Science, cruising by you.
An avid motorcyclist who lives in the foothills of the Appalachians, Dr. Belcher has no shortage of beautiful scenery to check out when taking his bike out for a spin. With the famous autumn foliage of the eastern seaboard and the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains all at his doorstep, he estimates he’s logged in several thousand miles on his cycle over the past season — sometimes solo and many times with his wife, Shana, along for the ride.
His interest in motorcycles began with an early love for tinkering. Whether it’s getting under the hood of a car to figure out what needs fixing or discovering what makes people tick in the world of psychology, Dr. Belcher has consistently had a passion for uncovering how things work. Early on, his interests were more hands-on than the world of psychology or theology. From collecting comic books (especially H.E.R.O. comics such as Batman and Superman) to playing music, he has a wide variety of interests. However, during his own schooling, he admits school was not one of them, matter-of-factly saying, “I wasted most of the opportunities I had in high school.”
So, it may not be a surprise that when he graduated, getting a doctorate wasn’t initially on his to-do list. Instead, Dr. Belcher jumped into the adult world as an auto mechanic. He spent the 90s fixing cars, meeting and marrying Shana, and adding to the family with the birth of their son, Dylan. Going back to college didn’t come into play until he felt the urge to get his Bachelor of Science degree in Ministry and Theology at Mid-America Christian University in Oklahoma City.
Like so many Ashford students share about their experiences as an adult learner, Dr. Belcher recognizes that taking college courses and earning a degree with a family wasn’t always easy. However, he had a support system that was there when he needed it.
“It helped that I had someone who encouraged me and was in my corner,” he says.
Now, Dr. Belcher says he strives to deliver the same type of encouragement to other students who may be struggling. In fact, if his current students could know one thing about him, he hopes this is crystal clear to them: “I want to be there to help and support them along the way.”
In fact, it was this type of encouragement and mentoring that nudged Dr. Belcher into the field of psychology and counseling. While studying theology as an undergraduate, a professor pointed out that Dr. Belcher had an aptitude for psychology and counseling and suggested he consider going in that direction for grad school.
Although he had gotten a later start in life with his university education, once Dr. Belcher had a taste for school again, he took the ball and ran with it — going straight from getting his BS with a double major in ministry and theology, to earning his Master of Science in Psychology. He then continued on to complete his Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology at Capella University, finishing everything up by the age of 37.
Getting to Know Dr. Belcher
These days, Dr. Belcher is putting his years of experience in counseling, pastoral ministry, consulting, teaching, and administration to good use both in his hometown of Bristol, Virginia, and with students nationwide through his position at Ashford University. Here, we get to know a little more about Dr. Belcher and his work as an instructor, father, and husband.
Ashford: What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Dr. Belcher: I enjoy playing music both on my acoustic and electric guitars. I don’t play anything very well, but I like playing 70s folk-rock, stuff like that. My son Dylan is following in my footsteps as a teacher and associate pastor in Florida, and he is a much better musician than I am. I have fun playing everything from piano and guitar to drums and percussion and find music a great way to unwind and relax.
Ashford: Is there anything that particularly stands out in the field of psychology that everyone can benefit from knowing?
Dr. Belcher: I believe that understanding the study of behavior from a psychology standpoint and uncovering how and why specific behaviors are happening is beneficial for anyone. It’s something that’s applicable across a wide array of fields, whether you’re utilizing that understanding in your personal life or in a professional setting.
Dr. Trevor Belcher enjoys riding his motorcycle to explore the landscape and scenic views.
Ashford: What’s your favorite part of your job?
Dr. Belcher: One of the things I love about working at Ashford and just about teaching in general, is I love helping students. I love getting to be a part of their educational journey. It’s exciting to somehow make a difference in their lives in any way that I possibly can.
Ashford: Do you have any time management tips that students or people, in general, might find useful?
Dr. Belcher: Set your calendar and follow that as much as possible. However, it’s important for all of us to not be so rigid that we don’t take time out for others when and where needed. As important as it is to block out your time, you shouldn’t do it at the expense of being there when someone else really needs you.
Dr. Trevor Belcher with his wife Shana, their daughter-in-law, Megan, and son, Dylan, at NYC’s Rockefeller Center, 2018.
Ashford: Do you have any advice you’d like to share with students, especially if they are struggling?
Dr. Belcher: I just try to encourage everyone that they really can do it. If I have a student who is having trouble with a particular assignment, I encourage them to talk to me. Together, we will walk through whatever they’re struggling with and keep talking our way through it until they reach a clear understanding of the objective and what they need to do to get the job done right.
Written by Ashford University staff