Biola professor brings professional experience to the classroom

Biola adjunct professor Carol Mayberry took a journey through Utah, Montana and Hollywood, concluding with her teaching at Biola.



Carly Mayberry, once a reporter for the Hollywood Reporter, is now transitioning into a position as a Biola professor in the English department. | Photo courtesy of Carly Mayberry

Abbey Bennett, Writer

Biola’s campus has professors from countless backgrounds who have come to teach from various professional realms. Carly Mayberry has been an adjunct professor in Biola’s Department of English since August 2010.

From Utah to Montana to Hollywood, Mayberry has met and interviewed many well-known actors and actresses, as well as down-to-earth community members. She has proclaimed their stories, and is now teaching students to do the same.

Mayberry worked her way up

But Mayberry’s dazzling journalism career began in a much smaller place than Hollywood.
She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Her first job was in rural Montana, working for a small newspaper called The Missoulian, where she wrote obituaries.

“My life has always been about working my way up,” Mayberry said.

After four years of writing obituaries, she wrote an essay about her job. Her editors took notice and published it.

“I really had to jump,” Mayberry said. “And the editors gave me a chance.”

Through this essay she was promoted to staff writer at the Hungry Horse News in Montana. There, she began to write columns on local people and events, and really loved it. Wanting to see more than Montana, she traveled to Redondo Beach, Calif., to stay with her uncle and explore career opportunities in Los Angeles.

Going back to school

There, she was hired by The Easy Reader, and worked in an office adjacent to the ocean. At this point, Mayberry did not have a degree in journalism, so when an opportunity came to attend a graduate school back in Montana, she went. She now has a master’s in journalism from the University of Montana.

“I got my master’s in one year because I just wanted to be finished,” Mayberry said.

Interviewing celebrities

She then returned to Los Angeles in 2001, and was soon hired by the Hollywood Reporter.
Once there, she worked as a page designer, writer and reporter from 2003 until 2008.
Once she got on the scene in Hollywood, she dreamed of meeting John Travolta ––“Grease” was Mayberry’s favorite childhood movie.

“I’m not even going to tell you how many times I watched it,” Mayberry said. “I know every word!” After his award-winning appearance in “Hairspray,” she had the opportunity to interview him.

“The first thing I said to him was, ‘You will always be Danny Zuko to me,’” Mayberry said. Travolta is not the only celebrity Mayberry has interviewed.

“One of my favorite interviews was with Hal Holbrook,” Mayberry said. “We talked for an hour on the phone.” She went on to describe how Holbrook made it seem as if he had known her for years; he was so personable and gracious.

After the phone interview, Mayberry was able to see Holbrook in person at an event and he told her, “Carly, you wrote the best thing anyone has written about me.”

Mayberry begins career of freelance

In 2008, as the world of journalism began to take a large shift from mostly print to primarily web, half of The Hollywood Reporter staff lost their jobs, including Mayberry.
From there, she began her career as a freelance journalist.

When the publication let her go, she got very involved in her church, First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, as a volunteer and now a deacon, serving the community as a coordinator for the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council, a city-sponsored outreach organization.

Transition from reporter to professor

In the summer of 2010, Mayberry went with her church on a short-term mission trip to Berlin. Through the trip she met Amy Obrist, Biola’s Russian and German language professor and the chair of Biola’s department of Modern Languages. Mayberry mentioned to her an interest in working as an adjunct professor, and Obrist suggested looking into Biola.

Mayberry is in a season of transition, from Hollywood reporter to Biola professor, “Variety” and “Moving Pictures Magazine” writer and even hopeful author.
According to her website, she is currently working on a documentary about a single mother who is raising three children with cerebral palsy.
Mayberry is constantly reminded that the Lord is the one who directs her steps.
“You have to have strong morals. Journalists are liberal-oriented people,” she said. “Be true to what God has for you.”

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