Beverly Bower serves as senior mentor for Research BootCamp

BowerBeverly Bower, the Don A. Buchholz Endowed Chair, Director of the Bill J. Priest Center for Community College Education and Professor in the Department of Counseling and Higher Education, recently served as a Senior Scholar Mentor for the Research BootCamp sponsored by the Sisters of the Academy (SOTA) Institute.

 The biennial program brought together women scholars of black and other ethnic backgrounds from across the country with a goal of helping develop sound research agendas. Nine senior scholars, including Bower, facilitated workshops and programs for the 23 doctoral students and junior faculty participants.

 During the weeklong program, Bower mentored higher education administration students who were researching STEM programs as their dissertation topics. One student’s research focused on African first generation immigrant engineering students at a New York university and another student’s research centered on African American engineering students in North Carolina.

  “It is an opportunity for the mentors to give back to our community by providing guidance for these emerging women scholars,” said Bower. “Doctoral students and junior scholars who participate are provided support, a safe welcoming space where they feel more comfortable asking questions and exploring ideas than they sometimes feel in their graduate classrooms. It is a great opportunity for the women to network and meet peers and role models who look like them and who understand their background and challenges.”

 The SOTA Research BootCamp was held at the Florida State University (FSU) College of Education. SOTA was started by a group of FSU graduate students and faculty in 2001and has developed a national membership of black women scholars from a variety of colleges and universities. Bower has participated in the Research BootCamp three times.

“It is always great to be a part of the BootCamp, connect with and talk with women scholars of your ethnic background,” she adds. “It is holistic, rigorous and wonderful experience.”