Dr. Marilyn R. Bowers
2005 Award of Honor
– Classes of 1973, 1978 and 1985
Dr. Marilyn Rollins Bowers' enthusiasm and excitement for life is a direct link to her call to be an educator. East Tennessee State University set the stage for Bowers' educational career. From her time here at ETSU, Bowers has gone on to touch the lives of hundreds of her students during her life.
From her humble beginnings Dr. Bowers recognized early on what an education could do for her. That is why her education is one of the things in her life that she is most proud of. She has also said that next to the family she was born into, the group that she has the second longest ongoing relationship with is East Tennessee State University.
She began her educational career at Booker T. Washington School, which was a segregated school in Jonesborough. She later attended Washington College Academy which was desegregated in 1966. Bowers said in 1969 she graduated from the school in which neither segregation nor integration would have been an issue if her family could have afforded the tuition.
Receiving her bachelor's degree in 1973, Bowers thirst for knowledge continued. She returned to ETSU to receive her Master of Arts in Reading in 1978 and went on to complete her doctorate of Education in Educational Supervision in 1985.
Dr. Bowers began her professional career at Morristown College as an instructor of reading. As her life and skills developed, she found her way to Walters State Community College, where she currently serves as a Professor of Reading.
During her 25-year career, she has become a full professor at Walters State, as well as the Head of the Education Department which includes pre-teacher education, special education, physical education, and early childhood education.
In addition, Dr. Bowers serves as the department head for the Freshman Experience and Study Skills. After attending a career development conference, Bowers and another professor decided to write a book that could be used as part of the Freshman Experience curriculum. The book has been part of the curriculum for seven years and the royalties from the book are put back into a scholarship fund to help educate more students.
She is a member of Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Delta Kappa. Dr. Bowers has been published three times in Who's Who in American Education, receiving her nominations from students who say she has positively changed or impacted their lives. She is currently working with rising 21st century teachers, directing their general education program, and leading up to matriculation into a university program and eventually teacher licensure.
Dr. Bowers has one daughter, Erin, who continued the ETSU education tradition with her studies in Mass Communication. She is also the proud grandmother of twins Joshua and Julia who were born in 1995.