As said by Clark Atlanta University’s Interim Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs, her luck in life has been, never having to look for a job because she has always been invited.
Dr. Dorcas Davis Bowles continues the success of this professional track record as CAU has extended another invitation for her start of said position, January 7, 2019.
“Dr. Bowles is no stranger to the Atlanta University Center. During her tenure at Clark Atlanta University, she served as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs from January 2003 –May 2008. She also served as Dean of Whitney M. Young, Jr., School of Social Work at three different times, the most recent being from August 2015 to July 2016,” according to CAU website.
One of Dr. Bowles’ top priorities in her 2019 return is to meet with each department chair to strengthen the guidelines for stackable credentials so that “they are clearly defined.”
Led by Dr. Eric Mintz in 2015-2016, the overall purpose is to provide tools and resources for the students to become more marketable. She shared how stackable credentials reduce the amount of general education hours for students but adds hour to an area that complements their occupational area.
“Coming back, I’ve noticed Clark Atlanta has expanded and grown a great deal,” Dr. Bowles said. “There is still work to be done but I also want to make sure students have an internalized identity here at Clark Atlanta University.”
Dr. Bowles learned early on the importance of being involved politically and to be an advocate for her community from her mother a housewife and father who was a minister. She shared, “They valued education as they were both involved in the NAACP, the civil and voting rights in Alabama.”
Growing up in Tuskegee, Dr. Bowles found a way of escape through reading, “it opened doors of new knowledge,” she said.
She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education at Tuskegee University and a strong foundation that she continued to build upon. It was there when the Professor of Sociology, Stanley Smith encouraged her to attend Smith College by saying, “enhance your horizons.” He also added, “the world that you work in will be an integrated world.”
In 1972, Dr. Bowles was invited to become faculty at Smith College in representation of the black community amongst what would be an all-white place of employment. The dual appointment was purposed to increase the number of black students, but the president of Smith College specifically asked that she worked directly with the students of color in the school of Social Work.
“I got there and did the interview, they called me two days later and told me that I was accepted for the position,” Dr. Bowles said.
During the Civil Right Movement, Dr. Bowles would help lead Smith College’s newly formed bridge program. It bridged the gap for students from across the country leaving high school and assuring their success in a college environment.
After grad school, while completing her field placement at the Institute for Juvenile Research which was a Child Guidance Clinic in Chicago, she was contacted by Tuskegee University to become the Dean of Women, which she also accepted.
Dr. Bowles is now connecting the dots of her profession to funnel into Clark Atlanta University to ensure it provides the students a “meaningful experience,” which includes preparation for research presentations, faculty/student mentorship and networking with business professionals in their area of interest.
“A good faculty member not only launches the students, but you are also available to the student as they pursue their careers goals.”
Some 47 years later, Dr. Bowles has not stop bridging those gaps between education and growing young minds. Whether she is heading into work or gettingher grocery bags loaded into her car, encouraging the youth to vote and breaking down the steps of entering college is always apart of her conversations.