Tuesday, April 8, 2014

30 for 30 Member Spotlight: Eric Bowles

Hometown: Eagle Pass, Texas

College(s) attended: UT-San Antonio (BA in English) UT-Austin (MEd in Higher Edu & abd in Ed Psych PhD)

Job title(s) and department(s) past and present: Student Development Specialist (Dean of Students Office) Academic Advisor (Economics) Program Coordinator & Assistant Director (UTeach-Liberal Arts)

How did you end up at UT in the first place? I had a UTemp job in Student Government for 6 weeks a little over 15 years ago. At that time Kevin Rome directed the office of Campus and Community Involvement within the Dean of Students Office.  On my last day of the temp job he walked in and said, "You looking for a job?" and I said, "Yes."  Kevin says, "I have an admin assistant position, you have an interview tomorrow at 9am, be there!"  I got the job offer the next day and I started my life in student affairs. Little did I know it was a life altering moment and I have done my best to make the most out of my time here. It's been a tremendous journey so far!

What is your favorite part or being a part of ACA?  ACA has the most welcoming, helpful, comforting, and friendly professional environments you could ever wish for. I loved my time as Co-VP!

Here's where we'd like an anecdote about a favorite ACA memory or a memory that includes another ACA member: Oh man I have a few.  Gabby Yearwood and I were Co-VP's and we took a giant life-size cutout of Homer Simpson and took pictures all over campus with Homer for David Spight. We shared the pictures with the entire ACA family at a meeting.  It was just a fun group of people to be with and we laughed non-stop. 

What advice would you give to new advisors or new staff members at UT? Learn as much as you can about your profession through advancing your education and/or professional development.  Utilize that information and your education to do good in your community in large and small ways daily.  Take what you learn and work efficiently, diligently, and don’t lose sight of the fact that your work makes a difference in someone's life each day.  We work at a public institution for the public and we are entrusted with a very important mission. Foster that mission for the sake of your students and your community! 

What legacy would you like to leave behind at UT? I don't know that I think of it in terms of legacy, but more so memories, students, and friendships. I have laughed, cried, and learned a ton during my time at UT and I hope my students and friends cherish those memories as much as I do. 

Anything else you want to tell us?  I feel extremely privileged to have had the types of experiences during my time here. For a kid from a small border town, I don't lose sight of where I come from and I hope I do my communities justice! 

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