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Campus News

August 3rd, 2022

Bowser interim associate dean at GC

Biology professor to bring “fresh perspective” to administrative team


Christa Bowser

Christa Bowser hopes knowledge and experience gained in Garrett College’s classrooms will help her make a positive impact as a member of the College’s administrative team.

“Often times, administrators come to an institution from another area,” said Bowser, a GC biology professor who recently accepted a one-year appointment as interim associate dean of academic affairs. “Being someone who has ‘real-world experience’ with this county and our students, I feel like I can be a valuable voice.”

Dr. Ryan Harrod, GC’s dean of academic affairs and chief academic officer, said Bowser’s “fresh perspective” will create a stronger administrative team.

“Christa knows the resources and support our faculty need to effectively assist our students in reaching their goals,” said Harrod. “She’s also highly respected within the faculty, having served multiple terms as co-chair of the Faculty Senate. The entire College administrative team is looking forward to working with Christa in her new role.”

Bowser’s faculty experience – which includes a decade of full-time teaching preceded by several years as an adjunct faculty member – isn’t the only valuable perspective she brings to her new position. Bowser attended Garrett College as part of the High School Dual Enrollment program and also took summer classes as GC when she was home from Alderson Broaddus College.

“Garrett College is a hidden treasure,” said Bowser, who taught earth science, biology and environmental science at Southern Garrett High School for 10 years prior to becoming a full-time GC faculty member. “So many people do not realize what an amazing institution we have in this county. Our dedication to students, academic rigor, and amazing support staff are all what make Garrett College a great place to begin your educational journey.”

Dr. Richard Midcap, Garrett College’s president, said Bowser’s educational journey made her the obvious choice when the College was seeking an interim associate dean to replace Lucy Manley, who moved to South Carolina after four years as associate dean.

“Christa has experience at just about every level of Garrett College – student, adjunct faculty, full-time faculty, and Faculty Senate leadership,” observed Midcap. “She’s played integral roles in development of our most recent strategic plan and in our 2020 reaccreditation. She’s been very successful at every level.”

“While this appointment takes Christa out of the classroom, I think she has the opportunity in this role to positively impact students on an even greater scale,” added Midcap.

Ironically – given her success in the academic field – Bowser said she didn’t start out wanting to be a teacher.

“When I got to graduate school, I was offered a paid teaching assistant position in the plant biology department,” recalled Bowser, who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Alderson Broaddus College and a Master of Science in environmental science from Ohio University. “For the sake of a pay check, I tried it out. It was that experience that made me really excited to be a teacher. If I hadn’t tried that, I doubt I would have ended up in this profession.”

Bowser, who was an adjunct instructor at GC while teaching at Southern Garrett, said her transition to a full-time faculty position at Garrett College came when she was “ready for a new challenge.” She was elected Faculty Senate co-chair after just two years on the faculty, serving in that role from 2014 to 2022.

“It was an opportunity to get to learn more about the college and to represent our faculty at many levels,” said Bowser. “During my time as Faculty Senate co-chair I learned so much from great mentors, Professor Carolyn Deniker and Professor Stacy Miller, who are outstanding professors and excellent leaders.”

In her new role, Bowser said she hopes to “find more ways to meet the needs of this community, whether it be through more dual enrollment programming for our high school students, new academic programs or even new certifications for those already in the workforce.”

Bowser said Garrett College has a special role in the local community.

“Our size allows us to really get to know and help our students learn and grow, and be successful when they leave here,” she said. “Many students would be overwhelmed at a large institution, or could not afford to attend one. Garrett College offers that comfortable, affordable location for students to get started.”