There are many reasons why someone who has never been to SVSU would find it appealing.
For Anthony Bowrin, associate dean of the College of Business & Management, it all started with a coat.
Some 2,700 miles from his native Trinidad and Tobago, Bowrin came to campus for an interview in early March 2009 and stepped of the plane without a winter jacket. Meeting him at the airport was his future colleague, Professor of Accounting Mark McCartney, who immediately took of his own jacket and offered it to Bowrin — and, luckily, it was the right fit. That type of hospitality, Bowrin says, is exactly the type of interaction he was looking for when he decided to relocate from the University of the West Indies in search of an institution that also was “just the right fit.”
Bowrin was hired as an associate professor of accounting and wasted no time introducing his students to a teaching philosophy he admits is predicated on tough love.
“My belief is that every student who is willing to work hard can succeed,” he said. “I ask them what are their strengths and weaknesses, and their likes and dislikes. If they answer honestly, they can craft a plan that will almost guarantee their success.“
Last year, Bowrin took that same philosophy to a new administrative position when he was named associate dean.
“Honestly, an administrative role wasn’t a goal when I came to SVSU,” he said. “But I can still help students as associate dean — I can still mentor them, and I can still help them navigate a plan that will help them be successful.”
Bowrin has also taken his desire to help others to a new field of sorts — the soccer field. For the last three years he has served as a youth soccer coach for recreational soccer teams at the Midland Soccer Club, where he says working with the children is “the highlight of my week.”
Still, he says, there is no greater joy than watching one of his own students find success after graduation.
“I especially enjoy getting a phone call from a student or employer commenting on the quality of what we do in the college or the quality of a student,” Bowrin said. “Thankfully I’ve received quite a few of those calls.”