"I just want to see the ocean." Those were the words of a twenty-something student several years ago. I am Kathy Bowen, Associate Professor of Business and Professional Studies at Murray State College, and I have been an educator for 31 years. As a college professor and student adviser for Phi Beta Lambda Organization, I want students to experience more than the world they have in their back yard. At our rural Oklahoma college, many of our students have never been more than a few hundred miles from where they live. This student had grown up in central Texas and now lived in Oklahoma, but had never seen the ocean. Through our student organization, she was able to attend the national conference and see the Pacific Ocean in California. To see her take off her shoes and put her feet in the ocean for the first time in her life was a revelation to me. I enjoy teaching in the classroom and helping students have those light-bulb moment experiences, but true joy comes in helping students experience life. I want them to be successful and willing to move outside of their comfort zones. I push myself and my students to do that every year. Whether it is exploring the Federal Reserve Bank, reliving history in Berlin or the Alamo in San Antonio, or tasting a new food at our campus Harvest Moon Festival, I want students to know there is more to life than the few miles outside of their back yard. Teaching is not just in the classroom. Our students need to experience life. If I can make a difference in students' lives by helping them gain self-confidence, improve communication and leadership skills, and most importantlyâ€”teach them about life, then I have achieved self-actualization for myself.
What Drives You to #AchieveMore?