(November 3, 2006) The Bowman Fellows Program provides minority teacher candidates the opportunity to develop valuable leadership skills, engage in mentoring relationships with local professional leaders, and participate in training based on Illinois State’s Bill and Melinda Gates Leadership Challenge Grant. The Gates Grant focuses on the Baldrige leadership model, which is designed to improve the quality and performance of organizations.

This year’s class is focusing on their core values, and vision and mission statements, as well as developing a service information document to serve minority students new to Illinois State University and the College of Education. The students also study the Malcolm Baldrige Education Criteria for Performance Excellence in order to apply the criteria to their work as well as guide the Bowman Fellows Program in future recruitment and programming.

Established in 2004 as a partnership between the Central Illinois Urban League and the College of Education, the program was named in honor of President Dr. Al Bowman. Each spring semester a new cohort is selected through applications from minority students studying in the College of Education. The selection criteria include leadership, scholarship, and service to the College of Education and Illinois State University, as well as a strong commitment to make a positive difference in their role as future teacher leaders in Illinois schools. Potential Bowman Fellows respond to several essay questions including a response to the College of Education’s mission, Realizing the Democratic Ideal, and the University’s motto, Gladly we learn and teach.

Each cohort in the Bowman Fellows Program will, as a group, develop their leadership skills and their educational expertise in learning and teaching. They will use data driven decision-making to facilitate schools and communities toward the goal of improved student achievement. This commitment is made by each Bowman Fellow through graduation.

In recognition of their selection, each Bowman Fellow receives a book stipend per semester of participation, two hours of course credit per semester, an honor stole and program notice at graduation, letters of recommendation for their resume file, as well as a group meeting with President Bowman each semester.

Recently, the Bowman Fellows Class of 2006 was recognized at the College of Education Scholarships and Awards Ceremony. This year’s group includes the following members:

  • Ashanti Johnson
  • Christina Jones
  • Robert Lega
  • Aprilanne Lynch
  • Christina Montgomery
  • Sarah Wesley
  • Cameo Williams
  • Charlee Zingraf

For more information on the Bowman Fellows program, please contact Lynda Irvin by e-mail or at (309) 438-2351.