Bowen Receives National Diversity Award

Dr. Robin E. Bowen, president of Arkansas Tech University, is one of 27 administrators from around the United States selected for the 2016 Giving Back Award from Insight Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education.

According to the magazine, recipients were selected based on their “outstanding demonstration of social responsibility, a commitment to charitable services and involvement with students, faculty and staff to serve underrepresented populations.”

Other 2016 recipients of the award include presidents and chancellors from such institutions as Columbia University, the University of Georgia, the University of Oklahoma, Penn State University and Vanderbilt University.

“The Giving Back Award is being given to leaders of institutions of higher education who exemplify what it truly means to ‘give back’ to others,” said Lenore Pearlstein, publisher of Insight Into Diversity magazine. “These presidents and chancellors are role models, and we honor their efforts to give back to everyone on their campuses and in their communities.”

Bowen was unanimously elected by the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees as the 12th president of Arkansas Tech on April 22, 2014, and she took office on July 1, 2014. She is the first female president of a public, four-year university in Arkansas.

Among the initiatives that Arkansas Tech has enacted to serve underrepresented populations under Bowen’s leadership is the establishment of a Department of Diversity and Inclusion within the Office of Student Services.

Bowen has encouraged efforts for Arkansas Tech to engage the growing Hispanic population inside the state.

Bilingual posters and flyers providing year-by-year advice on how to prepare for college have been distributed to high school students around Arkansas. The university has reached out to prospective students and their families with bilingual advertisements in periodicals dedicated to the Hispanic community. Select tours are offered in Spanish to make the parents and families of prospective students feel more included on campus.

Bowen has worked with the Mexican Consulate of Little Rock to obtain scholarship support for students of Mexican descent. As a result, seven Arkansas Tech students benefited from the program during the spring 2015 semester and 14 Arkansas Tech students received the IME Fellowship scholarship during the fall 2015 semester.

On Dec. 3, 2015, the Mexican Consulate announced that Arkansas Tech will be the lone institution of higher learning in the State of Arkansas to receive IME Becas Fellowship scholarship funds during the 2016 calendar year.

One of AY Magazine’s 2015 Most Powerful Women and a recipient of the Arkansas Traveler certificate from the State of Arkansas, Bowen is a board member for the River Valley Shelter for Battered Women and Children, the Russellville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Arkansas River Valley Alliance for Economic Development and the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce.

She serves as the chair of the Pope County steering committee for Uncommon Communities, a WinRock Breakthrough Community Development Initiative.

For more information about the Giving Back Award, visit