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BSC Alumnus Dr. Shannon Bowling Returns to His Alma Mater as Electrical Engineering Technology Professor

  • Created
    Friday, October 07 2011
  • Created by
    Jim Nelson/Media Relations - (304) 327-4103


(Bluefield)—At Old Dominion University, Dr. Shannon Bowling was the graduate program director of the largest Engineering Management Program in the nation. This fall, the Bluefield State College Electrical Engineering Technology (EET) graduate has returned to his alma mater as a member of the faculty, and he's certain that his career move was the right one.

"I'm delighted to be at home," the Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Technology noted during a break between classes recently. "Spending one month at BSC has convinced me that coming back was probably one of the best decisions I have ever made."

Bowling brings a balanced appreciation for new education technologies and "old school" hard work to the table. At ODU, he received the "Teaching with Technology Award" and the "Faculty Innovator Grant for his work in developing online and distance learning courses using the latest technology.

His presentations at national conferences have detailed the equipment, software, and practices that institutions of higher education can implement to develop live online interactive courses to students anywhere in the world. "I was very fortunate to be at the right time and place to be one of the first people in the world doing this," he continued. "I've had students on oil rigs in Siberia taking my classes in real time from an Internet satellite connection. It's very rewarding to be able to provide education to people who would otherwise have had no opportunity to continue their education."

He envisions tremendous potential for BSC to provide these access-enhancing opportunities for residents in rural West Virginia and Virginia who would otherwise have to travel great distances to either the BSC campus in Bluefield or to the College's classrooms at the Higher Education Center in Beaver.

The future of higher education over the next 20 years is both exciting and scary, according to Bowling. "We have to accept the fact that the world has changed and will continue to change," he continued, "and it's not going to return to the way things used to be. We must embrace the potential for technology and see how it can benefit both the students and their faculty."

Upon returning to BSC, Bowling hopes to help a new generation of students just as he was helped during his undergraduate years at the campus on the terraced hills. "People like Frank Hart (Dean/School of Engineering Technology & Computer Science), Roy Pruett (Professor & Department Head/Electrical Engineering Technology) and John Cardwell (Vice President/Student Affairs & Enrollment Management) really inspired and assisted me when I was a student," Bowling recalled. "I hope that, in my career, a few students can site me as someone who had a positive influence on their lives, as well."

"One of my goals is to help them understand how competitive they really are, both in industry and in graduate school," he said. "The students at Bluefield State have a work ethic that is amazing."