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How a professor became special assistant for inclusion and diversity

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With an understanding of justice and years of experience at Texas State, one professor is taking on an important position.

Scott Bowman, associate professor in criminal justice, is the new Special Assistant to the Provost for Inclusion and Diversity. The new position is designed to create an inclusive and diverse faculty experience. It should help facilitate more diverse courses and assist in hiring a high-performance staff.

Bowman said while the position primarily revolves around faculty, students should have a role in the development.

“As (students) go into a global market, having knowledge of diverse and inclusive ideas, principles and concepts of knowledge can only make the students stronger,” Bowman said.

Bowman grew up in Arizona. He said growing up around diverse cultures led him to build relationships with all kinds of people at a young age. Bowman said he sought to respect and understand those around him.

Bowman attended Arizona State University for his undergrad in psychology, then continued to graduate school where he got his Ph.D. in justice studies. Bowman said when he decided to take on graduate school, he realized there was much more to learn. He said he grew the most as an individual when he decided to further his education.

Bowman said he enjoyed the classes dealing with worldly issues. The program he chose allowed him to become more knowledgeable on how to hold dialogue on complex topics such as race, class, gender and critical legal studies.

Bowman said his graduate degree exposed him to new terminology and information about his experiences growing up. He was able to understand the complexities of justice, acknowledging his experiences as a straight African-American male were different than those of other ethnic or sexual orientation groups.

For the past 12 years, Bowman has been a teaching faculty member at Texas State. He said his goal has always been to ensure the best possible delivery of information to students of diverse backgrounds.

Dr. Sherri Benn, director of Student Diversity and Inclusion, has known Bowman for as long as he has been at Texas State and said he is perfect for the position.

“When Dr. Bowman first came (to Texas State) he was already a very competent and knowledgeable individual in regard to justice, equality and identity,” Benn said. “He has continued to advance his knowledge, understanding and skill set over the years. He is really dedicated to staff and professional development.”

Bowman said how people perceive justice is an important concept to him because of its complexity in everyday life. He said he believes contemporary society has sacrificed the idea of justice in exchange for ownership of ideas, thus limiting compromise.

Bowman chose to teach in the field of criminal justice because it gives students the opportunity to not only understand the topic, but question the effectiveness of practices used today and address how things can be changed.

Christine Sellers, professor and director of the school of criminal justice, said Bowman has been a great asset.

“Bowman is one of the most reasonable and logical individuals I have ever encountered,” Sellers said. “He understands human interaction in the way most intellectuals don’t, and it makes him an outstanding individual.”

Each step Bowman has professionally taken has impressed those around him. As the Special Assistant to the Provost for Inclusion and Diversity, he is taking on a large role that could not be more fitting.

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