Alumna named one of Wisconsin's most influential Native Americans
Madison365 named Stritch alumna Dr. Jolene Bowman, ’15, to its inaugural Top 38 Most Influential Native Americans list in March 2020. She works as the director of Education and Career Services for the Stockbridge-Munsee Community.
“This week, we shine a statewide spotlight on the dedicated leaders of Wisconsin’s indigenous communities,” wrote Madison365 CEO and Publisher Henry Sanders in an introduction to the list. “The people we highlight this week are elected leaders, business leaders, community leaders, doing difficult, important work, often in the face of discrimination and literally generations of oppression.”
Bowman is committed to leading efforts that foster greater respect for elders and veterans, and sees her work with youth as a way of helping up-and-coming generations build self-awareness “so they can be the future we want to see in the world.” She credits her grandparents, mother and aunts with helping inspire her work.
“They unknowingly served as change agents by supporting active thoughts, ideas and dreams which in turn motivated my passion to serve others in the capacity of cultivating academic and career mindsets for a sustainable future from PreK through higher education,” said Bowman, whose work focuses on achieving equality in Native education by removing barriers and improving the educational experience for students of all ages.
Bowman is a citizen of Stockbridge-Munsee Community with 27 years of tribal work experience including being the director of Education and Career Services for the past 13 years. In addition, she serves as vice president for Stockbridge-Munsee Community while also serving on the Wisconsin Indian Education Association representing the Central Region and the Wisconsin Tribal Education Directors Association. Her past leadership positions include serving as president of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) in 2018 and as the 2015-2017 vice president of Stockbridge-Munsee.
Bowman is a graduate of Stritch’s Doctorate in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service in Higher Education degree program. Her doctoral research focused on “Student Voices: a Phenomenological Exploration of Stockbridge-Munsee Student Experiences and Strategies Related to Persisting in Wisconsin Colleges.”
“I believe that as a collective voice we can build, support, and believe in the dreams of others to encourage success for a better world,” Bowman said.