Early last week, many students across campus were saddened to learn that Emily Bowles will no longer be teaching at Lawrence after this year. For the past four years, Emily has taught courses in the Gender Studies and English Departments, as well as Freshman Studies.
For me, this was a total downer to my final spring term at Lawrence. I met Emily during my sophomore year while questioning my career at Lawrence. Within two weeks of Intro to Gender Studies with Emily, I was sold.
Since then, Emily has been a major source of faculty support for me at Lawrence – even advising my Senior Capstone. In the classroom, Emily is phenomenal at engaging her students in the material, facilitating enlightening discussion and encouraging students to pursue their interests beyond what is offered in the course.
As a mentor, Emily has been intensely supportive and available to address concerns, both intellectual and personal. I cannot count how many times I have enjoyably found myself sitting somewhere with Emily, drinking coffee and discussing topics relevant to modern college-aged feminists.
I am having trouble accepting that future Lawrence students like me will never have the opportunity to learn with someone so influential. Thank you, Emily; you will be sorely missed.
-Cora Keene ’10Emily has been a true teacher, mentor and friend. My understanding of feminism and gender issues has been significantly shaped by a few women, and Emily is certainly among the most influential.
Emily has always made me feel that she values my opinion, even if I am her student – she asks for feedback and takes it to heart with a rare sincerity. She has always provided a safe space for people to question their assumptions about personal or social issues, both in class and in one-on-one settings.
Emily refuses to allow political correctness to define her thoughts on feminist issues, while also challenging individuals to think outside of their assumptions. Emily has challenged me in this way not only in my personal life but also in my academic career.
Her focus is always understanding – she is the rare teacher who knows that at the end of the day, the thing that matters most is whether she made her students think.
She exemplifies the concept that even if we cannot agree, we can always respect each other and understand each other’s positions. What Emily has taught me transcends classroom life even as it applies to it, and the lessons I’ve learned from being her student and friend will go with me after Lawrence.
-Jessica Newsome ’10
The first time I met Emily Bowles, I was a terrified 18-year-old heading to my very first college class – my first day of Freshman Studies. Emily’s class was everything I could have hoped for and more. She was warm, funny, and immediately set all of us at ease.
I can’t imagine Freshman Studies is an easy class to teach, yet Emily managed to engage all of us, no matter what level of preparedness we were coming in with. I remember sitting in her class being sure that Lawrence had to be the right school for me if it offered classes like this.
I’ve taken four more classes with her since then and my opinion of her both as a teacher and as a person has only grown since. She treats her students with an enormous amount of trust and respect, making me want to offer her 110 percent in return. She has been both a friend and an instructor to me over the past four years, offering everything from academic guidance to someone to share my coffee addiction with.
Now I’m taking my last classes at Lawrence, and Emily’s teaching her last term as well. While the symmetry of that is, I suppose, interesting, I feel sorry for next year’s freshmen, who won’t get a chance to have her as a professor. I’m truly sorry to hear that she won’t be coming back to Lawrence next year, and equally grateful that I got a chance to get to know her while she was here. Thank you, Emily, for a wonderful four years.
-Rebecca Hayes ’10
When I think of my educational experiences at Lawrence University, my favorite memories are rooted in a renewed sense of education. As a gender studies major I am constantly adjusting my feminist lens and adjusting my focus.
Emily is an integral influence on my feminist maturity. Her eagerness to combine women’s studies and gender studies in the classroom allowed for a unique contemplative environment. I never believed that the term ‘feminist’ should be one of limitation or alienation, but rather one of inclusion. Emily included everything in her feminist outlook, which expanded conversation.
Her academic conversational demeanor developed my feminist voice. Key to her classroom success is her ability to connect individually with everyone in the classroom. Not only is a she an educated feminist role model, she is a charismatic English professor. Her passion exudes in the element of every classroom discussion, and her unique interpretative lens single-handedly enables students to engage in analysis together.
She views students as vessels of knowledge and her willingness to press exhausted themes distinguishes Emily as a literary scholar and liberal arts educator. Her presence on campus will be missed and definitely noticed.
-Sam Smith, ’12