PROFILE: Kristie Bowman, Education Grad Student,
Date: April 9, 2001
Finds the Right Prescription for a New Career
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos by: Colleen Kelley
Archive: Profiles Archive
UC graduate student and teaching intern, 28-year-old Kristie Bowman, took a roundabout way of following in her big sister's footsteps.
Kristie, a Sycamore High School graduate, actually started out at Ball State University and earned a degree in nursing in 1995. She now works part time at Children's Hospital where she's cared for children over the past six years. But her career path took a dramatic new direction a couple of years ago, when she was thinking about making a change from working as a surgical nurse.
Kristie was still considering nursing, but not surgery, when she started fine-tuning her resume. Because she didn't have a computer at home, her sister, Shelly Waltz, a UC alumna (she graduated in 1992) and seventh grade schoolteacher at Lakota Ridge School, told Kristie she could stop by and use the classroom computer. That's when Kristie discovered a way to interact with children that would be more personally rewarding.
Now that she knew what she wanted to do, Kristie was awarded a University Graduate Scholarship to UC, which paid for her tuition through the two-year graduate degree program. And because she chose the University of Cincinnati, she's getting hands-on experience of what teaching is really like. That's because the Cincinnati Initiative for Teacher Education, or CITE, provides a yearlong teaching internship in public schools that are part of the partnership.
Kristie is working half the school day teaching first graders at Chase School under the guidance of her mentor teacher at Chase, Sue Fischer, her UC adviser, Ron Sterling, and a team of peer mentors who support each other through the program. "I think one of the best things about CITE is that from the moment I stepped into the program, I was in a classroom."
"Last year, I was in the classroom one day a week, with the option of spending more time there. This year I'm in the classroom every single day, five days a week, four hours a day."
Kristie will graduate in June 2001 with a master's degree in education and certification for teaching first through eighth grade. She's interested in teaching first through third grade.
"The little kids are just so much fun. They love you, they think you're funny, they think you're the best teacher in the world. That's what I'm drawn to."
Kristie adds her nursing experience has been a benefit in the classroom. Her experience in working with crises affecting her small patients has given her the tools to handle challenges that come up in class. "Also, I'm always thinking of things that are developmentally appropriate for the age of my patients, and I've been able to transfer that to this job. I want to add my mentor, Sue Fischer, has been awesome."
There's another big event ahead for Kristie before graduation: the Flying Pig Marathon May 6. She's leading a group of nine women through the run, so in between school and her work at the hospital, she's training for the marathon. "This Saturday, I'll run 18 miles, work 11 a.m.-11 p.m. at the hospital and work 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday. I work every other weekend."
After graduation, Kristie's ahead for more than just a change in her career. She's getting married this summer and her future husband is an attorney in Louisville, so she'll be leaving Cincinnati. She says she's interested in continuing working in an urban school and adds her adviser Ron Sterling has helped her get familiar with the school system in Louisville and even helped her find some contacts there.
To meet other UC people, go to the profiles archive.