Rodney Bowers may have graduated from Southern Polytechnic State University in 1974 with a degree in electrical engineering technology, but he has hardly vanished from the university. As an active alumnus, Bowers visits campus quite often, enough to notice what has changed and what has not.
He admires the growth in student population and campus expansion, as well as the much-improved lab facilities and classroom buildings. And while he did take some writing courses and other core classes at SPSU, that concept is much more branched out now. “Everything was engineering-focused when I was in school. Now, Southern Poly has English, biology and so many degrees that weren’t there before.”
But the one thing that has remained constant? “The students,” says Bowers. “Southern Poly students have always had a lot going on – working jobs, going to school – they are active, hands-on people. Night school is still a big component of SPSU and it was that way back in the 70s as well.” Since then, SPSU has added a lot of other activities to aid the students. “The school now provides a lot of outlets for those hard-working, hands-on students, like the robotics competitions, clubs, sororities and the bathtub races.”
Bowers looks back fondly on his years at SPSU, where he played basketball on scholarship and was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He says SPSU greatly contributed to his success. “Professors always took a special interest in us; they were great mentors. Everybody was helpful, gave good advice and seemed to be genuinely concerned about my progress. We didn’t just talk about engineering. I enjoyed talking to my professors — and still talk to professors today —about life, business and other things outside of engineering.”
Bowers is currently the principal consultant for his own IT consulting company, MinervaWorks, based in Atlanta. He is a member of the SPSU Foundation Board as well as the Electrical Engineering Technology Industrial Advisory Board.
“The prevailing component of SPSU graduates is that they are capable of anything,” he concluded.