Nursing Program Awards Distinguished Alumni Award
The Kent State University at Ashtabula associate degree in nursing (ADN) program recently announced Connie Bowler ’80, RN, DNP, as the second recipient of the Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award. Bowler was presented the award on campus at an event celebrating National Nurses Month and the Kent State Ashtabula program’s history in late May.
“I am humbled and honored to be recognized with this award,” Bowler said. “I am grateful for the education I received at Kent State Ashtabula and I am grateful for the support and guidance of all the nursing colleagues I have encountered along the way. Becoming a nurse has been one of the best decisions of my life; nurses change the world!”
Since graduating from Kent State Ashtabula with her associate degree in nursing in 1980, Bowler has gone on to earn her Bachelor of Science in nursing (BSN), Master of Science in nursing (MSN) and Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) degrees, as well as a school nurse certification.
Professionally Bowler began her career as a staff nurse at Cleveland Clinic before returning to Ashtabula as the coordinator of nursing education and recruitment at Ashtabula County Medical Center, a position she held for 13 years. From 2004-09, she served as the director of the Community Fitness Center and Wellness for Perry Local School District and developed a partnership with Lake Hospital System – now Lake Health - that resulted in the construction of a medical office on the school’s campus.
She transitioned full-time to nursing education in 2009 and served in a variety of positions, including as nursing program director at Kent State Ashtabula. She has been with Lakeland Community College since 2016 and in 2019 became the ADN program director there, a position she holds today.
Bowler is a member of the advisory board of nursing education for the Ohio Board of Nursing, vice chair for Ohio Committee for Associate and Diploma Nursing Education Association and the University Hospitals Geneva Medical Center board of directors.
“Dr. Bowler has always demonstrated an enduring commitment to the nursing profession and nursing education,” said Julie Senita, Ph.D., senior program director for nursing and allied health at Kent State Ashtabula. “She is truly a leader in nursing and health care and her voice is strong for all of us in the profession today.”
The Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award was established to recognize alumni for their contributions not only to the profession of nursing but also to the education of nurses. Kent State Ashtabula Dean and Chief Administrative Officer Susan J. Stocker ’84, Ph.D., was the first recipient of the award in 2016, presented as part of the celebration of the nursing program’s 50th year.