One of a collection of articles on the class of 2005, published in their fifth reunion year.
After graduating, Kimberly Bowers served as an undergraduate admission counselor at the University for eight months and then moved to Northern Virginia to work as a fundraiser for Harris Miller in his unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. Bowers later served as deputy finance director for the O'Malley-Brown campaign in Maryland, which resulted in the election of Martin O'Malley as governor and Anthony Brown as lieutenant governor.
In 2007, former Secretary of the Commonwealth Kate Hanley called Bowers to offer her a position as director of gubernatorial appointments for Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine. Bowers first worked for Kaine as a finance intern while he was lieutenant governor and she was a Richmond student. As the director of gubernatorial appointments, she solicited and assessed candidates for appointments to policy, supervisory and advisory boards, commissions and councils in state government. She presented candidates to Kaine, who then appointed people to boards throughout the Commonwealth. In April 2009, she became major gifts officer for the University of Richmond School of Law.
Bowers has a bachelor’s degree in political science with a minor in leadership studies. She is pursuing a master's degree in public administration at Virginia Commonwealth University. Bowers is active in the Richmond community and serves on the Center Stage Associates Board and the Venture Richmond marketing committee. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
As you reflect back on your time as an undergraduate, what experiences stand out for you now?
The experiences that stand out for me are the opportunities that I had to really shape my education. At Richmond, we take so much for granted regarding the voice that the university allows our students to have. As a student, I found myself able to really take on the path that I wanted to take in my class selection, the organizations that I joined and the events I took part in.
What was your favorite aspect of being a Richmond or Jepson student?
My favorite aspect of being a Jepson student stems from the very different environment and structure of a Jepson class. It was the first time I had been in an environment where I was really challenged to ask good questions and felt that my contribution to the class really mattered. As students we set the tone for discussions and each course I took helped me to shape a great overview of the larger context of leadership. My favorite course was Service to Society with Nancy Stutts (now called Justice and Civil Society). It was in this course that I was exposed to Greenleaf and the concept of servant leadership along with inspiring readings such as “Amazing Grace” and “Nickel and Dimed.” This course allowed me to really channel my passion for public service.
How has your academic major/minor influenced and shaped your personal, civic or professional life?
As I reflect back, I have used leadership studies in all areas of life. From lessons learned in group dynamics and ethics, I have felt better equipped to not only recognize certain situations from my leadership courses but also have applied theory to practice in my role in both politics and government and now in higher education.
What advice would you give students who are graduating this year about how to prepare for life after college and to make good choices for their future?
Don’t lose sight of yourself and what you are passionate about. Also, more importantly don’t stress about your first job! It will probably not be your last but it is a stepping stone to give you working experience. You are well equipped with a great education. Richmond has prepared you to think critically so make sure you are stimulating your mind with what you are doing. If not, keep the job until you figure out what will and go for it!
When you graduated, were you one of those students with a plan in mind for your life? If so, how did all that work for you and what lessons have you learned?
When I graduated, I didn’t know what I wanted to do but I knew what I didn’t want to do. I realize that this was more important and helped me to have a much more open search for the job for me. I also realized that because of my active involvement while in school that I did not want to be bored nor feel like I wasn’t contributing to the organization that I worked for. I have enjoyed all of my work experiences and took away so much from each of the diverse experiences I’ve had from higher education, to campaigns, to government…and now back to higher education.
Where do you imagine yourself five years from now?
It’s still incredibly hard to believe that five years ago I was a student and hadn’t even embarked upon the real world. Five years later I have grown tremendously as a person and as a professional. There have been challenges along the way so to be able to reflect back and think of nothing but positive experiences is a good feeling. I’m not sure where I see myself five years from now, but I hope to continue to be able to contribute to society in a meaningful way as an active and engaged citizen.