MA Program Featured Alum: Dr. Robert Bowen
Dr. Bowen (’71) is an alum of the Brockport MA in Psychology program and a psychology professor at RIT.
Please describe your path from SUNY Brockport to your current position.
After I received my Master’s degree from Brockport in 1971, I applied to a PhD program at University of Rochester Warner School and was accepted. While I was completing my PhD I served as a Research Assistant at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, they hired me, and I worked for them full-time for several years. I then transferred to the Office of Institutional Research at RIT and worked there for about 25 years. I taught psychology as an adjunct for SUNY Brockport, Monroe Community College, and RIT. In the year 2009, I left the Office of Institutional Research and became a full-time Psychology faculty member at RIT, and I am still there at age 73.
What was the most valuable lesson you learned while at SUNY Brockport?
I think the most valuable lesson I learned was Behavior Modification and the “Catch Em Being Good” concept. I raised my children this way and two of my children went on to get PhDs. One was the Supervisor of the FDA Biologics Team that inspected COVID vaccines during the pandemic. My third child got a degree in Veterinary technology. I promoted their good behavior. They now have wonderful families. I have 7 grandchildren who are being raised well.
What is your favorite memory from your time at SUNY Brockport?
I loved working as a research assistant and teaching assistant and also completing my Master’s Degree research in the Behavior Modification area. Another fond memory is my roommate Larry Gostin, who went on to get a Law degree and became a law professor at Georgetown University.
What advice would you give to current SUNY Brockport students? Any special advice for our psychology majors?
Apply the psychology research findings to the way you conduct your life. Lessons are relevant in every course, especially Behavior Modification, Social Psychology, Abnormal Psychology, and Developmental Psychology.
What skills and/or experiences learned from your time at SUNY Brockport were the most transferable or useful in your current position?
At SUNY Brockport, I learned how to lecture, give exams, assign writing assignments, and promote interesting class experiences such as with an occasional video.
Please describe any challenge/obstacle you faced while at or since leaving SUNY Brockport and how you overcame/dealt with it.
I was initially accepted into the PhD program at Cornell University with a strong tuition discount. After one year they took away my discount and I had to leave Cornell. One of my Cornell professors also left Cornell and moved to the University of Rochester. So, I also moved to the U of R.