Despite unusual senior year, Galesburg's Bowman progressing toward health-related career
Monmouth, Ill. (02/23/2021) — Alison Bowman '21 didn't get the full four-year Monmouth College experience, but the senior biopsychology major is still grateful for the time she spent on campus.
Bowman transferred to Monmouth in 2019 from her hometown school, Carl Sandburg College, in nearby Galesburg.
A self-proclaimed "homebody," Bowman said she chose Monmouth, in part, because it's close to her family. She also liked Monmouth's small size.
"I've had the ability to make personal relationships with my professors because of the smaller class sizes," she said. "I've also been able to continue my tennis career while staying dedicated to my studies."
After graduating from Monmouth in May, Bowman hopes to pursue either physical therapy or become a physician's assistant.
Although Bowman's main focus is science, one of her favorite professors, Louise Barbaro-Medrano, is in the Spanish department. Bowman loved the energy and passion Barbaro-Medrano brought to her classroom and her relationships with her students.
"Every day when I would go into class she was always in a good mood," said Bowman, "which made it super fun and encouraging to be around her."
Her professor returned the compliment.
"Alison is an exceptional student with a positive attitude, perfect attendance and excellent participation," said Barbaro-Medrano. "She is focused, serious, respectful, responsible and hardworking."
This semester, Bowman lives at home and comes to campus for her Tuesday labs. She said having her classes online has made it difficult for her to remain as motivated as usual, but she's discovered methods that help keep her focused.
"I set timers on my phone to help me focus, and I do my homework within that time," she said. "That helps me not get off topic."
One way that Bowman has stayed positive and cheerful during the pandemic is with small pick-me-ups.
"The little things each day really make a difference," said Bowman, who often treats herself to a coffee date to boost her mood.
Many of Bowman's favorite Monmouth memories were from her tennis season in 2019, which made it heartbreaking when she was unable to play during her senior season, which would have been played in the fall.
"Sports are something all student-athletes look forward to every year and having that taken away is hard, especially for the senior class," she said.
One of Bowman's favorite tennis moments came when she and her doubles partner, Rachael Leifheit, broke the school record by winning eight consecutive matches - made all the more special when the final win came over rival Knox College. During the match, Leifheit twisted and sprained her ankle, but she and Bowman still earned the victory to establish the new mark.