Rowell’s Last Week Draws to a Close; a Look Back at Her Accomplishments, and Future
By Mercedez Hathcock
Western Campus Editor-in-Chief
“To whom much is given, much is expected in return.” These loosely translated words from The Bible are what have guided retiring Cuyahoga Community College Western Campus President Patricia Rowell throughout her life and career. Feeling personally responsible to give back has allowed Rowell to enjoy serving the Tri-C community for the past 7 years — but her time as president of the Tri-C Western Campus ends June 30.
Reflecting back on her time at Tri-C Dr. Rowell is proud of expanding the campus at two new locations under her leadership. The opening of the Brunswick University Center (BUC) and the Westshore Campus allows Tri-C to serve more students conveniently. Dr. Rowell oversaw the planning, implementation, and staffing of these two large projects. Establishing a location in Medina county required working with the Ohio Board of Regents to figure out how the BUC would be funded without taking resources out of Cuyahoga County. Dr. Rowell also managed the establishment of procedures, negotiations with the unions, marketing, and construction; and is pleased to report enrollment has exceeded their projections.
Direct interaction with the students that she served was Dr. Rowell’s biggest challenge. She believes that face-to-face interaction is an imperative component for a sense of community on campus. While she regrets not having more time with students, Dr. Rowell worked diligently to cultivate Tri-C into a “special place” with programs aimed to improve the campus’s cleanliness, civility, safety, and respect. Additionally, the Tri-C Master Plan states that not more than 30% of courses will be distant learning.
“Take advantage of all opportunities” and “invest in yourself” is the advice Dr. Rowell gives to young females aspiring to become professionals. As a young professional woman Dr. Rowell remembers that there were not many women in business and professional positions. Those that were, were encouraged to emulate men. But as more women take leadership roles in the professional arena, Dr. Rowell finds it refreshing that women in leadership positions nowadays are able to maintain their femininity and sharpen their emotional intelligence.
After being in Ohio for 8 years, Dr. Rowell is ready to move to Florida with her husband to be near her grandchildren. She intends to take a year off to rebalance, to settle in at her new home, to travel a bit, and to enjoy being a wife. Dr. Rowell is excited to see what her future brings as she will consider various volunteer opportunities and taking classes as well as teaching some. Most of all, Dr. Rowell is looking forward to some introspection. She believes that by focusing on herself to find out what she can do to improve, she can better serve others.
The new president’s first day is July 22 and an administrator-in-charge, Dr. Amit Signh, has been appointed during the changeover. Dr. Rowell is working hard to make the transition a smooth one. She participated in an evening event in which she introduced local dignitaries and other members of the community to the West Campus’s new president. Until her last day, Dr. Rowell has a full schedule and intends to serve the Tri-C community diligently.