John Bowen, in mask, gown and gloves, performs surgery on a small animal

July 19, 2018

Earlier this year, UNCW alumnus John Bowen ’12 spoke to the Kiwanis Club of Wilmington, which provided a scholarship that helped finance his education. He told members about the personal and financial hardships facing his family at the time, and how club members and the university helped him succeed as he pursued veterinary medicine, his chosen career.

While the Kiwanis Club helped make his college dream possible, Bowen worked hard at UNCW and graduated summa cum laude, a semester early, while holding down a part-time job. The university provided a strong academic foundation in life sciences that prepared him well for the rigors of veterinary school – and much more, he said in a recent interview.

“UNCW has a special place in my heart. It is where I discovered my interest in the sciences, and it helped me define what is important to me in life,” Bowen said. “It provided me with a network of friends and colleagues who have proven to be invaluable over the years.”

Bowen’s primary mentor at UNCW was Arthur Frampton, an associate professor in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology who specializes in virology. “It was under his guidance that my interest in animal diseases blossomed,” Bowen said. “My passion for virology eventually led to me to work on several research projects within his lab and eventually to complete an honors thesis project on my research.”

While at UNCW, Bowen was a member of the Honors College and served as vice president of the Pre-veterinary Medical Association. He majored in biology and completed a minor in chemistry as well. The Kiwanis Club awarded him the George H. Chadwick Jr. Memorial Scholarship in 2009. The scholarship helps pay for local students to attend UNCW.

“UNCW presents a plethora of opportunities for an individual seeking to discover or prepare for a career,” Bowen said. “As part of the UNC System, UNCW provides a quality education that will enable students to carry themselves to their next step, wherever that may be.”

For Bowen, that step involved fulfilling his dream of becoming a veterinarian. He now practices in Chapel Hill – not just for the animals he treats, but also for the people who love them.

“My profession enables me to enrich the lives of others through helping animals,” Bowen said.

-- Tricia Vance