25th Anniversary Summer Bridge Program Alumni Spotlight: From participant to counselor, Brandon Fowler
A native of Birmingham, Brandon Fowler arrived at Auburn University to participate in the Summer Bridge Program after graduating from Shades Valley High School in 2002.
Fowler recalled the most helpful part about his experience in the program was having an opportunity to adapt to the college experience in the summer prior to school starting.
“This allowed us to a familiarize ourselves with the campus and academic expectations of first year sciences and mathematics courses,” said Fowler. “The most impactful part of the Summer Bridge experience was building life-long relationships with peers and advisors.”
Fowler recalled several fond memories of his time in the Summer Bridge Program as both a participant and counselor.
“One of my favorite memories of Bridge was creating a rap song with friends to memorize the periodic table for an exam—do not ask me to rap it!” said Fowler. “Another great memory was being selected to give a speech at our Summer Bridge commencement ceremony highlighting our journey and giving gratitude to Auburn, COSAM and the staff for creating an impactful program. It was also memorable to have been selected as a counselor for the 2005 Summer Bridge Program, continuing the tradition and legacy of inspiring young historically underrepresented students to follow their dreams.”
Fowler recalled COSAM faculty, staff and counselors who made a positive impact during his Summer Bridge experience, who supported him throughout his time at Auburn and who encouraged him to further his education.
“I would like to recognize Overtoun Jenda for establishing the Summer Bridge Program and driving attention to encouraging historically underrepresented students to pursue degrees and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM,” said Fowler. “I also want to thank Beverley Childress for encouraging me to continue in biomedical sciences and to pursue further education in healthcare administration. There are many former counselors and professors that supported me during my four-year journey at Auburn including Charria “Cece” Campbell and Herman Turner.”
During his time as an undergraduate at Auburn, Fowler was active as a four-year member of the Auburn University Marching Band (saxophone) and Symphonic Band (bassoon). He graduated from Auburn in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical sciences. Fowler pursued further education and graduated in 2008 from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a Master of Health Administration.
A current resident of Charlotte, North Carolina, Fowler proudly serves as Vice President of Strategic Planning for Surgery Partners, a leading operator of surgical facilities and ancillary services providing care in over 30 states. He is responsible for leading the organization’s strategy with stakeholders and ensuring enterprise alignment of the organization’s mission—Enhance patient quality of life through partnership.
Over the years, Fowler has remained an active participant in COSAM’s diversity, equity and inclusion efforts through participation in speaking engagements and panels.
COSAM will host events throughout the 2022-23 academic year to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Summer Bridge. Additionally, there is an initiative to raise $1 million dollars. These funds will be used by the COSAM Office of Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity to support initiatives such as creating an endowed professorship, providing study abroad opportunities, and expanding scholarship availability for deserving students. To learn more about the celebration and to donate, please visit the 25th Anniversary website.
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