Bowers Finds Home At Florida State
Printing is in Jennifer Bowers' blood. Her father taught the subject at Purdue University.
"I'm a university brat," she quips. "Probably that connection got me interested in graphics."
Bowers took that connection and turned it into an accomplished career, finally landing in Tallahassee as director of Printing and Mailing Services at Florida State University.
Bowers, 45, grew up in South Bend, Ind., before moving to Colorado. While in high school she took a job at a small print shop.
"I did everything," she reports. She typed out the projects on an old typewriter, shot film from it and ran the plates. Later, she moved to New York and was hired to run a Perfector Press.
"I was the first woman [the company] ever hired," she enthuses—but there was a slight problem: She did not know how to run the machine.
"I kind of faked it for a while, but I figured it out," she admits.
Next came a move back to Indiana where Bowers managed for the top commercial quick printer in the state. But something was missing: a college degree. She started attending classes at Indiana University Purdue University-Fort Wayne. Then, as luck would have it, there was an opening at the university in-plant. She took the job.
"It's called cheap tuition," she muses. "That's what got me back into university printing. I'm still here."
Moving On Up
At this point, fate seemed to smile on Bowers. Her outstanding work earned her the trust of her supervisor, Dave Leeka. This combined with an odd string of retirements propelled Bowers into a series of promotions.
"Instead of replacing these people, my boss kept giving me departments," she recounts. Eventually she ran printing, mailing and buying.
Leeka eventually moved on to Florida State University (FSU). Two years later he asked Bowers to run the university in-plant. Bowers had just finished with her degree in business from Indiana Wesleyan University and felt a change was in order. She took the job and returned to work with her mentor.