Pellissippi State Community College. A Rotaract Club. The Rotary Club of Farragut. This trio is what Drema Bowers calls “a perfect fit” and a “win-win for our students and for our community.”
In December 2013 the Rotary Club of Farragut was the sponsoring club when the PSCC Rotaract Club was chartered. The club was active for about two years and fell dormant when its adviser left to pursue a doctorate and the school could not find a new adviser.
For those not familiar with Rotaract, it brings together adults ages 18-30 to take action in their communities, develop their leadership and professional skills, and have fun. Rotary clubs sponsor them, but Rotaract members manage, lead and fund their clubs independently.
And that age group of 18 to 30 pretty much describes the makeup of the PSCC student body.
There is something exciting going on now and it’s the reactivation of this Pellissippi Rotaract Club. It is becoming a reality because of Drema Bowers, the school’s director of Service Learning and Civic Engagement and a professional who knows how to connect the dots.
“Someone in the college’s Student Life office emailed me and asked about this Rotaract club,” she explained. “I’d never heard of it. They told me that someone in my office was the liaison between the school and Farragut Rotary. So, I started looking into this and found out quickly that our school and Rotary share a mission.”
We talked about all of this on Monday in a telephone call and it was, of course, Labor Day, and Drema was in her office working … on Rotaract.
As of March 2018, the club was officially reactivated. Drema is about to begin her “Rotaract Marketing Campaign” on campus today (9/5) at the school’s Involvement Fair when the campus service clubs begin recruiting members. Drema says that two students have already expressed interest in joining Rotaract.
“I’ll be talking with students and passing out an informational flier at the fair,” she said.
Drema says her job title is a perfect fit for being the club’s adviser. “I’m the college’s service learning and civic engagement leader and Rotaract embraces both,” she said.
“It is a perfect fit. I see my whole goal as helping students and our faculty identify needs in the community and how they can become involved and participate. This is the essence of what this club is about. Community leadership, connecting with people and issues and with Rotarians in the community. It’s a huge win-win for our students.”
As soon as she’s recruited and welcomed interested students, she’ll have an informational meeting after the fall break to pass along information about Rotaract and Rotary to the group. Her timeline is to have the club’s officers in place and have its first official meeting in late January 2019 to discuss projects and what they’ll be working on going forward. Drema also plans to make this opportunity for membership available to students on all five of the PSCC campuses.
And when it comes to perfect fits, Drema is the perfect fit for Rotaract. She has been in her job for 15 months and prior to that she was a counselor and facilitator at PSCC for nine years. Before she joined PSCC, she was director of social services for Project GRAD for nine years. She earned her master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and her undergraduate degree from East Tennessee State University.
Last Wednesday she attended her first Rotary club meeting ever with Farragut Rotary and reconnected with Peggy Wilson, a Farragut Rotary past president who retired two years ago as a long-time vice president at PSCC. Peggy also was very instrumental in getting Rotaract up and running there in 2013. So, they had a lot to discuss. And discuss they did!