Natalie Bowers

Bowers.webIt takes a person with a special heart and mind to want to help people who experience high-stress situations, assist families who need counseling, such as individuals and families who have lost everything due to natural disaster, and children with emotional problems. Perhaps growing up as the daughter of a fire fighter instilled some of the courage and passion it takes to be successful, and Natalie Bowers has done just that.

Natalie, a 2003 cum laude graduate of Hood College with a degree in psychology, and a recipient of The Alden E. and Harriet K. Fisher Scholarship, is currently an assistant professor and human services manager at Frederick Community College (FCC), and a licensed Maryland social worker. Her journey to having a career in psychology, social work, and counseling began as an "empathetic person with good listening skills" in her youth. A psychology class at FCC during her senior year at Linganore High School clinched the deal. "I was so curious about human nature," said Natalie. "A professor in the course really encouraged me, and later I volunteered for the crisis hotline. I found I enjoyed the work and had the skills I needed for the profession."
Natalie's professional career began as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Mental Health Association of Frederick County's call center. She later became a case manager, and the first systems navigator, helping families of children with emotional problems "navigate" through available resources. In 2009, she earned a master's in social work from University of Maryland, Baltimore. After graduation, she became an emergency room counselor at Washington County Hospital. Then, she became a contractor at Fort Detrick, managing the Employee Assistance Program which offered mental health and substance abuse service, and also began teaching part-time at FCC.
Volunteering is important to Natalie, too. She serves on the Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team through the Montgomery County, Maryland Fire and Rescue Service, and is also a member of CISM at the state level. Natalie counsels family members who have lost a loved one in the line of duty, or who have experienced severe trauma. She is trained through the American Red Cross and traveled to Texas in 2008 following Hurricane Ike, to help those affected deal with their losses of family, friends, and possessions.
In her current position at FCC, Natalie teaches a variety of classes ranging from abnormal psychology to gerontology. She is studying for her doctorate in counseling psychology through Argosy University, and her list of ten-year plan goals include researching and publishing on the topic of firefighter suicide, and possibly going into private practice. She advises graduating high school seniors to "realize your potential, see the opportunities, and be proactive about your interests. Don't give up – drive and persistence and diligence go a long way in helping you succeed."
Even after acquiring years of experience, Natalie says that she is still extremely curious about people. "I care deeply about others, and believe in self-exploration and growth. These things keep me passionate about my work, especially since this career field can take its toll on a person. "

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