Dympna Bowles is dean for curriculum and instruction at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York. She has been at FIT since 2001.
Bowles facilitates the development and approval of new degree programs and curricula and oversees the assessment of general education. As dean, she has responsibility for faculty development and the Teaching Institute, and supervises the Center for Excellence in Teaching (CET), a state-of-the-art technology training facility for faculty.
Bowles received a bachelor’s degree from St.
John’s University, a master’s from Fordham and a doctorate in linguistics and reading from Columbia University Teachers College. Bowles, who is married to Donal Farley, has four stepsons and 13 grandchildren. She serves as chair of the CUNY Institute for Irish American Studies advisory board.
A native of Belfast, Bowles moved to New York in 1957 with her parents. “My father emigrated from Ireland to New York where two of his brothers lived. He left to escape the growing unrest and sectarian conflict in Belfast at the time and to achieve a better life for his five (at that time) children,” says Bowles.
“My Irish heritage has had a deep impact on my life, even though I spent only my first eight years there,” Bowles says. “My parents grew up on farms in the south of Ireland and, though they were quite literate, neither attended school beyond the eighth grade. Perhaps because of this, education was highly prized and a way to a better life.”
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