Transformative Education: Changing the Game


Emmanuel Ricks is a Bowen Scholar from Indianapolis who joined the program prior to receiving an associate degree in business administration at Ivy Tech. Ricks has since transferred to IUPUI to obtain a bachelor’s degree in marketing and international studies, an ambitious double-major pursuit driven by his entrepreneurial mind-set. IUPUI’s Bowen Scholars is one of three scholarships at IUPUI funded by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and overseen by Charlie Johnson.

Looking back on joining the program, Ricks calls his experience as a Bowen Scholar, particularly Johnson’s course on mindfulness-based emotional intelligence, “a game changer.” Having started his first business of mowing lawns at just 12 years old, Ricks has always been a person with a lot of ideas, but he has struggled with procrastination. Through the course, he was able to understand more about himself. He explains, “It teaches us how to deal with stressors specific to each of us and how to be more balanced.”

I live every day with purpose.

Emmanuel Ricks

"I have stopped procrastinating, and the program has helped me stay focused on my goals,” enthuses Ricks. “I live every day with purpose.”

Experiencing IUPUI as a Bowen Scholar has also helped Ricks feel more connected with the university. As someone who loves helping people, he has enjoyed community service events organized by the program, as well as the social community brought on by year-round gatherings. “Bowen Scholars are a family at IUPUI. It always helps to talk to people who have been through the same things you’re going through, and we push each other to keep going,” expresses Ricks.

Ricks was so inspired by the transformative education curriculum that it has shaped his postgraduation plans for next May. “A short-term goal for me is to teach classes that combine mindfulness and other things I’ve learned as a Bowen Scholar with business,” he explains. “Long term, I would like to use my degrees to start my own business and be an entrepreneur.”

"Of course the scholarship has helped me pay for school,” he says, but adds that Bowen Scholars is much more than money. “What we learn helps us live a more productive, happy life becoming the best person we can be. . . . I truly believe that if everyone could learn [mindfulness and emotional-based intelligence] that the world would be a better place. Everyone would know themselves better so they could understand others better.”