College News

Tom Bowen tapped for PCC Alumnus of the Year award

Published Wednesday, April 24, 2013

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Pictured from left are: Dr. Sherry Stout-Stewart, Dean, Business Services and Emerging Technologies, PCC; Tom Bowen, PCC Alumnus of the Year; Sherry Deal, Chair, PCC Alumni Partnership; and Dr. Walter Bartlett, PCC President.

The Piedmont Community College (PCC) Alumni Partnership tapped Roxboro resident Tom Bowen for its “Alumnus of the Year” award in recognition for his service to PCC. Bowen earned an Associate in Applied Science degree in Computer Programming from PCC in 2008. 

Bowen is employed as IT manager at AW North Carolina in Durham, where he is responsible for the company’s management, strategy, and execution of its IT infrastructure. He also is employed as a Deputy Sheriff with the Person County Sheriff’s Office investigations department, providing forensic examinations of computers and cell phones. He was accompanied to the awards presentation at the Kirby Theater on April 18 by his family members, as expected, but also by Person County Sheriff Dewey Jones and several other deputies who shared their support for Bowen’s honor.

Bowen founded Dynamic Controls Inc., a robotics and automation company he ran in Durham from 1991 until 1993, when he moved the company to Timberlake. The company designed and built robotic controlled laser equipment, primarily for the textile industry. Bowen received five robotic and software patents from 1993-1997 for his inventions. Because Internet service was unavailable in Person County at that time, Bowen said he had a 56K line run to his business from Durham at a significant cost to him. To recoup some of his expenses, he opened the first Internet service provider company in Person County and provided free Internet service to all Person County Schools and the Person County Public Library for years.

Bowen has served as an adjunct IT instructor at PCC, where he “did a fantastic job with his courses and served as a role model for his students,” according to Dr. Sherry Stout-Stewart, Dean, Business Studies and Emerging Technologies at PCC. “He has hired and mentored students to work at AW.” Bowen also has held summer camps in electronics engineering and computer forensics for middle school students at PCC. “His camps were the first to fill and were the most popular camps,” said Dr. Stout-Stewart. Since funding for summer camps has become limited, Bowen has volunteered to obtain release time from his work to hold the camps.

He also has served on PCC IT Advisory Committee for since 2009, providing valuable input and suggestions. Bowen, who has traveled to Japan several times and speaks Japanese, provided a presentation for the College’s Diversity/Global Awareness Committee’s Brown Bag Luncheon series. He provided and cooked authentic Japanese food and served it to everyone who attended, giving a min-lesson on how to eat using chopsticks and also how to speak Japanese.

“Tom is a perfect example of a successful PCC IT graduate with a global career. Moreover, he is a perfect example of PCC’s mission statement fulfilled,” said Dr. Stout-Stewart.

The PCC Alumni Partnership has presented its “Alumnus of the Year” award since 2011. Bowen joins 2011 recipient Shirley Deal, and 2012 co-recipients April Duckworth and Carla Johnson, in having his name engraved on a winners’ plaque displayed at PCC. He also received an individual trophy, presented by Dr. Walter Bartlett, PCC President, and PCC Alumni Partnership chairman Shirley Deal.

Deal said nominees are required to have completed a degree, diploma or certificate at PCC; must demonstrate support to the College through monetary contributions and/or volunteer services; must have achievement in their profession; and should have outstanding service in civic/community affairs.  

The PCC Alumni Partnership was established in 2004 to strengthen the relationship and bond with its alumni to connect the College with its largest constituency group. The Alumni Partnership defines alumni as any individual who has enrolled in and successfully completed a course (curriculum or continuing education) or program of study (certificate, diploma or degree) at Piedmont Community College. For more information about becoming a PCC Alumni Partnership, please contact Patti Clayton, PCC Alumni coordinator, by e-mail at or by phone at (336) 322-2105.