One-On-One with Dr. Artie L. Travis
By April C. Thornton
What do we want? What do we need? How do we get there? As Bowie State University students, we sometimes feel that our demands and concerns for change fall through the cracks of uncertainty. There are times when we feel that our voices are being ignored, but to our surprise there is someone that dedicates his time and effort to ensure that BSU student's problems are addressed. This person is Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Artie L. Travis.
"You have to help someone along the way or your living will be in vain," Travis said during a recent interview. His childhood struggles helped him understand that second chances and reaching out to people that need assistance is one of lives precious gifts. Travis makes it his priority to attend student organization events and address the many concerns and obstacles that students may face.
"Because someone has always reached back and given me another chance, I know what it's like not to have everything I wanted in life," Travis said. "I want to make sure that students have the tools to succeed."
When asked what makes Travis a great campus leader? Student Government Association President Kirk W. Pressley Jr., replied, "He works daily to address the campus concerns as well as uplifting his students to take up the helm of leadership to flourish. He puts the students first in everything that he does. He gives students of Bowie State University the chance to grow, succeed, and obtain greatness. He is motivational and a mentor to everyone."
Let's flashback to Oct. 28, 2009, when the Student Government Association rally "We Run This" demonstrated and voiced the issues that students were facing on campus. After the rally, many students questioned why Travis did not voice his views during the rally. The silence has now been broken. Travis's responded to students' curiosity saying, "My silence did not indicate anything more than the fact that this was an opportunity for students to be able to express their concerns." He went on to say, "That wasn't the forum nor the opportunity for me to speak.
"I have worked on college campuses with student leaders for over 26 years and never will I say that an opportunity for students to express their concerns is inappropriate," Travis said.
To help address the concerns that were stated at the rally, Travis would've said, administration wants to make sure that we continue to make this a place to prepare students for life. A part of that preparation for life we have the facilities, the tools and the mechanisms to be able to make sure that students have an outstanding experience inside and outside the classroom.
Administrative Assistant for Student Affairs Mary S. Brooks said Travis always has an upbeat attitude when coming into the office. His motto is every day is a great day at Student Affairs because you have the opportunity to assist students.
"I look forward coming to this campus every day. One because I'm going to run into either a student that I haven't met before that needs some assistance, or a student that I continue to see as blessing for my work," Travis said.
With the start of a new year, Travis said he is enthusiastic about starting this semester on a good note. He will continue to work closely with SGA and reaching out for more student involvement on campus. He is thrilled about the leadership programs that will be taking place. Domestic violence issues has become a huge concern on campus, Travis would like to re-educate students about the university's student code of conduct. He wants to increase the programs and services at the career-counseling center, to make sure that students are prepared after graduation.