Maddison Bowen ’19: Army Reservist, Radio Enthusiast, Marketer in the Making

A love of country music runs in Maddison Bowen’s blood. Growing up as the daughter of DJs in Fairmont, West Virginia, the MBU senior is now working to carve out her own identity in Nashville’s music community, and the leadership experience she has gained at Mary Baldwin is helping get her there.

She headed to Music City on February 12–16 to attend the Country Radio Seminar Conference and glean insights into the industry and start networking to find a job. And her major in marketing and communication from MBU is a key part of her plan.

“I have a passion for radio. I grew up going to the station with my parents, and it takes me home in a way,” Bowen said. “I like making connections with people, and I want to plan out a strategy and see things come to life. That’s what marketing and PR are all about.”

Planning out a strategy is also an important part of Bowen’s role in MBU’s Virginia Women’s Institute for Leadership (VWIL). As Fourth Platoon Leader, she leads 15 cadets through their formations, and as Senior Army Cadet in Charge, she helps plan PT sessions and coordinates ROTC classes with the Virginia Military Institute.

“Cadet Captain Bowen is a selfless, humble leader and soldier,” said Brig. Gen. Teresa Djuric, VWIL commandant of cadets. “She has been committed from day one to challenge herself and lead in numerous roles with a positive and professional example, and is highly valued by all cadets in the VWIL Corps.”

Being able to combine her interests and plot her own course is part of what Bowen loves about MBU. “I’m able to control my education, and it’s tailored to who I am and what I want. It’s what drew me here.”

Maddison Bowen ’19 poses with Little Jimmy Dickens at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium (l); participating in VWIL’s Wilderness (r), a retreat full of outdoor activities and challenges.

Army service was part of Bowen’s life even before she arrived on campus. She enlisted in the Army Reserves before joining VWIL, and she balances her studies and leadership roles at MBU with those duties, including drilling once a month and setting aside weekends to train with her unit. Her position in the Reserves has also taken her to two-week training courses in Wisconsin and Alabama.

“After graduation, I’m headed to BOLC [Basic Officer Leaders Course] at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina for three months,” Bowen said. “And before I go there, I’m getting married. So, it’s going to be a busy summer!”

Once she commissions, Bowen plans to become a human resources officer in the Army Reserves, a role she will maintain in addition to her civilian career.

“We have big ‘boots’ to fill in May when Maddison graduates and commissions as a second lieutenant in the Army,” said Djuric.

She’s then planning to leave her mark on Nashville, a city of many opportunities, the same way she has left her mark on MBU.  

“I’ve experienced so much empowerment during my time at MBU,” she said. “Gen. Djuric and my professors are all cheerleaders, pushing me forward to surpass limits I didn’t know I could achieve.”

“I’ve experienced so much empowerment during my time at MBU. Gen. Djuric and my professors are all cheerleaders, pushing me forward to surpass limits I didn’t know I could achieve.”

Maddison Bowen ’19