Kean University Professor Norma Bowe to Share Secret of Course's Three-Year Wait List

May 13, 2014

Concordia College’s Nursing Program and the Westchester End-of-Life Coalition are delighted to announce Dr. Norma Bowe, Kean University professor and subject of Erika Hayasaki’s book, The Death Class will speak at Concordia College on Tuesday, May 20, at 7pm.  This free program is open to the public and will be held in Krenz Academic Center at 171 White Plains Road, Bronxville, New York.

Dr. Bowe has undergraduate degrees in Nursing and Community Health, a Masters in Health Administration and a Ph.D. in Community Health Policy. She has worked in emergency rooms, intensive care and psychiatric wards before teaching at Kean University where she is known for creating the course, Death in Perspective, which has a three-year waiting list.

Award-winning journalist Erika Hayasaki spent three years following Professor Bowe’s popular health class to bring Bowe’s wisdom out of the classroom and transform it into an inspiring lesson for all in her book The Death Class.  Under the guise of discussions about last wills and last breaths and visits to cemeteries and crematoriums, Bowe teaches her students how to find promise and purpose in their own lives. Hayasaki’s book focuses on four extraordinary students and how Bowe steers them from their tormented families and neighborhoods toward happiness. Bowe helps students understand not only the value of their own lives, but also the fulfillment of throwing oneself into helping others.

The New York Times said of Hayasaki’s The Death Class, “The book’s strength lies in the well-observed details of the lives portrayed, and in the recognition that the work Bowe and her students are doing is messy, necessary stuff.  Hayasaki acknowledge this by bookending chapters with writing prompts from Bowe’s syllabus—‘Be a Ghost’—as if to encourage readers to consider the big questions on their own.”

This program includes a panel discussion about the book and the popular course with Dr. Bowe, Dr. Susan Apold, Dean, Division of Health and Human Services at Concordia and Christina Staudt, President of Westchester End of Life Coalition (WELC) and Maura Del Bene, WELC board member and a nurse practitioner specializing in palliative medicine at WestMed Medical Group.

Womrath Book Shop will sell copies of the book for Professor Bowe to sign following her presentation.

Reservations are recommended, please contact ellen.desaintphalle@concordia-ny.edu or call 914-337-9300, x2159.