JoAnn Harris Bowlsbey 1933-2022

NCDA is sad to learn that NCDA’s 1996-97 President, JoAnn Harris Bowlsbey, has passed at her home in Maryland. Her obituary can be found here.

Joann Harris BowlsbeyJoAnn was a giant in the field of career development both nationally and internationally.  She was awarded the prestigious Eminent Career Award, NCDA’s highest honor, in 1999 and the Presidential Recognition Award in 2019. 

Her life and work is beautifully described in this article and video tribute, "Service and Sacrificial Love: Dr. JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey '53" (Wheaton Magazine, 2019), which includes a speech by JoAnn as she accepts her award.

For more about this important leader, see the Later Chapters interview that was conducted by Rich Feller in 2018 and a 2013 conversation with Jerry Trusty, published in NCDA's Career Convergence

Later Chapters with Dr. JoAnn Harris-Bowlsbey

Career Development Milestones and Memories

She will be truly missed.

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Edward Anthiony Colozzi   on Tuesday 04/19/2022 at 07:30 PM

JoAnn was certainly a pioneer in our field with great insights about the use of computer guidance for youth and adults and SO much more! She was a
dear friend, colleague, mentor, and leader to many; also a loving spouse to Stan, and a dear friend to her special companion in her later years,Theresa. JoAnn was an authentic warm-hearted caring person who made a difference in ALL that she did nationally, globally and even locally with her close friends and National Christian Choir members at her church. Mostly she was a faith-filled Christian woman who lived her calling(s) across all her career-life roles, with a quiet passion, integrity and a special grace that seemed like a fragrance that filled the room wherever she was.

On a personal note, JoAnn was the special person in my life who truly affirmed my life’s work and calling, the very first day she came to see me in Hawaii! JoAnn visited Hawaii in 1981, where I resided and worked for the University of Hawaii at Hawaii’s largest community college, Leeward Community College, as Coordinator of the LCC Career Development Center. She must have learned about Hawaii’s venture into the statewide delivery of computerized career information and apparently talked with someone from the University of Hawaii where she heard of our work at Leeward with the computerized system we created called Career Kokua (career help -in Hawaiian and its deeper meaning is to extend help to others in a sacrificial way with no intention of personal gain).

She drove to my office at Leeward CC which was about 30 minutes from her hotel in Waikiki, and my secretary Elsie called me on my phone because my office door was closed, and informed me a woman, Dr. JoAnn Bowlsbey from the mainland, was here to see me. It was very special meeting visitors from the mainland, and I was excited to meet this Dr. JoAnn Bowlsbey! JoAnn introduced herself and after a brief conversation, asked me to field test her Discover Guidance System along with the Hawaii Career Information System - Career Kokua, for which I had served as Project Director during 1979 through 1980 and finally launched it in late 1980.

During that visit JoAnn discovered my own work in Hawaii concerning my career-life pyramids paradigm in the latter 1970’s, using a pyramid to represent one’s self knowledge and over-lapping pyramids representing various environments or life roles into which one might be more or less able to fully express oneself, one’s true self, especially core values (I now call DOVE values). I had also created a cost-effective systematic approach to career guidance at LCC. She recognized how my work and Don Super’s work with his life -career rainbow were similar, telling me during our first meeting in Hawaii, “You and Don are colleagues and you don’t even know each other. You need to meet each other, and I will arrange that.”, and introduced us via a phone conversation when she returned to the mainland. I then arranged a statewide Career Development Conference in Hawaii in 1982 featuring Don and JoAnn as keynote presenters. Don and I also became friends and colleagues over the years, and in 1985, Don and JoAnn asked me to Chair an invited Featured Presentation at the ACDA (now ACA) annual conference in New York City.

It was JoAnn who introduced me to NCDA and ACA and numerous wonderful individuals who have become valued friends and colleagues these many decades. Both Don and JoAnn wrote very kind personal recommendation statements for my self-published career-life exploration workbook in 1984, Creating Careers with Confidence, later made available as the first career-life exploration book published in Braille internationally in 1985, and then published by Pearson/Prentice Hall in 2009. My belief is that JoAnn is with her dear husband Stan in Heaven, and yes Don, and Ken Hoyt, Sunny, Martha, Ed Herr, and so many others, and even Frank Parsons, for these are the people who surely continue to inspire our work now and into the future, to make a difference in the lives of others, so they in turn can pay that forward to make our world better, and as JoAnn has shared, “so they can be the salt and light”. Rest in peace our dear friend and valued colleague. Aloha and mahalo nui loa. EdC

Rich Feller   on Wednesday 05/04/2022 at 11:09 PM

May we all be so kind, generous, clear about our intentions, so well-loved, and have such impact and reach with our character and how we live our life. That is what JoAnn will want us to learn from and remember about her...her scholarship and professional contributions will continue to shape our work...but it his her presence and how she touched us that will make us better. Peace dear friend and colleague.

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