Dr. Michael Fowlin will return to Dana Hall this January to share his message of acceptance and inclusion in his presentation, “You Don’t Know Me Until You Know Me.” Dr. Fowlin combines his professional acting talents with his psychological training as he works with all age groups across the U.S.
John Suby, director of Athletics, Health and Wellness, says, “Having had Michael Fowlin here for Ship Day on two other occasions over the last 10 years, I can say that not only has he been a favorite, but he’s someone the girls talk about for weeks afterwards. We can’t wait to have him back.”
We caught up with Dr. Fowlin over email about the ways in which he got into a professional speaking career.
How did you get into motivational speaking? What drew you to the topics you discuss?
I had an opportunity to speak to teenagers at a camp in the mid-90s and continued to go back to that camp for a number of years. These teens were moved by what I had to say, and they went back to their schools in the fall and told the administration about my presentation. The schools then started contacting me and it went from there.
More than talking at people or lecturing, I have found that talking about topics through performance art is an effective way to get out a message. Understanding our shared differences has always been important to me.
Why is it important to share this message with others? Why now?
It is important to share this message so others can feel less alone. This has been my heart song since I was a teen and I have been doing it for more than 20 years.
What is the one thing you hope parents and students take away from your upcoming presentations at Dana Hall?
I want them to know we all have layers of our personalities and our emotions that are often hidden from each other. Hiding who we are takes effort and makes us feel isolated. If something I can say or do onstage will alleviate some of this burden, then I am doing my part.
Parents and guardians are invited to the parent presentation on Monday, January 8, at 7 p.m., in Waldo Auditorium. Dr. Fowlin will present to the students and faculty in advance of meeting with parents.