Summer Sabbatical to Vienna Connects Resilience and Psychology for Laura Bowe

Last summer, Laura Bowe, History Faculty, traveled to Vienna on a Faculty Sabbatical, to explore psychology and the lives of Sigmund Freud and Viktor Frankl. "Although the ideas of each key figure differ, a commonality that I investigated was that each purports to enable an individual to overcome obstacles, to feel a sense of control and to reach an understanding of the self. This is especially relevant to my students at King, as they seek an understanding of their own identity and autonomy."

While in Vienna, Ms. Bowe learned more about Mozart, a child prodigy, and Klimt, who experienced poverty in his youth, "both breaking with societal conventions to persist in honing their artistic expression. This lends itself to Viktor Frankl's ideas of finding meaning and purpose in experiences, even in horrific conditions like his time in a concentration camp, as well as Alfred Adler's ideas on inferiority. The examination of the self and one's identity brings these individuals together: an analyst, an artist, a musician, an existentialist," said Bowe. 

Bowe's experiences made their way back to campus last fall as she utilized the tools and creative space in the new Innovation Lab to create mazes with her students. "I was eager to share the thought of resilience through introspection with my psychology students. While navigating through the maze in the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace, I noticed an atmosphere of enjoyment despite the challenges encountered; similarly the stone finger labyrinths present were meant to evoke the sense of pride that comes with problem-solving and engaging in creative pursuits. With the newly-opened Innovation Lab we had the opportunity to work through the design process and create our own mazes and labyrinths, fostering resilience through play. Drawing connections to neuroplasticity, cognition, behaviorism, humanism and mindfulness, this project-based learning activity prompted the students to think differently, as they engaged in this authentic task."

Last month, Ms. Bowe presented her sabbatical recap to Staffulty in her presentation "Resilience through Introspection: Psychology in Vienna" detailing her travels through Vienna, which included visits to the Prater Museum, Leopold Museum, Viktor Frankl Museum, St. Charles Church, Schoenbrunn Palace (where Mozart performed), and the gardens at Upper Belvedere where Klimt's work is housed. 

Ms. Bowe's sabbatical is one of many ways in which King supports a top quality Professional Growth and Development (PG&D) program, which is a cornerstone of our success. Our Faculty are talented, committed, knowledgeable, energetic, and passionate about their work. The PG&D program, which is generously supported by the Annual Fund, enables Faculty to stay up to date on new research, attend top conferences and workshops, and hone their practices as teachers. Importantly, our teachers bring all that they learn back to King by incorporating the new knowledge into their classroom lessons, sharing best practices with their colleagues, and even creating whole new course options based on their PG&D experiences.

"It is thrilling to consider the implications of this interdisciplinary sabbatical journey. I am excited about the possibilities of drawing from authentic experiences with these influential historical figures to build habits of introspection and to foster resilience in King students."