Dr. Michael Fowlin
Dr. Michael Fowlin wasn't the first chapel presenter to receive a standing ovation from the Suffield community on Monday, November 4. He was, however, the first one to have more than 30 students line up to speak with him after his presentation. An actor, psychologist, and poet, Dr. Fowlin ("Mykee") received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Rutgers University and has been giving powerful presentations on bullying, suicide prevention, gender, and racial profiling for over 17 years.
Through a series of character portrayals (a sixth grade boy with ADD, a Rutgers football player, and a high school female talking to her psychologist), Dr. Fowlin tackled difficult topics in an extremely relatable way and showed the impact our actions have on others. "Know the difference between what you're supposed to do and what you need to do," he advised. When he was just nine years old, he admits to prank calling others. Tragically, one of the people he had been taunting and threatening on the phone was later killed in a car accident. "I am part of the problem and I admit it to you."
Dr. Fowlin's honesty is what leaves his audiences speechless, many of them in tears. As Amanda Baildon '15 said, "I saw a lot of people crying during his performance. I've never talked to any of the Chapel presenters before but it really touched me. It touched everyone and I wanted to let him know that." Kira Demitrus '15 added, "His performance was amazing. Everyone knows the kind of people he talked about or they are that person." At the end of his presentation, Dr. Fowlin asked the Suffield community to repeat the words "I am beautiful" and then turn to the people sitting next to them and say, "You are beautiful."
"Say hello to ten people on campus you don't normally say hi to," he said. "You just never know whose day you're going to make."