Contact: Donna L. Brock
ATLANTA (Aug. 29, 2017)—Clark Atlanta University (CAU) President Ronald A. Johnson this month presented the 2017 Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award to Torina D. Lewis, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Mathematics.
The prestigious award is given annually by the Vulcan Materials Co., through the Georgia Independent College Association, to the faculty member who demonstrates strong scholarship in the classroom while providing leadership and support in other areas of campus life.
Lewis, a member of the CAU faculty since 2013, says her love for teaching and mentoring students derives from her own journey. “For everything that was imperfect in my personal and family life growing up,” she muses, “education empowered me. The opportunities and experiences afforded me taught me that developing one’s consciousness and one’s intellectual capacity is not subject to circumstance; it is an intentional decision that, if honored consistently, strengthens you, not just to take advantage of opportunities, but to create your own. I want to share that same level of empowerment with my students. I want them to actively forge their destinies.”
Lewis’ youth in New Orleans was marred by tragedy. Her grandmother, who reared her in the absence of her mother, was killed by her uncle. She channeled her loss into major achievements. In 2003, she earned the B.A. in general studies from Southern University in New Orleans, followed by the M.S. in mathematics from Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., in 2006. She earned the Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Mississippi in 2010. From 1999 to 2011, she served as a member of the Army National Guard, attaining ranks of increasing responsibility, including chemical officer, battalion training officer and battalion personnel officer.
Upon completion of her doctorate in 2010, Lewis joined the faculty of Bethune-Cookman University as a tenure-track assistant professor. She then served as a visiting assistant professor of math at the University of Mississippi. She joined Clark Atlanta’s math faculty as a tenure track assistant professor in 2013.
CAU President Ronald A. Johnson says, “Dr. Lewis’s effectiveness in the classroom is a shining example of the caliber of instruction and the level of challenge that students can expect at Clark Atlanta. Her passion and enthusiasm give depth and hue to the University’s culture and are an essential building block in creating our global pipeline of scholarship, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship.” In addition to mentoring the student winner of the University’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium, junior Latonya Beverly, Lewis also is the recipient of CAU’s Aldridge-McMillan Award for Excellence in Teaching.
Lewis is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Gamma Beta Phi Honors Society, Pi Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society, the National Association of Mathematicians and Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education – a program for women in mathematics. She is an in-demand lecturer and trainer, and a prolific researcher. Her recent publications include Bicircular Matroid Designs (with McNulty, Neudauer, Reid and Shepardson; Ars Combinatoria, 2013) and Square Functions as a Dynamic System (with Ronald Mickens, Ph.D.; Proceedings of Dynamic Systems and Applications, 2015) and her current work, The Construction of the Inscribed Polygonal Periodic Functions is funded by the National Science Foundation (with collaborators Ronald Mickens and Nancy Neudauer).
Lewis also volunteers as a mentor for middle and high school youth in Clayton County, Ga., and community organizations, including Miracle Seed and What About Us.Category: Faculty, Arts and Sciences
Keywords: Torina D. Lewis, Vulcan