The latest issue of Lynchburg Business magazine features Dr. Ghislaine Lewis, Associate Professor of Communication Studies. Lewis is named one of the magazine’s “Top 20 Under 40,” an annual list that celebrates “young professionals who are rising stars in their industries and active volunteers in the community,” according to the magazine.
The award will be presented at a ceremony in downtown Lynchburg on July 14.
Lewis, who co-chairs the university’s Africana studies program, said she was “speechless and pleasantly surprised” by the accolade.
“I thought about the wonderful support system I have in my family, friends and colleagues,” she said. “I’m so grateful for my circle and couldn’t wait to share the news.”
Lewis recently took on the role of director of Pierce Street Gateway, a non-profit organization located in the former Calloway store on Pierce Street, and is a founding member of the Pierce Street Community Garden. She is also president of CVANE, the Central Virginia Academy for Nonprofit Excellence, serves on the board of directors of the Link Project and on the exhibition committee of the Legacy Museum of African American History.
Originally from the Caribbean, Lewis graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, now Randolph College, with a BA in religion and communications in 2005. She completed her master’s degree in journalism at Florida A&M University in 2008, her doctorate in media and communication at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand in 2014, and her Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (GCHE) at Monash University in Australia in 2018.
“This award is such a complete moment,” she said. “I never imagined when I started college at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College 20 years ago that my career would take me around the world and back to Lynchburg.”
On campus, Lewis teaches classes in Communication Studies, Africana Studies, and the Masters of Nonprofit Leadership Studies program. She is an advisor for the university’s student newspaper, The Critograph, and for the African Caribbean Union, or ACU. She is a trainer on the National Coalition Building Institute, or NCBI, team at Lynchburg University, and serves on several campus committees, including the Leadership Task Force, Inclusive Excellence Council, and Inclusive Excellence Council. as Chair of the Faculty Development Committee for the 2022-23 university. year.
“My department chair, Dr. Michael Robinson, and associate dean, Dr. Sabita Manian, were some of my biggest cheerleaders at Lynchburg University, and I couldn’t do the job that I do in the wider community without their encouragement and advocacy,” Lewis said.
“I am deeply attached to Lynchburg and this recognition is energizing. I hope I can continue to use my talents to work towards a more equitable and inclusive Lynchburg.
Lewis isn’t the only Hornet making waves in the city this year.
In February, Kathleen Davis, director of engagement marketing, was named a “Young Professional to Watch” by the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance.
Davis spent her first year in the brand new position in Lynchburg supporting alumni admissions and events and building relationships with local businesses. She also sits on several municipal councils.
“It was an incredible moment when LRBA CEO Megan Lucas called me to tell me that I had been selected as a young professional to watch,” she said. “This organization is the heart of our business community, and I am honored to work alongside them to grow our school and our city.”
Davis, who holds a degree in graphic design from the University of Alabama, began her design career at the Weather Channel. She worked for brands like the Arthritis Foundation, Yamaha Motorsports and Yamaha Watercraft before landing in higher education.
Lynchburg Business magazine released its Top 20 Under 40 list to introduce readers to young professionals who are rising stars in their industries and active volunteers in the community. This year’s Top 20 Under 40 winners were recognized for being young, innovative, talented, and most importantly, focused on improving our community for the greater good of the region as a whole. Nominations were accepted through a public forum and judged by a panel of members from partner organizations and the business community.