The latest issue of Lynchburg Business magazine features Dr. Ghislaine Lewis, associate professor of communication studies. Lewis is named among the magazine’s “Top 20 Under 40,” an annual list that celebrates “young professionals who are rising stars in their industries and active community volunteers,” according to the magazine.
The award will be given out during 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 thankful for my circle and I couldn’t wait to share the news.”
Lewis recently took on the job of director of the Pierce Street Gateway, a nonprofit organization located in the old Calloway Store on Pierce Street, and is a founding member of the Pierce Street Community Garden. She also serves as president of CVANE, the Central Virginia Academy for Nonprofit Excellence, is on the board for the Link Project, and on the exhibition committee for 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 in journalism at Florida A&M University in 2008, her PhD 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 full-circle moment,” she said. “I never would have imagined when I started college at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College 20 years ago that my career would take me around the globe and bring me back to Lynchburg.”
On campus, Lewis teaches classes in communication studies, Africana studies, and in the Master of Nonprofit Leadership Studies program. She serves as the advisor for the University’s student newspaper, The Critograph, and the African Caribbean Union, or ACU. She’s a trainer on the University of Lynchburg’s National Coalition Building Institute, or NCBI, team, and serves on several campus committees, including the Leadership Task Force, the Inclusive Excellence Council, and as chair of the Faculty Development Committee for the 2022-23 academic year.
“My department chair, Dr. Michael Robinson, and associate dean, Dr. Sabita Manian, have been among my biggest cheerleaders at the University of Lynchburg, and I couldn’t do the work I do in the wider community without their encouragement and advocacy,” Lewis said.
“I am deeply committed to Lynchburg and this recognition is energizing. My hope is that I can continue to use my talents to work toward a more equitable and inclusive Lynchburg.”
Lewis isn’t the only Hornet to make waves around 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 at Lynchburg supporting admissions and alumni events and building relationships with local businesses. She also sits on several city boards.
“It was an amazing moment when LRBA CEO Megan Lucas called to tell me I had been selected as a Young Professional to Watch,” she said. “This organization is the heartbeat of our business community, and I’m honored to work alongside them to grow our school and our city.”
Davis, who holds a graphic design degree from the University of Alabama, started 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 has published its Top 20 Under 40 list to introduce readers to young professionals who are rising stars in their industries and active community volunteers. This year’s Top 20 Under 40 winners were recognized for being young, innovative, talented, and, most importantly, focused on bettering 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 partnering organizations and the business community.