Print

Employee Spotlight-Lewis

Karla Lewis | Coordinator of Media Services & Distance Learning | 4 1/2 Years at SIC


Spotlight Candidate
Karla and her husband, Kevin, ready to
watch their favorite team.

Education:

  • Master's in Education / Curriculum & Instructional Design / Computer Instruction
  • Bachelor's in Business Administration
  • Associate in Legal Studies

Awards:

  • 2011 National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award -  Community College Leadership Program - University of Texas at Austin
  • 2005 Illinois Consortium for International Studies & Programs (ICISP) Faculty/Administrator Exchange Program Recipient

What position(s) did you hold prior to SIC?
I worked as the Distance Learning Specialist, then the Coordinator of Distance Learning & Media Technology at Rend Lake College for approximately ten years before coming to SIC.   I also spent a number of years working as an office manager / network administrator at an Investment Brokerage firm and a CPA firm.

What does SIC means to you?
To me, SIC means opportunity and access to quality education for everyone.  Community colleges serve such a vital need, particularly in rural regions where four-year universities can be out of reach both geographically and financially.  I particularly relate to non-traditional college students, because I was one myself.  I decided to go to an area community college at age 27, nearly 10 years after I graduated from high school.  It changed my life.  Obtaining my Associate degree made me realize what I had been missing.  It soon led to my desire to complete my Bachelor’s degree, then my Master’s degree.  I enjoyed my community college experience so much that I knew my dream would be to work for one.  Now I’ve had the opportunity to work for two.

What is your favorite memory at SIC?
The thing that stands out for me is the warmth with which I was greeted on my first day here. I couldn't have asked for a more congenial, welcoming group of co-workers.
I was also very proud when SIC was ranked in the Top 10% of community colleges.  That’s quite an accomplishment and demonstrates our commitment to students’ success.

What do you do in your spare time?
I love spending time with my husband and children.  We have a daughter who is in high school, and we have so much fun together.  Our son is grown, but we still enjoy frequent family get-togethers.  We love to go to Cardinals baseball games together.  Go Cards!  I also enjoying cooking and doing lots of different types of crafts.  One of my favorites is making stained glass.  I once took a six-week class (at a community college, of course) to learn the basics of making stained glass.  It was time well-spent.

Where is your favorite vacation spot?  
My favorite trip was to Switzerland. I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in a faculty exchange program with a librarian from a Swiss university.  I spent a little over two weeks traveling around the country, getting to know local people, as well as taking day trips to France and Italy.  It is an incredibly beautiful area and holds so much history.  It was a very memorable trip, and I’d love to return some day.

How would you spend $1 million?
I would stop worrying about whether I’ll ever be able to retire, and would make sure my kids were comfortably taken care of.  I would also indulge my love of travel. The list of places I’d like to visit is very long. Beyond that, it would be great to help struggling college students pay for their college education so they can meet their full potential.  

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
I’d love to have dinner with my grandfather again.  I miss his wisdom and humor so much.

What's the best piece of advice you've been given?
I have heard and read so many inspirational pieces of advice over the years.  I can’t even remember where I learned some of them, but I think they’re all great words of wisdom.  Some of my favorites:

  • From my Grandmother:  Never go to bed angry.
  • From a church bulletin: Before you expire, aspire to inspire.
  • Maya Angelou quote: Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.
  • Unknown:  The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.
  • Helen Keller: The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or touched. They must be felt with the heart.