By Ashley Festa

Paul Lewis

Dr. Paul Lewis was awarded for his excellence in teaching with a $5,000 stipend.

     Dr. Paul Lewis, associate professor of philosophy, was awarded the 2010 Presidential Teaching Award. The aim of the Presidential Teaching Award is to reward a full-time faculty member who exemplifies excellence in teaching that leads to student engagement. Lewis received a $5,000 stipend as recipient of the award.

     “I try to meet students in the neighborhood of their own interests,” he said. “It’s a great pleasure to have that relationship to students.”

     He said it’s his goal to create a passion for discovery and critical thinking within his students. As a teacher of philosophy, he feels his success can be measured in the amount of sleep his students lose while pondering deep questions.

     “That’s my job!” he joked.

     Lewis said his reaction to winning the award was typical: He felt surprise, joy, humility and pride.

     “I work alongside extraordinary teachers,” Lewis said of his surprise on winning the award.

     “I work very hard so I won’t say I didn’t deserve it!” he said with a laugh. “I rarely lose sight of the fact that students are making sacrifices at this crucial time of their lives. It’s my responsibility to make that a time they will remember for the rest of their lives. It’s a very serious moral responsibility.”