Brenda Lewis has been an integral member of the FSC community for 23 years now. You may know her as the director of the Simmons Multicultural Center, or you may have seen her at one of the many events they put on each semester to highlight learning about diversity.
Lewis got her start here when former FSC president Dr. Tom Reuschling asked her to help develop a support system for the increasing number of minority students enrolling each year and to bring awareness of a growing diverse population to the campus as a whole.
Today Lewis is dedicated to staying in tune with the campus environment so that she can do her job to the best of her ability. Based on the needs of the campus and the needs of the students she works with, she will talk with students having problems, work with the Multicultural Student Council (MSC) on planning events, and work with other members of the FSC faculty to support students with their educational and personal endeavors.
Another one of Lewis’ roles is her work with the international students on campus. This work with International students is a very important role because it is important that each student adjusts well to campus life and to the country. Her advice to these students is to make sure to get to know her immediately and to become involved with campus activities to make the most of their college experience and their time in the U.S.
The Simmons Center provides a place where students come to gather, plan programs, share their cultural backgrounds and experiences, and to enjoy the home away from home atmosphere of the facility.
The MSC and the Simmons Center staff provide a variety of quality support services, plan and drive educational and entertaining cultural awareness programs, and provide leadership opportunities through student involvement and services, such as when students have ideas for programs that they want to create to engage the entire campus community like working with other clubs/organizations or working with a professor on a particular class project that promotes diversity. These programs serve as a vehicle for the college community to learn about the many cultures that are a part of our FSC family.
Lewis has felt very fortunate throughout the years to have the support of faculty which ensures the success of the programs and events sponsored by the Simmons Center. She has collaborated with other disciplines to create a Civil Rights/Social Justice Junior Journey trip last fall. Faculty members also serve on the committee for the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Program. Along with Dr. Nethery, she has helped to create a widely popular Hip Hop Listening Party, and faculty members help serve as moderators of the Black History Month Film series.
Lewis’ main goal in her position is to meet a student when they come to campus as a freshman, interact with them during their time here, and to see them walk across the stage during graduation and to know that she has somehow impacted their lives.
How she knows she has met this goal is when alumni come to campus and share how their lives have been impacted by Lewis and the programs that the Simmons Center offers. Along with that, Lewis will often invite alumni from different fields back to campus to work with students who are currently studying in that same discipline to offer support and to give insight into what they can do to succeed once they graduate FSC.