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Dr. Charla Lewis, Associate Dean

Sep 26, 2022

Panhandle State Communications

Dean Lewis Sees the Importance of Continuing Education

Associate Dean for the College of Arts and Education at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, Dr. Charla Lewis recently earned a Doctorate of Education from Bradley University with an emphasis on “Educational Leadership in Higher Education”. Lewis believes in continuing one’s education for their entire life by doing things like reading books, watching documentaries, taking classes, and listening or observing people’s experiences. She overcame many obstacles in order to obtain this degree.

“I toyed with the idea of getting my doctorate off and on throughout my life,” Lewis stated. “No one in my family had ever earned one before. I finally decided to take the plunge in the summer of 2020. I had some trepidation because of COVID, but I decided to give it a shot anyway.”

Lewis has served at Panhandle State since 2013. Her roles include the Department Chair of Music, Director of Instrumental Music, Director of Music Education, and Assistant Professor. Lewis is also on the faculty advisory council for the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.

University President Dr. Julie Dinger commented, “I am so proud of the hard work that Dr. Lewis put into earning this degree as well as continuing to help grow the College of Arts and Education at Panhandle State. Her dedication to continuing education is something I admire.”

Lewis completed 48 semester hours in 39 weeks while the program focused on two main aspects, diversity and social justice. She completed an internship within the program during the spring and summer of 2022.

“Dr. Dinger served as my university supervisor and I really learned a lot from her. There was quite a lot of change going on at this time at OPSU and in Dr. Dinger’s life. I’m so glad she stuck with me through her transition to President,” said Lewis.

Her internship experience also led to many projects, one of which will affect area public schools. “I applied for a Foundational Enhancement Grant through OSRHE for $8,000 to implement a new band director induction program for the Panhandle area public schools. I was notified unofficially that my application was approved. I should receive official notice after the September Regents meeting. I’m excited to start working on this project.”

Lewis is thankful to the individuals who encouraged her to succeed, including her parents, husband, daughter, classmates, and colleagues. “It’s a hard thing to work full-time and go to school at the same time, so it’s important to have that support system,” stated Lewis.

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