Remembering Nancy Lewis – Memorial bursary established
Faculty members and friends have established a memorial bursary for Mohawk College professor Nancy Lewis, who passed away on June 18, 2020, at the age of 62.
Beginning her work with the college in 1998, Nancy was hired as a full-time faculty member in 2002. During her time at Mohawk, she made a positive impact through her instruction and her work with the union, retiring on June 20, 2019. Most notably, however, Nancy made a lasting impression on the Mohawk community through the relationships she nurtured with her colleagues and the students she cared for so much.
“She wanted to see them excel not only academically, but as human beings, making a contribution in the world,” remembers Professor Carla Labella. “She definitely had a soft spot for students who may have been struggling as they were completing their studies.”
Professor Katie George remembers receiving Nancy’s support as a young instructor dealing with the challenges and successes of teaching; and she was struck by the thoughtful attention regularly offered by Nancy to her students.
“Always with a kind word, always with a gentle ear and always as a great mentor,” remembers George. “I know that Nancy would love the concept of paying it forward and helping future students achieve greatness at Mohawk College.”
Throughout her Mohawk career, Nancy was a proud Local 240 member and steward. She advocated for partial load faculty and was a member of the local's Political Action Committee. Each year, she helped to organize and participate in International Women' s Day at the college and could always be counted on to support other union events.
“Nancy was a tireless advocate,” the Local 240 Faculty Executive recalls in a message. “When Tom Petty wrote ‘I Won’t Back Down’, we can’t help thinking he wrote it for Nancy Lewis. Whether it was personal or political, she demonstrated what Petty’s song is all about.”
Undoubtedly, this bursary is a fitting tribute to Nancy’s life and career.
“She pushed her students to be their best,” Professor George adds. She “picked them up after failures and was always there.”
This initiative will ensure that legacy will continue on.
The Nancy Lewis memorial bursary will focus on support for female students, or those who identify as female, and have experienced mental health challenges, are single parents, or are facing challenged circumstances.
Those who wish to support this effort by contributing to the fund can contact Gena Dureault at The Mohawk Foundation or make a contribution online.