By: Texas Southern University

When faced with adversity, such as a global pandemic that impacted three of her four years at Texas Southern University, graduating senior Joy Lewis found transitioning from in-person to online to hybrid instruction a challenge. However, with the help of her professors, she was able to overcome and succeed.
Succeed, indeed. This Saturday, Lewis will graduate Summa Cum Laude as TSU’s salutatorian with a 3.92 grade point average.

“It (the pandemic) caused a lot of transition,” said Lewis. “Not only was it new for us students, but for the faculty as well. But our instructors made it work. They want us to succeed, and during my time at TSU, I really feel like we became a close-knit family.”

Lewis is a management major who will receive a Bachelor of Business Administration degree when she crosses the stage during TSU’s Spring 2022 Commencement ceremony. She plans to continue her education at TSU in the fall as she pursues a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) degree. Her goal is to become a training and development manager for a company, working in a human resources department.

“I want to help trainers and employees become better through professional development,” said Lewis, who says her human resources classes were her favorites. “They helped me to understand how business works in corporate America – and how important it is to develop people.”
Lewis isn’t all business, however. During her four years at TSU, she found time to get involved in a variety of organizations and activities. She served as treasurer for the TSU Dance Company, financial secretary for the Delta Gamma chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority during her senior year, and was a member of Baptist Student Ministry. Her favorite activity at TSU was SpringFest in 2022.

“As part of the ‘Divine 9’ through my sorority, as well as helping to plan SpringFest, there was a sense of unity among the organizations that was unmatched. We were all doing something for a common cause. It was very special.” Lewis, who attended Garland Lakeview Centennial High School outside of Dallas, has always had an idea that she wanted to pursue a career in business. Several instructors helped to reinforce those aspirations.

“My Principles of Accounting professor (Dr. Joseph Boyd) and my Business Law instructor (Mr. William Saunders) both pushed their students to succeed,” said Lewis. “They were always there to help, and they gave really good life advice, which allowed me to grow as a leader. They became my mentors.”
Lewis has some words of wisdom for underclassmen at TSU working to achieve academic excellence: “It’s okay to ask for help, and it’s okay to admit what you don’t know. It’s not okay, however, to give up.”

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