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IU Northwest welcomes new Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Georj Lewis, Ed.D., plans to be a visible leader who engages in student life

IU Northwest file photo
Georj Lewis, Ed.D.

As Georj Lewis, Ed.D., passed by a group of students engaged in a karaoke session between classes recently, he resisted the urge to ask for a turn at the microphone. Perhaps he felt it was a bit too soon to reveal this side of himself, just weeks into his new position as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Indiana University Northwest.

Don’t expect that trepidation to last. Lewis describes himself as the type of administrator who doesn’t spend much time behind a desk. Rather, he intends to be a visible leader who is thoroughly engaged in student life. Known as someone who would play flag football with students in his previous positions, Lewis feels strongly about connecting with those he serves.

The aim of the Student Services Administration is to support students’ learning experiences and help them persevere toward graduation. The student services umbrella covers such areas as financial aid, admissions, counseling, student programming, student life, athletics, and retention initiatives.

Lewis’s philosophy is that an engaged student is a more successful student. Engaging students means cultivating a rich campus life with much support and camaraderie. To him, it also means developing unique and genuine relationships with students.

Despite having fun in his job, Lewis emphasized that there still will be much “behind-the-desk” kind of work going on. His leadership philosophy is to challenge and support his staff members and enable them to implement their collective ideas.

“I’m trying to create energy amongst those I work with in that they are empowered about what they are doing and they feel good about how they’ve contributed to our goals,” Lewis said.

Given his impressive 17-year work history in higher education, Lewis’s first career choice may come as a surprise. He graduated with an accounting degree from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. It was his first job at a finance company that convinced Lewis that finance wasn’t the right fit for him.

“I remember falling asleep at the computer during my internship,” Lewis said. “It was just so boring.”

Needless to say, this first career experience prompted Lewis to do some serious soul-searching. At one point, he was poised to begin FBI training.

Before long, Lewis was hired in the admissions office at his alma mater, where he worked for the next eight years while pursuing his master’s degree.

At Edinboro University, Lewis served in a number of capacities, including enrollment management, orientation, programming, advising, and many other areas related to student affairs. He also served as the campus’s athletic liaison. Before he left Pennsylvania, Lewis served as director of the Multicultural Student Center.

“This is a very natural place for me, working in higher education,” Lewis said. “I’m coming (to work) every day for a purpose and that purpose is to help people reach their goals.”

The fact that Lewis has found a niche he truly enjoys may make it appear that he isn’t really at work.

“I guess it’s work, but it doesn’t really feel like work,” he said. “I laugh and have fun every day. I think sometimes people think my job is easy because I am just laughing and having fun,”

Lewis is currently living in the same quarters as the IU School of Medicine – Northwest students, but he is planning to relocate his family from Statesboro, Ga. where he previously worked at Georgia Southern University as the Dean of Students. Georgia Southern is also where Lewis earned his Ed.D. in Leadership/Higher Education Administration.

In his spare time, Lewis enjoys golf, football and working out.

“I’m a regular guy,” he said.

Lewis’s son, Miles, is 21; son Georj II, is 14; and daughter Jazmyn, is 12. He is also the youthful grandfather of two. Lewis’s wife, Anchelle, is an elementary school teacher.


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Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications