Creative Writing Professor Mildred Lewis, a published playwright, and screenwriter is Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Science’s 2021 Faculty Career Champion! Engaging Faculty plays a key role in preparing students for their future careers. This year, Career and Professional Development decided to celebrate the faculty who have positively impacted students through internship advisor roles and helping students in any areas of their career paths. Wilkinson College had over 40 faculty nominations from students, and we congratulate and recognize them for all their hard work.
When I asked the students to send me their thoughts about Professor Lewis, I never expected the overwhelming number of responses from students attesting to Professor Lewis’ championing of her students. Rather than summarizing, I am letting the students share their thoughts on why Professor Lewis is a Faculty Career Champion!
“I love Mildred! She did such an incredible job cultivating a collaborative and creative environment in our class where I was not afraid to try new things, and I was genuinely invested in the work I was doing, as well as my classmates. She’s an incredibly thoughtful professor who makes every student feel valued and acknowledged.” Graham Byrne ‘21, TV Writing and Production BFA, English minor
“I took Professor Lewis’s class on Intro to Literary Theory and Criticism and I had such a great experience in that class. Professor Lewis is so kind and knowledgeable, and always was so understanding towards us students. She always made me feel welcome in class and was willing to help with anything at all. I hope to take more classes with her in the future because I thoroughly enjoyed her class.” Emma Warmerdam ‘24, English BA emphasis: Literature, Rhetoric, Cultural Studies, Secondary Education minor
“The first semester that I had Professor Lewis, I had two classes with her. I discovered that she is an incredibly intelligent, loving, and hilarious person. I enjoyed her classes so much that I ended up taking another two classes with her the next semester!” – Nathan Whitworth ‘23, Creative Writing BFA
“Mildred Lewis is the type of teacher everyone needs in their life. She is charismatic, energetic, and most of all intelligent. She balances being supportive with being critical in the most skillful way I have ever seen; you can expect her to always be there with a smile and positive comments but you can also prepare yourself for life-altering advice. As a teacher, a writer, and a person she is someone we can all strive to be more like.” Gabby Toczek ‘22, Creative Writing BFA, University Honors Program, Secondary Education minor
“I remember every class she’d always welcome us with a smile on her face, and no matter the discussion the smile and positive attitude she carried every day never wavered. She would also always engage with you no matter what, from asking about what we were eating to just checking in with us randomly. Lovely teacher and I wish her all the best.” Calum MacDermid ‘24, Creative Writing BFA, General Music minor
“Writing the One-Act Play with Professor Lewis was a great experience. Classes with her were always engaging, and I got great feedback for my play. I think it may have been the most useful class for my writing so far, and a rare bright spot in a very trying semester. I am very grateful to Professor Lewis, and I hope that I will be able to take another class with her soon.” Vikram Branch ‘23, Creative Writing BFA, University Honors Program
“Professor Lewis is one of the best professors I’ve had. She is intelligent, wise, and understanding. Her classroom feels like a real community, and she feels like a mentor and a friend. She is a woman I respect and admire deeply. I am so thankful for her class, and can’t wait to take another!” Carly Mardesich ‘23, Creative Writing BFA, Psychology BA
“I just wanted to pop in and say that Professor Lewis is one of the best professors that I’ve ever had! She taught Intro to Literary Theory and Criticism last semester, and one of the main reasons that I looked forward to that class is because she always greeted us with a warm smile, and she maintained much-needed positivity during the Zoom era. She is very knowledgeable about the subject, and I found her lectures to be very engaging and interesting. Aside from class last semester, I have also corresponded with her via Sigma Tau Delta, and she was very enthusiastic about this, and about literature in general. She has very kindly offered to provide feedback on my fiction on more than one occasion, and her thorough and well-thought-out feedback has provided new angles into my work that have been super helpful in revisions. I always look for her name whenever I sign up for new classes, and I hope to get another class with her in the future!” Ian Reafsnyder ‘23, Creative Writing BFA, Game Development Prog minor
“Professor Lewis is an amazing instructor that has pushed my writing abilities beyond limits I never thought I could overcome. She is incredibly kind, inspiring, and supportive, and I appreciate how she encourages all of her students to be the very best writers they can!” Fiona Delaney ‘22, Creative Writing BFA, Spanish minor, Creative & Cultural Industries minor
“Professor Lewis is an exceptional teacher and she really pushed me both academically and creatively by helping me generate material I was excited about writing. She created an atmosphere that was both collaborative and productive and built a classroom-dynamic that was warm and friendly, which is particularly impressive considering the class was done online. Despite the challenges of remote learning, Professor Lewis has stepped up to the plate to ensure the academic needs of her students are met and has always been more than willing to assist her students in any way possible. She provided advice that stretched beyond the classroom into real life, and I will treasure the lessons she shared and the memories I made in her class always” Lavender Ruffman ‘22, TV Writing and Production BFA, English minor
“My very first class at Chapman was with Mildred Lewis. I was nervous and eager to make a good impression. That morning, I was more than impressed with how quickly she flagged my nervousness and molded me into a more confident writer and student. Academically and personally, she has always lent herself completely to teaching and does all she can to make sure her students know they have a resource that will support them through their professional transformation at Chapman.” Marcella Zizzo, ‘19 , Screenwriting , English Minor
“Ms. Lewis provides a truly astonishing amount of support to all of her students, not just through her curriculum but also through the kindness and consideration she shows everyone. Her knowledge of the entertainment industry and her support has made me truly believe that I could find success as a writer. She has made my experience at Chapman absolutely amazing.” Ginger Chen ‘19, Screenwriting, English Minor
“I first had her my senior fall, and I knew right away that she was the kind of professor and person that genuinely loves teaching and cares deeply for her students. I was even more sure about this when she emailed me over winter break to help me more with the project that she had worked with me on in the fall. She is an incredible professor and a lifelong support system. I am incredibly grateful to know that she is always in my corner.”- Sophia Hodess, ‘21, Creative Writing BFA
Thank you Mildred Lewis for your unconditional support to Wilkinson students and to me! You have been a great mentor and always teaching me new things, including me in conversations and supporting the program. You are one of a kind and you are Wilkinson’s Faculty Career Champion.