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Sunday, December 03, 2023

Assistant professor Norman Lewis has taught his way into the hearts of his students and colleagues. 

Lewis, who teaches ethics and editing in the College of Journalism and Communications, was named UF Teacher of the Year for 2009 to 2010.

Each college nominated a member of the faculty and sent letters of recommendation and evaluations from students and colleagues to the Office of the Provost, which made the final selection.

“It’s a terrific honor that’s really a testimony to the wonderful colleagues I have,” Lewis said.

Lewis, who has taught at UF for three years, said he has looked to his fellow faculty members as role models.

“I’ve just been really fortunate to be in the company of really good teachers who set a really good example,” Lewis said.

William McKeen, director of the department of journalism, wrote a recommendation for Lewis.

McKeen said Lewis is very popular with his students and his colleagues.

Lewis’ years of experience in journalism help make him a strong professor, he said.

“I never hear anything but praise for Norman,” he said.

Lewis worked as a journalist and editor for 25 years before going into teaching.

He lived in seven different states and worked at publications such as The Washington Post.

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Lewis received his Ph.D. in journalism from the University of Maryland in 2007. His thesis discussed plagiarism.

As a professor, Lewis said he  tries to present his students with ethical dilemmas they might face during their journalism careers.

“I try to make it as practical as I can,” Lewis said. “It’s practical ethics, not philosophy.”

Lewis wants to help students like his college adviser helped him and point them in the right direction on their career path.

“I want you, as my student, to be the best you possibly can,” Lewis said.

Lewis often reviews cover letters and resumes from students and offers them advice from the perspective of a former hiring editor.

Brian Kelley, a journalism and economics senior took two of Lewis’ classes and said Lewis wrote him two letters of recommendation.

He also took a journalism ethics class with Lewis during a study abroad trip to France in May 2009.

Kelley said Lewis is probably one of his favorite teachers.

“He just genuinely cares about the students,” Kelley said. “He wants them to do well in life.”

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