Award Recipient

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Vonya Lewis-Thornton


Vonya Lewis-Thornton is a Professor of History and Director of the Black Studies Certification Program. She considers herself to be a facilitator of knowledge not just a conveyor of historical facts. At the beginning of each term, students are informed they are not expected to leave the term thinking like her but having practiced the art of contemplating historical events and drawing conclusions based on evidence, not sheer opinion. She accomplishes this through questioning - questions that lead students down a path of self-discovery and personal growth. Questions which lead to thinking not rote answers. She is thrilled to figuratively see light bulbs going off as students gain new insights into themselves and others. She takes pride in creating an environment where students can safely practice what seems to be the diminishing art of using reasoning to draw conclusions. This is a skill she hopes students continue to hone as each matriculates through their education and life. She serves as the treasurer for Pleasant Square Community Center and as the education director for the MLK Community Coalition of Lebanon. Her undergraduate degree was earned at Central State University (OH), her Master of Arts from Wright State University (OH), and her doctorate from Faith International University (WA).