Monday, May 18, 2020
By: Aimee Hawkins

Chance Lewis received a Spencer Mentor Award that includes a $10,000 grant for his contributions to enriching the lives, research and careers of his students and junior colleagues and enhancing the field of education research.

This national award is provided by the Spencer Foundation, an organization that is focused exclusively on supporting education research. 

Lewis, the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Urban Education at UNC Charlotte, is executive director of the University’s Urban Education Collaborative, which publishes research on improving urban schools. He has authored more than 100 publications including 70-plus refereed articles in leading academic journals in the field of urban education. He has received in excess of $7 million in external research funds and has authored/co-authored or co-edited 24 books. He has provided consultative services focused on school turnaround to more than 100 school districts, universities, educational entities and other organizations across the United States and Canada. Recently, Lewis was appointed by North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to a statewide task force on educational equity and inclusion.

The Spencer Mentor Award recognizes those with a strong history of mentorship and who demonstrate extraordinary contributions to supporting the research training and career trajectories of graduate students and junior scholars.

Nominating student and recent doctoral graduate Sonyia Richardson stated, “Dr. Lewis has been purposeful in ensuring that we have a 'seat at the table' whereby doctoral students are positioned to make meaningful contributions and provide feedback. For example, he hosts a bimonthly Urban Education meeting (20 yearly) whereby approximately 12 students, faculty and staff are able to discuss upcoming events, plan collaborative research and grant projects, and build collaborative teams. Most importantly, Dr. Lewis checks in on our well-being while also holding us accountable for our research agendas. As a mentor, he maintains a perfect balance between demonstrating care and concern while also nudging us and motivating us to push through the rigor of research and publications. I walk away from his mentoring sessions both encouraged and motivated.”