Graduate School

The University of Mississippi

UM Alumna Receives Prestigious Teaching Award

Torina Lewis in front of class.

Torina Lewis teaches a class during her time at the University of Mississippi. Photo by Kevin Bain

By Nathan Towery

Torina D. Lewis, Ph.D., received the Vulcan Teaching Excellence Award earlier this year. Lewis is a University of Mississippi alumna and an assistant professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Clark Atlanta University.

The prestigious award is given every year by Vulcan Materials Co. through the Georgia Independent College Association. It is given to the faculty member in Georgia who demonstrates the highest levels of leadership and scholarship inside and outside the classroom.

“Dr. Lewis’ effectiveness in the classroom is a shining example of the caliber of instruction and the level of challenge that students can expect at Clark Atlanta,” said Ronald A. Johnson, Clark Atlanta University’s president. “Her passion and enthusiasm give depth and hue to the university’s culture and are an essential building block in creating our global pipeline of scholarship, discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Lewis started off her academic career at Southern University in New Orleans, where she received a B.A. in general studies in 2003. She followed that with an M.S. in mathematics at Southern University in Baton Rouge in 2006. In 2010, she received her Ph.D. in mathematics from UM.

She joined the Bethune-Cookman University’s staff as a tenure-track assistant professor in mathematics after completion of her doctorate in 2010. She then became a visiting professor at UM. In 2013, she joined the faculty at Clark Atlanta as a tenure-track assistant professor in mathematics.

Lewis mentored the student winner of CAU’s 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium and is also the recipient of CAU’s Aldridge-McMillan Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Her publications include “Bicircular Matroid Designs” (with McNulty, Neudauer, Reid and Shepardson) in Ars Combinatoria, 2013); “Square Functions as a Dynamic System” (with Ronald Mickens, Ph.D.) in Proceedings of Dynamic Systems and Applications, 2015) and her current work, “The Construction of the Inscribed Polygonal Periodic Functions,” which is funded by the National Science Foundation. She is collaborating with Mickens of Clark Atlanta University and Nancy Neudauer of Pacific University on this work.

Lewis is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi, Gamma Beta Phi and Pi Mu Epsilon honor societies; the National Association of Mathematicians; and Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education.