Carolyn Bailey Lew headshot

New fund honoring Director and General Manager Emerita Dr. Carolyn Bailey Lewis will support student leaders at WOUB

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Bailey Lewis retired in 2011 after leading WOUB for 14 years

ATHENS, OH – The DR. CAROLYN BAILEY LEWIS LEADERSHIP AWARD AT WOUB PUBLIC MEDIA will be given out for the first time this spring. Retired professor and administrator Dr. David Descutner wanted to recognize the extraordinary career and achievements of Dr. Bailey Lewis, one of his dear friends and colleagues, by creating a new student award in her honor at WOUB. The gift commitment of Descutner and his wife, Dr. Lysa Burnier, a professor in political science, will establish an endowment to support annual leadership awards for students involved at WOUB.

“As director and general manager at WOUB for 14 years, Carolyn was a strong leader and wonderful example for students working at WOUB. She provided mentorship and guidance to many students, and as a Black female, showed many students that positions of leadership were attainable for them,” said WOUB General Manager Mark Brewer. “We are thrilled that David and Lysa have created this award to honor Carolyn and support the future leaders currently working at WOUB.”

Bailey Lewis was the first African American woman to graduate from the Perley I. Reed School of Journalism, now the Reed College of Media, at West Virginia University. Following her graduation, she went on to work in television and was hired by WNPB-TV, Morgantown, a West Virginia PBS station. There, Dr. Lewis became the first African American woman to lead a full-service PBS station in the continental United States. Her award-winning media career spanned 38 years.

Dr. Lewis came to Ohio University in 1997 to assume the role of Director and General Manager of WOUB Public Media, where she was the first woman and first African American to serve in that role and the first woman to be Director Emerita upon her retirement in 2011. During her time with WOUB, Dr. Lewis also completed her PhD in communication studies and served as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Media Arts and Studies and the School of Communication Studies.

This fund will provide $1000 (when possible) leadership awards for students involved in WOUB. The Award will be presented each year to junior-level students enrolled at Ohio University who are positive role models and exhibit exceptional leadership skills while being team players. The students also must have an inclusive leadership style that supports all participating at WOUB.