Lewis named 2021 Hardin Professor

Colleges name faculty award recipients

Lewis named 2021 Hardin Professor

Dr. Mitzi Lewis, Associate Professor of Mass Communication, was named Hardin Professor for 2021 during Midwestern State University’s commencement ceremony May 1. Hardin Professor is the highest honor bestowed upon a faculty member at the university each year.

Lewis earned both her Bachelor of Science in University Studies and Master of Arts in Communication from the University of New Mexico and her Ph.D. in Educational Research from the University of North Texas. Lewis took a slightly different path to the faculty. In 2005, she was hired at MSU Texas as Assistant Director of Institutional Research and Planning and in 2007 became the Assistant to the Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness and Director of Institutional Research and Planning. It was in 2008 that Lewis ventured into teaching as an instructor of mass communication. She was promoted in 2010 to assistant professor; and promoted in 2015 to associate professor with tenure.

Recognized as an outstanding teacher, Lewis received the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Teacher of the Year Award, Midwestern State University Faculty Award, and Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts Excellence in Teaching Award. She is a recognized scholar with numerous refereed publications and presentations at state, national, and international levels to her credit. Lewis is also well known as one of the “go-to” faculty members for University service. Finally, she is very active in her profession, holding officer positions in the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication and the International Association for Literary Journalism Studies.  

The Hardin Foundation for Wichita County established the annual award in 1962 for a member of the MSU faculty whose teaching and research during the preceding 12 months has brought distinction to the faculty member and the institution. The award carries with it a stipend of $5,000. Lewis is the 61st professor to receive the honor.

Annual Faculty Awards

Individual college faculty awards also were announced at commencement. These awards were decided by a committee of their peers within their respective colleges.

Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Excellence in Scholarship – Dr. Kirsten Lodge

Excellence in Teaching – Dr. Tiffany Ziegler


Robert D. & Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences & Human Services

Excellence in Scholarship – Dr. Robin Lockhart

Excellence in Teaching – Dr. Erica Judie


Dillard College of Business Administration

Excellence in Scholarship – Dr. Jie Zhang

Excellence in Teaching – Dr. Chuck Bultena


Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts

Excellence in Scholarship – Dr. Ann Marie Leimer

Excellence in Teaching – Dr. Jim Sernoe


Gordon T. & Ellen West College of Education

Excellence in Scholarship – Dr. Dittika Gupta

Excellence in Teaching – Dr. Emily Rutherford


McCoy College of Science, Mathematics & Engineering

Excellence in Scholarship – Dr. Yu Guo

Excellence in Teaching – Dr. Sarah Cobb