Andrew Lewis with his wife Josephine

The Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America Southern District Leadership Council has named an award in honor of Andrew Lewis, acting associate dean for the School of Education, Heath, and Human Performance (EHHP) and director for the Center for Partnerships to Improve Education at the College of Charleston. The Andrew H. Lewis Diversity Advancement Award, formerly known as the Ethnic Minority Award, honors a person who has made a meaningful contribution in support of ethnic minorities in the SHAPE America Southern District.

“The leadership council unanimously and with great, great enthusiasm, voted to name this award in recognition of the manner in which you have led, modeled, guided and influenced the growth of so many individuals,” Karen Dowd, co-coordinator of the SHAPE America Southern District Awards, said in an address to Lewis. “Your fingerprints and impact can be found in so much of the work of the Southern District, the inclusion of so many notable colleagues and the enhancement of the overall spirit of camaraderie and friendship among us all. Every young person in our profession and orb would be fortunate to be in your presence and work alongside of you.”

Lewis started at the College as a generalist in what was then the Department of Physical Education and Health in 1974. He then served as associate professor of health and human performance and later made history in 1991 as the first African American to chair the department. He also served as associate dean for the EHHP and interim assistant dean for undergraduate studies, and later director of the Office of Professional Development in Education before he retired in 2017. He came out of retirement earlier this year to serve in his current capacities for EHHP.

SHAPE America provides programs, resources and advocacy that support a healthier school culture and champion health and physical educators at every level, from preschool to university graduate programs. The organization provides National Standards for K-12 Physical Education that serve as a guide for physical education programs across the country.

The Southern District is one of six districts of SHAPE America, which works within 13 states. Serving as an advocate for quality programs that encourage healthy, physically active lifestyles, the district provides professional development opportunities such as workshops, conferences and leadership conferences.