Year Inducted / Awarded: 2004
Member Award: Distinguished Service Award
Valerie F. Lewis is Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Connecticut, a position she has held since 1999. She began her career with the 45-member Department of Higher Education in 1987, starting as an intern in the agency’s budget division before serving in a variety of capacities, from Special Assistant to the Commissioner, to Assistant Commissioner and then Deputy Commissioner in 1992. In her role as Commissioner of Higher Education, Ms. Lewis has been instrumental to the growth in enrollments and degree options — as well as the future direction — of the School of Engineering. She has been an integral partner in helping the School double its undergraduate degree offerings from six baccalaureate programs to 12 since 1999, a process requiring approval of the Department of Higher Education for each new B.S. degree program proposed. Ms. Lewis has been an ardent advocate for technology education throughout the state of Connecticut. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the School of Engineering and in this capacity Ms. Lewis has shared her recommendations and insights relative to the School’s academic direction, educational focus and performance measures. Ms. Lewis earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Mount Holyoke College and her master’s degree in Student Affairs Administration from the University of Connecticut.