Academic careers run in English Professor Kim Lewis’ family. She was born in London and then moved all over the Northeast and Midwest before her family settled down in Bowling Green, Ohio, where her father, “a perpetual student” worked at Bowling Green State University as a professor and theater director.
Before coming to Laurel Ridge in 1999, Dr. Lewis worked as a reporter and editor for newspapers in the Clarke County, Loudoun County and Fauquier County region. After she went freelance, she was hired, also on a freelance basis, to work on a grant for Laurel Ridge.
“That led to me teaching a developmental English class, and I absolutely loved it,” said Dr. Lewis, who went on to earn her master’s and doctoral degrees at George Mason University.
She has taught English, communication and humanities classes at the college, and has been serving as the interim dean of humanities. One of her notable courses was Survey of Horror, which she called “Monsters.”
“I’m not a horror fan, but the class came about because my husband had students who needed to have a humanities course and they were struggling to fit it in their schedule and they were not fans of humanities because they were engineers,” said Dr. Lewis, referring to her husband of nearly 45 years, Professor Emeritus Bill Lewis. “So I came up with this. It was so much fun. The students read Ovid and ‘Beowulf.’ It’s monsters – how can you not enjoy learning about monsters?”
All three of the Lewises’ children attended Laurel Ridge, and their daughter, Jessi Lewis, is an English professor, who is married to Biology Professor Ian Hare.
“I’ve always felt like Laurel Ridge has been kind of our home,” said Professor Lewis. “I’m going to miss the people here tremendously.”
She and her husband plan to travel, and enjoy kayaking, snorkeling and hiking.
“And, we want to be on call for our grandchildren whenever they need us,” said Dr. Lewis. “I’m also hoping to have more time to do writing.
“I feel like a 17-year-old who’s ready to go off and really excited about all the possibilities, but not really sure what that means.”
Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.