August 25, 2011: Michael Lewis Receives Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellowship Support for UIC CS PhD

PHOTO: PhD student Michael Lewis giving presentation on UIC/EVL's Cyber-Commons tiled display wall.

Michael Lewis, a PhD student in the UIC Computer Science department and the Electronic Visualization Laboratory (EVL), is a recipient of the State of Illinois' 2011-2012?Diversifying Higher Education Faculty in Illinois (DFI) Fellowship -- and the only person majoring in computer science.?

As an African-American who has held various scientific visualization and virtual-reality programming jobs in industry, as well as a brief stint as a?community organizer for political action, Lewis values the need for under-represented groups to become active within their communities, and to serve as mentors and role models. Always interested in a career in academia, he returned to graduate school two years ago, and earlier this year pursued the DFI Fellowship. In his DFI application, Lewis wrote that by becoming a professor, he would be able to "reach out to under-represented groups, develop my passion for helping and inspiring others through teaching, and have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge, computer science research."

The goal of DFI is to increase the number of minority full-time tenure track faculty and staff at Illinois? two- and four-year, public and private colleges and universities. Those students who are selected to receive fellowships are?considered most promising, and most likely to make outstanding contributions to their fields of learning. Further information can be found at:

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