MacArthur student rewarded for hard work

Meet one of John D. MacArthur campus’ most outstanding students. Her name is Kristen Lewis, but some may call her an over-achiever.

Lewis is a junior in the Media Studies program, with Political Science as her minor. In last month’s Student Government election, she became a senator for the 2004-2005 school year on the MacArthur campus. It is an interest she has had since her involvement as Student Government vice president at her high school.

“I always knew I wanted to be in politics,” Lewis says.

In March, she heard good news that would only help her career in politics. Lewis was one of 85 students internationally invited to study at The Institute of Political Journalism at Georgetown University this summer. Lewis applied for the internship in February after her journalism professor, Susan Willey, handed out applications for several internships offered to students. When Lewis saw the application she knew that was the one for her.

“I was excited; I have always wanted to go to school at Georgetown University,” Lewis says.

In order to be eligible to receive the invitation, Lewis was required to send a one-page professional resume, two to four samples of her writing, her transcript, write a 400-500 word essay on the most important economic or political issue facing the United states and pay a $30 fee.

While at Georgetown University, Lewis will attend three classes, work at an internship with MSNBC, sit in on briefings by government officials and attend a series of dialogues with leaders in journalism. Her resume earned her an exclusive offer to attend a Leadership Scholar seminar.

Lewis hopes to get an in-depth look at how Washington D.C. works and meet people who share her interest in political journalism.

“It’s going to change my life because I will be working in the field and I’ll have that experience to put on my resume,” Lewis says. “I am going to meet people that are really going to help me in the future.”

Lewis’ accomplishments don’t stop there. She was recently nominated for not one, but two Mac Awards.

“Since getting accepted (to Georgetown University), I have had so many more opportunities, it’s opened a lot of doors for me,” Lewis says.

Prof. Willey noticed Lewis’ achievements and participation on campus.

“[Mac Awards] are a national hono;, we need to recognize our students that do well” Prof. Willey says.” Kristen fits the profile of an outstanding student.”

Prof. Willey nominated Lewis for the OWL of the Year Award, an award for one student who has shown academic excellence, has a 3.0 overall FAU grade point average or higher and is enrolled in six credit hours for Fall and Spring semesters on the MacArthur campus. She was also nominated for the Outstanding Student Award, which is given to one student from each college. An awards ceremony for the awards is held in the auditorium in April.

When she is not excelling at scholastics, Lewis volunteers her time as a dance instructor for elementary students. It is a program that she started when she was captain of the dance team at Santa Luces High School.

“It allows high school dance team members to help kids in after-school programs,” Lewis says. Besides her volunteer work, Lewis holds a job as a part-time waitress at Riggin’s restaurant in Palm Beach County.

Lewis plans to graduate from FAU in 2005 and attend law school at Georgetown University or Northwestern University on her way to becoming a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lawyer.

“I want to make a difference in the way people see the media, she says. “I don’t want it to be corrupt.”

Lewis will no doubt make an impact once she graduates – and in her career aspirations – but for right now, she is making a difference on the MacArthur campus.