Dr. Marcus Lewis

Dr. Marcus Lewis has been selected as the new director of the Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program.

“I am thrilled to join UW–Madison’s team as the new Mercile J. Lee Scholars director. Our Scholars are some of UW’s best and brightest students,” Lewis told UW news. “I want to make a positive difference in the lives of the Chancellor’s and Powers-Knapp Scholars and appreciate the program’s focus on student mentorship for underrepresented populations and the infusion of much-needed support services that not only help students succeed, but thrive.”

The Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program administers two of the university’s longest-running scholarships: the Chancellor’s Scholarship, which was established in 1984, and the Powers-Knapp Scholarship, which was established in 1989. The Chancellor’s and Powers-Knapp Scholarship Program was renamed the Mercile J. Lee Scholars Program in 2018 in honor of the late founder of the scholarships, who retired in 2013 as assistant vice chancellor for academic affairs and died in the fall of 2018 at age 87.

Most recently, Lewis, who earned his doctorate of education from the University of Wisconsin–Stout, was the higher education director at the Ho-Chunk Nation Education Department where he designed a successful work-based learning internship program and increased the annual college graduation rate by 250 percent.

“Dr. Lewis’ significant experience working with underrepresented, non-traditional students and work in student affairs leadership makes him the perfect person for this role,” says Dr. Cheryl Gittens, incoming interim UW–Madison Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity & Inclusion, in a statement. “With the leadership of Dr. Lewis, we’ll celebrate the legacy of Mercile J. Lee while continuing to take the program in new directions to equip scholars for successes at UW-Madison and beyond.”

Lewis begins his new role on August 3.