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New fund honoring Director and General Manager Emerita Dr. Carolyn Bailey Lewis will support student leaders at WOUB

The DR. CAROLYN BAILEY LEWIS LEADERSHIP AWARD AT WOUB PUBLIC MEDIA will be given out for the first time this spring. Retired professor and administrator Dr. David Descutner wanted to recognize the extraordinary career and achievements of Dr. Bailey Lewis, one of his dear friends and colleagues, by creating a new student award in her honor at WOUB. The gift commitment of Descutner and his wife, Dr. Lysa Burnier, a professor in political science, will establish an endowment to support annual leadership awards for students involved at WOUB.

“As director and general manager at WOUB for 14 years, Carolyn was a strong leader and wonderful example for students working at WOUB. She provided mentorship and guidance to many students, and as a Black female, showed many students that positions of leadership were attainable for them,” said WOUB General Manager Mark Brewer. “We are thrilled that David and Lysa have created this award to honor Carolyn and support the future leaders currently working at WOUB.”

Bailey Lewis was the first African American woman to graduate from the Perley I. Reed School of Journalism, now the Reed College of Media, at West Virginia University. Following her graduation, she went on to work in television and was hired by WNPB-TV, Morgantown, a West Virginia PBS station. There, Dr. Lewis became the first African American woman to lead a full-service PBS station in the continental United States. Her award-winning media career spanned 38 years.

Dr. Lewis came to Ohio University in 1997 to assume the role of Director and General Manager of WOUB Public Media, where she was the first woman and first African American to serve in that role and the first woman to be Director Emerita upon her retirement in 2011. During her time with WOUB, Dr. Lewis also completed her PhD in communication studies and served as an adjunct faculty member in the School of Media Arts and Studies and the School of Communication Studies. 

This fund will provide $1000 (when possible) leadership awards for students involved in WOUB. The Award will be presented each year to junior-level students enrolled at Ohio University who are positive role models and exhibit exceptional leadership skills while being team players. The students also must have an inclusive leadership style that supports all participating at WOUB. 

About WOUB Public Media

As a member station of both NPR and PBS, WOUB Public Media is a trusted source of news, local content and educational resources that have proven to be worthy of the time, effort and support of our users. WOUB, an experiential-learning unit of the Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University, is a non-profit, community-supported multimedia organization which provides online and broadcast services, along with non-broadcast educational services and student professional development. WOUB serves 55 counties throughout southeastern Ohio, western West Virginia and eastern Kentucky with its broadcast signals. WOUB Radio’s FM Network has transmitters in Athens, Chillicothe, Ironton, Zanesville and Cambridge, while WOUB AM serves the immediate Athens area. WOUB TV is made up of seven television channels (WOUB HD, WOUB Classic, WOUB World, WOUB Create, WOUB Ohio, WOUB Kids and WOUB Voicecorps Reading Service) which are broadcast from two transmitters.

Through its support of public service, teaching, research and administrative missions, along with its high-quality local content and programming, WOUB enriches, enhances and expands the lives and horizons of the people in the communities it serves, as well as Ohio University faculty, staff and students. 

March 1, 2024
Cheri Russo