Called to Serve: Eveline Lewis teaches students with a head for business and heart for service
December 8, 2014
Eveline Lewis has made her mark in the nonprofit business world both in the United States and abroad. While managing philanthropic endeavors and increasing the sustainability of nonprofits, she’s witnessed the importance of good business practices. That experience made her Evangel’s choice to coordinate the Nonprofit Business and Social Enterprise program.
Lewis previously served as a board member for three international schools in China and the Philippines. She also taught collegiate Business and Management courses, and found that the need for knowledgeable and trained workers in the nonprofit and social enterprise sector is greater than ever.
Lewis says her goal is to guide students to learn through practical application as well as to share her past experiences with them. She feels that having a well-rounded business education helps students be better equipped to face the realities of the Nonprofit and Social Enterprise world.
How did you hear about the opportunity to coordinate Evangel’s Nonprofit Business and Social Enterprise program?
Mr. [Bernie] Dana and I were introduced through email while I was in the process of relocating to Springfield after serving in Asia for 17 years. I was very excited to hear about the Nonprofit Business and Social Enterprise program, and contributed some ideas and suggestions about the program. As I was praying about an opportunity to serve when our family arrived in Missouri, Mr. Dana offered the chance to be involved in this new venture as an adjunct faculty member to coordinate the program. I was both humbled and thrilled for the offer.
What are some experiences that you have in the field of Nonprofit and Social Enterprise?
I managed an orphanage in Northern Asia for several years where I restructured the management to be more effective and sustainable. The orphanage is still functioning well right now, run by trained local staff. I also started a Social Enterprise company to facilitate educational and training outreach as well as humanitarian efforts. The services we offered in the area created several other businesses, employing local staff. I also served both as a member of the Finance Committee and as the Board Secretary of three international schools while living in Asia.
Your top strength in Evangel’s Strengthsfinder test is Connectedness. What does that mean and how do you see that helping you as an instructor at Evangel?
I believe that we are part of the big picture that is being painted in this world throughout the ages. Author Philip Yancey says that “the world is good; the world is fallen; the world can be redeemed.” I believe that we all should take part of this redemption process. Each one of us have to do something in this world. We cannot do something meaningful unless we understand what is going on in the world around us. I use my strengths to help each student understand that they are here to be better prepared in solving world issues.
What can students studying Nonprofit Business and Social Enterprise expect to do after they graduate?
There are currently more than 1.6 million registered nonprofit organizations in the United States. When students graduate, they may work as staff or managers in these nonprofits or start with their own concept to develop a new organization. Some common roles for nonprofits include marketing staff, volunteer managers, project managers, field managers, development staff, donor management and public/media relations.
What’s the best thing about working in the Business Department?
My favorite thing is working with the bright young students who are excited about their future. I also appreciate my co-workers, who have given me the opportunity to be a part of the progressive atmosphere in the department.
How has teaching in different cultures impacted your teaching style?
Each group of students in every classroom is unique. I had to learn how to communicate differently with students here in the United States. In Asia, students show their respect to teachers by being quiet in class, whereas class interaction is very important in the American classroom. I enjoy the active discussions in the classrooms here. Either way, I strive to assist students to be creative and to think critically. In both cases, I’ve used real stories and examples to teach.
What exciting things do you see coming in the future for Evangel students?
As the Nonprofit Business and Social Enterprise program becomes better known in the community, our students will have more opportunities to work with nonprofits in the area as part of their hands-on training. I believe our students will have ample opportunities to be involved in the community and use their business knowledge to help solve social issues.
The Business Department contains the Vetter Center for Social Enterprise. Watch the ribbon cutting ceremony for the center and find out more.