With ambitions of one day becoming a professor at "some sweet university," Steven Lewis has already begun teaching—though not in his major, communication disorders (COMD). Currently a senior, Lewis is finishing his degree through Independent Study while teaching human pathology classes at a massage therapy school in his hometown. While in Provo, he taught in the cadaver labs at BYU.
Steven was born in Phoenix, and his family moved to Cedar City, Utah, after his first birthday. During high school Steven played the trombone, so he would visit BYU occasionally for jazz music festivals. Both his father and sister had attended BYU, and he was interested, but Steven didn't apply early on. "I didn't think I was ever smart enough to get in," he expressed, "so I didn't apply until after my mission. Luckily, they let me in."
Steven's favorite aspect of BYU is the faculty, especially in the COMD department. "The faculty were all very knowledgeable in their field, yet easy to get along with and approachable," he stated. "They made my experience at BYU a very positive one." Inspired by the COMD faculty and following in the footsteps of his father—a professor of accounting at Southern Utah University—Steven plans to obtain a PhD and become a professor. "I really like trying to find a way to convey information to another person in a way that they understand," he explained. "I enjoy the challenge of wording things just right so that the 'light' comes on."
While he was still in Provo, Steven had the opportunity to serve as president of the BYU chapter of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association (NSSLHA). This position expanded his experiences with the COMD department, the professors, the students, and some of the clients who go to the Speech Clinic in the Taylor Building. "My presidency was amazing, and I had a marvelous time!" he said. He is currently applying to various graduate schools in hopes of attending a doctoral program in the field of audiology.
Because he looked forward to becoming an educator, Steven was excited by the opportunity to work in the cadaver lab at BYU during his junior year. "I signed up, I interviewed, and they let me in," he recalled. "I can't explain how much I enjoyed working there. I love anatomy, and the chance to study with the cadavers was simply amazing." While he admitted that some people might think it is "gross" to work with cadavers, Steven explained that the experience strengthened his gospel testimony. "How could all of these structures come together to form such a complex organism just by happenstance?" he questioned. "There had to have been a master designer to make such an amazing creation."
When he moved home to Cedar City to finish his degree online, Steven missed teaching at the cadaver lab and wanted to keep teaching anatomy. "When I applied for a teaching job at the massage school, they didn't give me the job I was hoping for," he said. "Rather, they gave me a job teaching human pathology, a class that I had never taken before." Since accepting the job, Steven has also had the chance to teach anatomy classes at the massage school, and he said the experience has "been a blast."
Steven's family consists of his parents and his three sisters. "My aunt who has Down's syndrome lives with us, and she is a hoot," he added. "I love my family." When he's not teaching or studying, Steven spends most of his free time playing ultimate Frisbee with a competition-level team in Cedar City. His team recently competed in both Las Vegas and St. George and is traveling to Salt Lake City in March for a tournament. Steven's other hobbies include writing music, playing the piano and guitar, and eating Mike and Ikes.
5 March 2009