Professor Starla Lewis inducted into the 14th Annual San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame


Bridgebuilder Starla Lewis, professor and former chairwomen at San Diego Mesa College, is inducted into the 14th Annual San Diego Women’s Hall of Fame.

Linda Nguyen, Staff Writer

Starla Lewis, Department Chairwoman and professor for Black Studies at San Diego Mesa College, is truly an ambitious woman on a mission.

On March 1, Lewis was honored at the Women’s Museum of California, being one of six to be inducted into the 14th Annual San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame under the category of “Bridge Builder” for her devotion to unifying and empowering multi-culturally diverse communities.

According to Ashley Gardner, Executive Director at the Women’s Museum of California, “The six women selected for induction this year are unsung heroes of our time whose stories can be inspiring to all of us.”

Besides being a poet, author, professor, chairwoman, mentor, mother, and life coach, Lewis is also the founder of Celebration of Everlasting Love and Life (C.E.L.L.). C.E.L.L. is a consulting firm where she works to help people discover their full potential, regardless of race, gender, or ethnicity. Lewis believes in loving herself just the way she is, and teaching others to love themselves as well.

Lewis states, “Our dream with C.E.L.L. is to help elevate the self-esteem of women through knowledge of self. We want women to really know their value and their worth and that’s so hard when you live in a society that teaches you to become something other than who you are.”

Lewis’ strength and devotion to empowering women serves as an inspiration not only to her daughters, but to women all across the nation. Though Lewis is retired, her love for teaching has kept her busy and she tries to maintain teaching three classes each year because she believes her purpose is to learn just as much as it is to teach.

Gabe Sanchez, a former student of Lewis, states, “I’ve never had a professor teach with such excitement. You can really tell that she cares about what she’s teaching.”

According to Lewis, “I try to create a learning environment where we’re all learning from each other. I tell my students, I’m a forever teacher and I’m a forever learner. So I’m not the only teacher in the class and we’re not here to convince each other of anything. We’re here to hear each other’s perspectives, to disagree without being disagreeable, and to be open to possibilities.”

With her undying devotion to San Diego Mesa College and her love for teaching, it is no surprise that Lewis is also a six-time recipient of the Mesa College Teacher of the Year Award.

Lewis has had many achievements in her life, and she still continues to inspire, empower, and uplift her students, family, friends, and supporters all across the nation. She truly is an ambitious woman on a mission to spread love wherever she steps foot.