Ramona Meraz Lewis

Photo of Ramona Meraz Lewis
Ramona Meraz Lewis
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Master Faculty Specialist, Educational Leadership in Higher Education and Faculty Coordinator, Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) Leadership
(269) 387-3883
3571 Sangren Hall, Mail Stop 5283
Mailing address: 
Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5283 USA
  • Ed.D., Educational Leadership, Eastern Michigan University
  • M.A., College Student Personnel, Bowling Green State University
  • B.A., English, Arizona State University

Dr. Lewis (she/her) is a master faculty specialist in the Department of Educational Leadership, Research and Technology in the College of Education and Human Development at Western Michigan University. She earned an Ed.D. in educational leadership from Eastern Michigan University, an M.A. in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University, and a B.A. in English from Arizona State University. Dr. Lewis is an alumna of the State of Michigan King Chavez Parks Future Faculty Fellow program.

Dr. Lewis is a proud practitioner-scholar, beginning her career in higher education as an administrator, she utilizes that experience to guide her scholarship and current work with students. Prior to joining WMU, Dr. Lewis served at Bowling Green State University, Georgia Tech, University of Michigan, and Eastern Michigan University in both academic and student affairs areas. These included faculty development, academic advising, first-year experience, new student orientation, academic advising, tutoring and academic support services, and residence life.

Dr. Lewis advises and teaches in the Educational Leadership unit, working with both Ph.D. and masters’ students and is the faculty coordinator for the higher education and student affairs (HESA) leadership program. Dr. Lewis’ current work as a faculty member centers on teaching and supporting undergraduate and graduate students in exploring leadership in higher education as well as intercultural development. Classes taught include: foundations of higher education and student affairs, college environments, intervention skills, global perspectives in higher education, adult learning, qualitative research, as well as the supervision of more than 200 student field and capstone experiences. A recent addition to her portfolio includes developing curriculum and teaching in the undergraduate minor in leadership for social change.  Dr. Lewis also serves as the faculty fellow for the Seita Scholars Program, a campus-based support program that provides holistic coaching and programming to college students with lived experience in foster care. Lewis previously held a joint appointment in the WMU Graduate College as the first faculty director of graduate student success, overseeing a variety of initiatives focused on graduate students’ holistic well-being and academic success. 

Dr. Lewis is passionate about helping create opportunities for engagement in international education particularly for students from first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented backgrounds. Her work in this area has included launching the development of three different study abroad programs that serve both undergraduate and graduate student populations; these programs have been in Canada, Malaysia & Singapore, and the Dominican Republic. In addition, she has developed and taught a number of globally focused courses, expanded the number of global internship partners available to graduate students, and co-designed an award-winning global classrooms experience for graduate students.  She is currently the faculty director of a uniquely designed study abroad course for the Seita Scholars. Her work is highlighted in publications, presentations, and podcasts and has been funded and awarded through professional associations.

In 2023 Dr. Lewis launched a international exchange initiative with the University of Toronto focused on creating cross-border experiential learning opportunities specifically for student in the higher education and student affairs graduate program. Dr. Lewis received a 2023 Best Practices in International Education Award from the NASPA International Education Knowledge Community for her Global Classrooms Initiative in partnership with Dr. Dave Kim from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.   She was one of nine faculty members from across the U.S. selected as part of the Forum on Education Abroad’s 2023 inaugural cohort of the Global Learning Launchpad. Dr. Lewis served on the Fulbright Specialist Roster between 2018-2023.She was a CIEE International Faculty Development Seminar scholarship recipient for attending the Grow Abroad: Enhancing Study Away Through Online Learning in London, England.  

Dr. Lewis served as an invited speaker at the 2023 National Social Mobility Symposium at Cal State San Marcos joining policy makers, educational leaders, and scholars discussing the important role that higher education plays in advancing social mobility. She is a co-recipient of a 2021 NASPA-IVE Research Grant for her collaboration with Dr. Eric Archer examining the intercultural development of graduate students. Dr. Lewis’ creativity and passion for teaching led her to receive the 2021 Mary L. Dawson Teaching Excellence Award from the College of Education and Human Development. She received the CEHD Esprit De Corps award recognizing her positive interactions with faculty, administrators, staff, and students; and, she is a recipient of the ACPA-MI Excellence in Leadership Award and a NACADA Electronic Publication Award.

Dr. Lewis serves on the editorial board for the Mid-Western Educational Researcher (MWER) and she is an Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) Qualified Administrator. Dr. Lewis teaches courses and serves on doctoral dissertation committees and undergraduate honors theses related to higher education, student affairs, and educational leadership.