Kari Lewis Reflects on 33 Years with HES
Department of Health and Exercise Studies faculty member Kari Lewis retires after 33 years with NC State University.
By Zoe Howerton
Professor Kari Lewis began working with the Department of Health and Exercise Studies in January 1988 and retired after 33 years following the fall 2021 semester. During her time with HES, Lewis taught a wide variety of fitness-based courses, including but not limited to: HESS 237 Weight Training, HESF 107 Run Conditioning, HESM 284 Women’s Health Issues, and HESF 101 Fitness and Wellness catered to students with ADHD.
In addition to teaching, Lewis also developed courses, namely HESM 284 and HESF 101 for students with ADHD. While she taught at HES, Lewis completed both her master’s and doctorate degrees in curriculum & instruction – special education and adapted physical education.
Throughout her career, Lewis cared deeply about her work, both on physical and interpersonal levels. She even named the students and colleagues as her favorite part of working with HES.
“The students are great…so smart and engaging and my colleagues have always been very supportive and fun to be with!”
When asked to recall some of her favorite memories from her career at NC State, Lewis spoke fondly of both students and faculty.
“Just some general memories – when I felt like a student really appreciated the accomplishments they made during a class or during a semester,” Lewis said. “I have a lot of great memories of students crossing the finish line after running 3 miles thinking that that was something they’d never be able to do. A great memory of many of us on the faculty attending a football game and sitting in the fancy seats provided by the athletic department.”
Lewis also described how much the department has grown over the years, citing the new facility as the biggest change.
“It’s so much bigger, nicer and has space available for recreational use.”
She also spoke of her own individual growth during her time with HES.
“I’ve become much more dedicated to holistic health rather than just physical health.”
While her time with HES has come to an end, it’s clear that Lewis only wants the best for the department moving forward.
“I hope to see a continuation of the two hour credit requirement for HES fitness courses and the addition of faculty that are dedicated to HES and the students that we serve.”
To say that Kari Lewis has been an active and integral member of the HES community would be an understatement. After 30 years of teaching, learning, and growing, her absence within the department will be deeply felt.