Matthew A. Lewis is an Arizona native. He was born in Mesa, Ariz. and raised in the greater Phoenix-metro City of Chandler (also known as the East Valley). He attended Sunrise Pre-K; Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary School (a Chandler Unified School District public school); D.W. Higgins Institute for Middle School / Junior High School (a charter school stared by a family of educators); Basha High School (a Chandler Unified School District public school) and The University of Arizona (Arizona’s first land-grand, public research university) for undergraduate and graduate-level studies. For his undergraduate studies, Lewis majored in Journalism and minored in Geography and Regional Development.
Most recently, Lewis has served as Store Manager of a chain of Dry Cleaners (GreenClean Dry Cleaning). He will shortly begin a new assignment at Intel Corporation‘s Chandler Campus working in the Assembly and Test Technology Development (or ATTD) division.
In his spare time, Lewis is a golfer and loves exploring, watching movies and hanging with friends.
most recently was working at Intel Corporation as a Manufacturing Technician with the Lithography Operations team. He was on-site at the Ocotillo campus in Chandler, Ariz. Before joining Intel, he was a contractor at Intel’s high-volume wafer production factory for about two years.
Lewis has held a variety of other jobs before entering the semiconductor industry.
In addition to his work, he also cherishes his volunteer work with the Si Se Puede Foundation (SSPF); which is where he has served as Special Events Coordinator for the better part of a decade.
His brother, Craig, was the first in the family to join the Si Se Puede Foundation’s (or SSPF) ‘Robotics’ clubs. Later Greg, Lewis’s father, began volunteering; and Matt would eventually follow suit as well.
Not long after he began volunteering, his role quickly evolved into something more. Lewis was involved with several of SSPF’s programs, including the ‘Youth Soccer’ league, the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) initiatives; and also the ‘Scholar’s’ Programming. His talents did not go unnoticed, as he was asked to take on more and more responsibilities.
Lewis is interested in a number of subjects; and from an early age, he loved to read and write. He was determined to become a published novelist of fiction.
In elementary school, he even a published book (as part of a school project; but still … Goal = Accomplished!).
Once he realized being an author was a tough and often not so lucrative career, he decided to look elsewhere. In high school, his English teacher liked his writing and suggested he join the school’s newspaper. It was during this time that his love of Journalism had been planted; and began blossoming.
His first major story to cause controversy ( – and a sense of pride in his work – ) was on the treatment of Homosexual students at his school. He wrote the story with an introspective approach, first thinking about how he had been treating Lesbian, Gay, and Queer students; as well as how the school at large treated such individuals.
He framed the story using an anecdote about a young man who was killed simply because of his gay lifestyle. The powerful imagery and the political and personal nature of the story struck a chord with readers, parents and administrators alike. Several students (or more than likely parents) complained about the subject matter addressed in the article. The entire staff and the school administration backed Lewis’s reporting. Another big story Lewis tackled (with a great sense of irony – he might add) was drug and steroid testing that began during his Senior year of high school. Lewis was on the golf team and after the article came out, he was “randomly” selected to be tested. He determined it to be irony since the Golf team had no need for using steroids ( – as Golf is not a game of pure strength – ) and most of the team was on the honor roll — they had no time to use drugs.
After high school, Lewis dove deep into the World of Journalism. He joined his college newspaper, majored in Journalism, took on several newspaper internships, and even served on the executive board of several professional development organizations.
For more on The University of Arizona’s School of Journalism please visit:
Photo Caption: Lewis with Wilma T. Wildcat at a University of Arizona “Wildcat Welcome” event for future UArizona students in the Phoenix-metro area. He was covering the event for the Arizona Daily Wildcat (college) newspaper. (Matt Lewis, Copyright 2021)
During his senior year as an undergraduate student, Lewis was selected by a panel of journalists at The New York Times (from among a national pool of student members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists) to participate in a two-week student journalism institute in which he crossed the border and reported from Nogales-Sonora, Mexico. He also covered a daily (and nightly) public safety beat for the online blog, and wrote a penetrating piece about foreign students migrating to American universities.
During his time at the UA, he tutored and mentored students as an Einstein Protégé for a general education course. He also served as a note-taker for another general education course for the Disability Resource Center.
And Lewis enjoyed his time supervising and teaching students in a Kindergarten class, as well as older students with learning challenges. This was his alma mater of Middle Schools, a Tempe-based Charter School called D.W. Higgins Institute.
Lewis was a student leader in the School of Journalism and beyond. He served on the executive boards of several professional development organizations.
In college, Lewis served as the Vice President (VP) of the Society of Professional Journalists – UArizona chapter, and as the VP of the Journalism Student Advisory Council and also as the VP for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists – UArizona chapter.
He was even awarded for his commitment to the School of Journalism with the ‘Leadership & Service’ award during the 2008-09 academic year.
Lewis served as a counselor and lead mentor for the Dow Jones Diversity in Journalism Workshop for Arizona High School Students. The workshop allowed him to work with local high school students on developing a print and web-based news product over two weeks during the Summer.
The workshop was where he developed a passion for education. It was also during this time that he decided he wanted to cover the education beat, or possibly work in education and do freelance journalism on the side.
Before graduating he worked for the college newspaper the Arizona Daily Wildcat. The “Arizona Daily Wildcat” was named Best College Newspaper by Princeton Review’s “THE BEST 361 COLLEGES, 2006 EDITION.”
In the Summer of 2007, after completing his Freshman general education courses, Lewis took on the “least-coveted” Science Journalism beat for the newspaper.
He made weekly trips from Chandler, Ariz. to Tucson, Ariz. (about a two-hour drive each way – gas on his own dime) to report on Science-related topics for the Summer edition of the newspaper.
After a brief stint working with the newspaper during the regular school year, he took a hiatus from working for the student-run publication to focus on his studies and other internships.
Eventually, he rejoined the staff of the Daily Wildcat, during his Senior year (Spring 2010) and served as Assistant News Editor. Lewis oversaw budget meetings, ensured the production of the print and online editions, assisted with layout and design, edited news copy and even wrote the occasional news story (which was often on-deadline, but only on an as-needed basis).
While at the Wildcat, he had a few stories picked up by the College edition of the Huffington Post (or HuffPost College). Here is a link to one of the stories that got picked up by the aggregation site. It also ran on David Hasselhoff’s website.
During his first year as a Journalism student, he also worked for a community newspaper north of the Tucson area (the San Manuel Miner). This is where Lewis took his reporting to new heights, riding shot-gun in a two-seater Ercoupe airplane and taking aerial photos of the town.
When Lewis worked for Tucson’s largest daily newspaper, he wrote two stories for the Arizona Daily Star that/which were picked up by the Associated Press (AP) wire service: one about a Bosnian refugee opening a local restaurant; and another about a dachshund named Poppy who was racing in a regional Wienerschnitzel Wiener Dog race.
While at the Tucson Citizen, he wrote a story about the regional science fair, which appeared on the front page of the print edition. It discussed the diminishing support for Southern Arizona’s regional science fair.
Lewis is a graduate of the University of Arizona (UA). He completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a minor in geography in the spring of 2010. After graduating, he worked for a daily and weekly newspaper chain (Casa Grande Valley Newspapers, Inc.). He covered central Arizona news, sports, and government for about a year.
While there, he also helped spearhead more social media engagement on their website and began pioneering new forms of reporting for the news organization – including creating and curating video content.
After covering education-related stories and serving as a mentor for the journalism workshop, Lewis wanted to get more involved with teaching; so he decided to pursue a graduate degree. Due to a variety of factors, however, which included changing professional and personal pursuits, Lewis left before completing the Master’s of Education program.
Lewis’s recent philanthropic and social memberships are with the UArizona’s Alumni Association and the SSP Foundation. His other most recent volunteer and service positions include serving as Co-Secretary for the UArizona – Phoenix Chapter Young Alumni Club and as a member of the East Valley Cats (which is a UArizona Alumni group based in the East Valley that emphasizes social activities and professional development).
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