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Ouachita Stories


Dr. Lewis Shepherd Jr. named Ouachita’s VP for Community and Intercultural Engagement

Dr. Lewis Shepherd Jr.November 11, 2021 - Felley Lawson

Dr. Lewis Shepherd Jr. has been named vice president for community and intercultural engagement at Ouachita Baptist University.

Since August 2020, Shepherd has served on Ouachita’s executive leadership team as special assistant to Dr. Ben Sells, Ouachita president. In his new role, Shepherd’s responsibilities include leadership of Campus Ministries, the Elrod Center for Family and Community, the Grant Center for International Education, Multicultural Student Programs and TRIO Programs.

Shepherd follows Ouachita’s former Vice President for Community and International Engagement Ian Cosh, who retired in August.

“I’m pleased to continue the good work that Mr. Cosh established over his many decades of service at Ouachita through Campus Ministries, the Elrod Center and the Grant Center,” Shepherd said, “while also broadening Ouachita’s approach to community and intercultural engagement, both on and off campus, through Multicultural Student Programs and TRIO Programs.”

A native of Magnolia, Ark., Shepherd earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Science in Education degrees from Ouachita in 1980 and ’82, respectively, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1997. His first job at Ouachita was as a resident assistant in West Dorm when he was a student; he would go on to serve as assistant to the dean of students, director of student support services, director of TRIO programs and assistant to the president for special programs and compliance officer.

In 2009, Shepherd left Ouachita to accept the first of several administrative roles he would hold at Henderson State University focusing on student life, external relations and community engagement. When returned to his alma mater in 2020 to serve on the president’s executive leadership team, he was tasked with overseeing and expanding Ouachita’s Office of Multicultural Student Programs.

Michael Barnes, previously Ouachita’s assistant talent search director, was named director of Multicultural Student Programs after Shepherd’s promotion. Other staff changes under the umbrella of Community and Intercultural Engagement include the promotion of Judy Duvall from Elrod Center assistant director to director, and the promotion of Jason Greenwich to director of the Grant Center for International Education. Greenwich previously served as director of international recruitment and retention at Ouachita.

“Lewis Shepherd—as a graduate, community leader and pastor; through his personal journey and earned academic credentials; and because of his proven record in higher education—is uniquely qualified and prepared to give leadership to several areas that are so important to a Ouachita education and experience,” Sells said.

Shepherd has been a bi-vocational pastor since he graduated from Ouachita in the 1980s. Since 2000, he has served as pastor of the Greater Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Arkadelphia. He also volunteers with organizations including the Arkansas State Police Commission, the Arkadelphia Chamber of Commerce, the Arkadelphia Sunrise Rotary Club and the Board of Directors of the Percy and Donna Malone Child Safety Center.

For more information about community and intercultural engagement at Ouachita, contact Shepherd at (870) 245-5302 or shepherdl@obu.edu.