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Nakeisha S. Lewis

Associate Professor,  Associate Dean of Undergraduate and Accelerated Master's Programs, & Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Ambassador

  • Education
  • B.S., Business Administration - Marketing, University of Missouri-Columbia
    M.A., Journalism, Advertising, University of Missouri-Columbia
    Ph.D., Advertising, University of Texas at Austin
  • Research Interests
  • Intersection of popular culture and marketing communication, emphasis on urban and multicultural markets

Nakeisha S. (Ferguson) Lewis joined the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business faculty in 2009. She earned her PhD in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008, her MA in strategic communication from the University of Missouri-Columbia and her BS in marketing.

Simply stated, Lewis teaches because she wants to make a dent in the world. Her method of making that dent is a teaching style she calls “edutainment,” education plus entertainment. It starts with strong theoretical foundation and practical experience that is then infused with ethics, critical thought, creativity and passion. Teaching at St. Thomas makes this type of education simply natural.

Her primary research interest focuses on the intersection of popular culture and marketing communication, with an emphasis on urban and multicultural markets. Her recent research examines topics such as consumer responses, ethical perceptions of multicultural marketing communications and brand placements in popular music. She has presented her findings at numerous conferences around the world and her research can be found in the Journal of Advertising, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Public Policy and Journal of Research for Consumers and Social Business.

Lewis has received numerous awards for her commitment to multicultural student achievement, community involvement and academic research on the intersection of popular culture and branding. Some of these honors include the American Marketing Association Foundation Valuing Diversity Award, the Advertising Educational Foundation Visiting Scholar at BBDO NY, the Multicultural Student Services Outstanding Faculty Commitment Award and the Witherspoon Research Award. She serves as the vice president of the Marketing Ethnic Faculty Association and is also a member of the board of directors for the Marcus Graham Project, a program designed to identify, expose, mentor and train ethnically diverse men and women in all aspects of the media industry, including advertising, entertainment and marketing. Her professional activities in recent years have included projects with various small businesses and nonprofits around the world.

  • Ferguson Lewis, N. S., & Burkhalter, J. (2015). Yo DJ, that's my brand: An examination of consumer response to brand placements in hip-hop music. Journal of Advertising, (44)(1), pp. 47-57
  • Demangeot, C., Adkins, N. R., Broderick, A. J., Zuniga, M., Mueller, R. D., Henderson, G. R., Ferguson Lewis, N. S., Mandiberg, J. M., Roy, A., Johnson, G., Kipnis, E., & Pullig, C. (2013). Toward intercultural competency in multicultural marketplaces. Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, (32), pp. 156-164
  • Kipnis, E., Broderick, A. J., Demangeot, C., Ross Adkins, N., Ferguson Lewis, N. S., Henderson, G., Johnson, G., Mandiberg, J. M., Dentiste Muller, R., Pullig, C., Roy, A., & Zuniga, M. A. (2013). Branding beyond prejudice: Navigating multicultural marketplaces for consumer well-being. Journal of Business Research, (66)(8), pp. 1186-1194
  • Adkins, N. R., Ferguson Lewis, N. S., Henderson, G. R., Johnson, G., Mandiberg, J., Mueller, R. D., Pulllig, C., Roy, A., Zuniga, M., Kipnis, E., Demangeot, C., & Broderick, A. J. (2011). No harm done? Culture-based branding and its impact on consumer vulnerability: A research agenda. Social Business, An Interdisciplinary Journal, (1)(3),
  • Broderick, A., Demangeot, C., Ross Adkins, N., Ferguson Lewis, N. S., Henderson, G., Johnson, G., Kipnis, E., Mandiberg, J. M., Dentiste Mueller, R., Pullig, C., Roy, A., & Zuniga, M. A. (2011). Consumer empowerment in multicultural marketplaces: Navigating multicultural identities to reduce consumer vulnerability. Journal of Research for Consumers, (19),
  • Williams, J. D., Qualls, W., & Ferguson Lewis, N. S. (2007). Potential vulnerabilities of U.S. subsistence consumers to persuasive marketing communications. (20), pp. 87-110

  • AMA - American Marketing Association
  • MEFA - Marketing Ethnic Faculty Association
  • MMA - Marketing Management Association
  • Journal of Business Research, Reviewer
  • Journal of Public Policy and Marketing, Reviewer
  • Marketing Communications Special Interest Group
  • Billingsly School of Music and Arts, Board Member
  • Marcus Graham Project, Board Member
  • Minnesota State Baptist Convention, Other
  • Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Officer, President/Elect/Past

  • Marketing Director, The Rock Church, (2006 - present)
  • Associate Professor, University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul / Minneapolis (2015 - present)
  • Assistant Professor, University of St. Thomas, St. Paul / Minneapolis (2009 - 2015)
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Texas - San Antonio, San Antonio (2008 - 2009)
  • Instructor, Houston-Tillotson University - School of Business & Technology, Austin (2007 - 2008)
  • Public Relations Information Specialist, Missouri Protection & Advocacy Services, Columbia (2003 - 2005)
  • Marketing Consultant, Leswood Ministries, Inc, Houston (1998 - 2005)
  • Co-Instructor, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia (2002 - 2002)