Lesly Wilson James recognized with DEI award


In honor of her leadership and advocacy in promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the healthcare field, Lesly Wilson James, Ph.D., associate professor of occupational therapy, has been named a recipient of the Ethel M. Bolden Award by the Columbia Urban League.

Lesly James

The Ethel M. Bolden Award is named in honor of Mrs. Ethel Bolden – a pioneer librarian in Richland County, South Carolina who dedicated her life to improving the quality of life for others.  The award is in celebration of the Columbia Urban League’s 2022 theme, “Promoting Minority Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Equal Opportunity.”

James will be presented with her award at the Columbia Urban League's 55th Annual Fund Campaign and Equal Opportunity Day Dinner on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.

“I am humbly honored to have been identified by the City of Columbia community for this unexpected award for work in my profession and academia supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion,” James shared.

James joined the faculty of Lenoir-Rhyne University at the Columbia, South Carolina campus in 2017. She has been clinically practicing for more than 25 years, holds the distinct honor of being listed on the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Roster of Fellows and currently serves as the chairperson of the South Carolina Licensure Board for Occupational Therapy and the chairperson of the National Occupational Therapy Compact License Commission’s Executive Committee. James' practice areas of interest are pediatric early intervention, geriatrics, telehealth, administration and management.

She earned her B.S. in occupational therapy from Tuskegee University, an M.P.A. in public administration-healthcare administration from Troy University and a Ph.D. in organization and management-leadership from Capella University. Additionally, she holds a certification from Learning Without Tears as a Level 1 Certified Handwriting Specialist and from the Project Management Institute as a Certified Project Management Professional.

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