Dr. Lisa Knowles, a dentist, public speaker and business consultant from East Lansing, was recognized for her service contributions to Alma College during her alma mater’s 2018 homecoming celebration.
She received the Smith Distinguished Service Award, which is presented annually to a graduate who believes in Alma College and has assisted with student recruitment, provided career steps through internships or employment, or visited the campus to attend events, speak to a class, or serve on a college council or board.
The award is named in honor of Alma College alumni Art ’38 and Carra Jones ’42 Smith.
A 1994 graduate of Alma College, Dr. Knowles is a past member of the Alma College Alumni Board. She continues to actively refer prospective students, participate in career services events and support the softball program.
She also has served as one of the alumni hosts of the “Living and Working In-City” trip conducted in Lansing, hosting a group of current students at her dental practice.
Professionally, in additional to her 20 years as a dentist, Dr. Knowles speaks and writes at the national level, teaching health care professionals how to be better and more efficient for their patients.
She was active as a student at Alma. She participated in softball, Gamma Phi Beta, Lambda Pi Eta, Omicron Delta Kappa and the Women’s Issues Advisory Board while majoring in communication and biochemistry.
Why did you attend Alma?
“I chose Alma for a number of reasons. Alma has a strong pre-dental program, and while in high school I started to think about dentistry as a career option. My family is from Alma, and I wanted to see my younger brothers grow up and be around for family activities when possible. I also wanted to play a sport in college, and I had talked with Coach Griffin about trying out for the softball team. I wanted a smaller school so that I would get to know my classmates and professors.”
“Giving back has always been a priority for me because someone gave to the college so that I didn’t have to take on as many loans to attend Alma. I remember writing thank you notes to those who gave money to the college, and I wanted to help keep the circle of giving going. So, I have stayed involved with my checkbook, but also with my time. Because of my background in communication and love for social events, I try to connect others to the college with social media posts and reminders of events in the area on my Facebook page or twitter account. Putting Alma College in the best light is important to me so that the college will remain a viable option for many more students in the future.”
Advice to new students:
“Try to get out of your rooms and minimize time on your phones. Interact and be with the people right in front of you. Make your life happen. Ask for the help you need and seek out mentors. Join a couple of groups and offer up your gifts to those groups. If you don’t know what your gifts are, keep volunteering and getting involved until you figure out what you are good at.”