Dr. Lee has done it all. Her teaching experience includes all levels of education, from elementary through university graduate school. She has worked with business, government agencies, and nonprofit and civic organizations on various issues ranging from civil rights to cultural diversity. She is an organizational development and management effectiveness consultant and trainer serving the legal and health care professions, educational institutions, business and industry, and government agencies. She has worked with the USDA Forest Service, the Oregon State Bar, NIKE, Pacific Power and Light, Kaiser Permanente, Leadership Corvallis, Leadership Lake Oswego, the American Leadership Forum, the City of Eugene Department of Public Safety, the City of Corvallis Police Department, and the city government of Milwaukie, Oregon.
The founding director of the President’s Office of Multicultural Affairs at Oregon State University, she focused on changing the climate of the campus in policies, procedures and practices affecting the achievements and success of students, faculty, and staff, especially students, staff and faculty of color. She was instrumental in the establishment of the Community Alliance for Diversity, the first governmental and business collaboration in Corvallis and Benton County, to honor diversity through action in the community surrounding OSU.
Dr. Lee has served on a broad range of local, state and national boards and committees that enables her to extend her advocacy for underrepresented and underserved people, for marginalized groups, and to highlight the contributions of diverse peoples in civic activities. These include the Corvallis Area Chamber of Commerce, Vice President and Treasurer of the Council on Diversity in Education, chairperson of the Special Advisory Council on Ethnic Diversity, which provided guidance and assistance to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, APANO, and United to Understand Racism, American Association of University Administrators, and National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges. She is a public member of the Benton County Budget Committee, serves on the board of the Benton-Linn Community Health Centers, and the Corvallis Police Review Board.
Dr. Lee has received numerous awards: and just to name a few – Woman of Achievement Award from the Oregon Women’s Foundation; the Woman of Achievement Award from Oregon State University Women’s Center; the Harry Goheen Award for Outstanding Service from the Corvallis Branch of the NAACP; the Citizen’s Memorial Award for promoting “peace, freedom, justice and equality” from the City of Corvallis Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission; Oregon State Bar President’s Public Leadership Award; and Lifetime Achievement Awards from both The Asian Reporter and The World Arts Foundation. In 2004, the Office of the President at OSU created the annual “Phyllis S. Lee Award for commitment and service to civil rights, human rights, social justice, and equity in educational excellence” that is awarded at the University’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration.