An Augusta University faculty member has been recognized nationally for his dedication to humanities education.
Juan Walker, PhD, who has served as an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Development for the past decade, was chosen as one of 20 educators nationwide to serve on the esteemed National Humanities Center Teacher Advisory Council for the upcoming academic year.
The Teacher Advisory Council plays a crucial role in supporting educators’ effectiveness in humanities classrooms nationwide. The council’s primary objective is to ensure that classroom tools and professional development experiences are pedagogically sound and relevant, catering to a diverse range of educational settings.
Mike Williams, director of education programs at the National Humanities Center, explained the significance of teacher advisers.
“The center’s education resource collections, webinars, courses and institutes support teachers from across the country, and our teacher advisers help ensure that our classroom tools and professional development experiences are pedagogically sound and relevant in a wide variety of classroom settings,” Williams said.
Expressing his enthusiasm and gratitude for his appointment, Walker is looking forward to collaborating with fellow educators on a national platform, particularly in integrating art into K-12 settings, an area he has been passionately incorporating into his teaching methods.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” said Walker. “It will be nice to talk to people on the committee and not only share my ideas but hear theirs as well.”
The National Humanities Center’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity aligns with Walker’s work on the Golden Blocks Legends Project, which aims to celebrate the contributions of African Americans and recognize often-overlooked figures like Lucy Craft Laney. Walker sees the project’s focus on local history as an integral part of understanding civil rights and its significance in the broader national narrative.
Congratulating Walker on his selection, Judi Wilson, EdD, dean of the College of Education and Human Development, expressed confidence in his ability to positively impact the development, evaluation and promotion of the center’s educational materials and projects.
“We are so pleased with Dr. Walker’s appointment to the National Humanities Center Teacher Advisory Council,” said Wilson. “This opportunity will enable him to take an active leadership role in supporting the center’s educational initiatives. Our college is honored to support his work.”
Deborah Morowski, PhD, associate dean and interim chair of the Department of Teaching and Leading, recognized Walker’s accomplishments and the potential for his work to positively influence social studies education on a national level.
“Dr. Walker’s selection to the National Humanities Center Teacher Advisory Council is a source of pride for both the Department of Teaching and Leading and the College of Education,” said Morowski. “We look forward to witnessing the valuable contributions he will bring through this prestigious platform.”
Even after his term of service on the council, Walker has expressed his intention to remain involved in educational endeavors and is glad he is finally at a place in his career where he can integrate his love of comics with his passion for history and curriculum development and share his work nationally.
“We are currently discussing the possibility of me creating a webinar on developing historically accurate comics based on primary sources,” Walker shared. “The wonderful aspect is that this will have a national audience. Hopefully, the strategies we have employed with the Golden Blocks Project can serve as a guide for others. They can witness our process of developing comic books and use them as inspiration for their own series.”