Southwest Tennessee Community College

For Immediate Release

Date: October 5, 2009

For more information contact, Brenda J. Rayner, (901) 333-4247


Southwest's New Education Chair Named "Educator of the Year" in Ethiopia

Dr. Robert J. Walker, recently hired to chair the Education Department for Southwest Tennessee Community College, was selected as the International Foundation for Education and Self-Help (IFESH) Outstanding Educator of the Year for Ethiopia, Africa. IFESH was founded in 1981 as an initiative to eradicate poverty, disease and inequity through self-help partnership programs.

During the year prior to his coming to Southwest, Walker served as a trainer for college teachers at Debre Birhan University, located in the city of Debre Birhan, in central Ethiopia. Walker indicated he had always wanted to go to Africa and felt he could make a difference in the lives of less fortunate individuals. Walker was amazed to learn of his selection. "To be perfectly honest, I was really shocked and extremely honored," he stated.

Walker brings to Southwest a wealth of postsecondary experience and academic credentials. He earned his doctorate in early childhood education/education administration, and a master of science in education administration and supervision from Jackson State University in Jackson, Miss.; a master of arts in business management from Webster University in St. Louis, Mo.; and a bachelor of arts in elementary education from Tougaloo College in Tougaloo, Miss.

Walker’s recent employment includes work as an IFESH Volunteer in Ethiopia, Africa; assistant professor in early childhood/elementary education in the College of Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Alabama State University; Title IIIB Activity I director/curriculum specialist for Trenholm State Technical College; assistant professor of instruction and curriculum leadership for the College of Education at the University of Memphis; and associate professor and coordinator of internship and research for the Department of Education at Oakwood College in Huntsville, Ala.

As department chair, Walker is moving forward on several objectives to help forge the direction of the education department. "I have a wonderful faculty and staff ... We are looking for better ways to serve the community and we are seeking to do a better job of advising our students to ensure they are able to successfully complete all the degree and certificate programs under the department of education in a timely manner," stated Walker.

Walker is a published author of the following books: Let My People Go! The Miracle of the Montgomery Bus Boycott; The Plan of Salvation; and most recently, in 2008, 12 Characteristics of an Effective Teacher.

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Photo caption: Dr. Robert J. Walker