If you asked Dr. Ralph Walker what led him to teaching, you’d get an unusual response.
“I got tired of working,” he says with a laugh.
It’s unusual because, for the past 36 years, Dr. Walker has worked a lot. A faculty member since 1969, Dr. Walker was the first chair of the Department of Political Science; he established the university’s Research Center; and he helped create the Master of Public Administration degree program. He still teaches and, in his spare time, he works on his local reputation as a political guru, providing expert commentary on local and national politics for various media outlets.
Dr. Walker, a lifelong Democrat, grew up in a political household in Pittsburgh—his father was active in Republican state politics. During college he majored in geology and political science, but decided that he’d rather “talk to people than rocks” and focused more on political science.
He began his career in 1957 as a technical writer in the aerospace and electronics industries and worked in Washington, D.C., and Florida over the next 10 years. An impending job transfer with his last company encouraged him to go back to his first love—education.
“They gave me a choice and said you can go here or here,” Dr. Walker says. “I said how about neither and went back to school.”
He enrolled in the PhD program at the University of Georgia in 1967. After earning his doctoral degree in political science, Dr. Walker joined the faculty at then-Augusta College.
Among his professional and personal accomplishments, he has served as a consultant to the first Augusta-Richmond County Charter Commission and then served as the director of the second Charter Commission. He also served as a member of the Democratic Executive Committee for Richmond County, and was as a member of the Richmond County Board of Education for seven years.
He is well known in the area for his political analysis and, for eight years, he provided commentary for WJBF viewers on the show, The Augusta Report.
Dr. Walker has also been honored with a fellowship from the American Political Science Association. He is the recipient of the Donald T. Wells Award for Outstanding Service to the Georgia Political Science Association; the Augusta College Higher Education Office Personnel Association’s Administrator of the Year Award; the Richard S. Wallace Distinguished Service Award; and the ASU Alumni Association’s Town and Gown Award. He is also a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi.
And in his office in Allgood Hall, among all of his other honors and awards, there’s another certificate he’s particularly proud of—the one recognizing him as a member of The Honorable Order of the Blue Nose.
“You get that when you cross the Arctic Circle,” he says laughing.
Who: Dr. Ralph Walker
Position: Director of the Research Center, Augusta State University and Professor Emeritus of Political Science
How long at ASU: 36 years
Family: Wife, Monica; two daughters, Terri &Robin; two step-sons, Brian &Chris.
Other News: Blanchard and Connell | Men's Golf | Tuition | Miller Named Associate Dean | Promotion and Tenure List | Ziobrowski Award | Textbook Policy | EIP and TAP Programs | Zamzow Promotion | Faculty Spotlight | Staff Spotlight | Campus Notables | Photographic Review 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Calendar | Birthdays | Office Visit | Quiz | Table of Contents
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Last Modified: May 31, 2005 by K. Smith
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