ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University recently selected Professor Mark Dewalt as a recipient of the Bank of America Endowed Professorship for the Richard W. Riley College of Education.
He will use the endowed professorship to continue the next phase of his already 20-year research project of Amish education in the United States and Canada. During the professorship, which is renewable for up to three years, Dewalt will begin his next book on Amish education and write articles on Amish Mennonite Schools and the 1972 Supreme Court case Wisconsin v. Yoder, which ruled that Amish children do not have to attend school after eighth grade. In addition, he will design two symposium courses for the Winthrop honors program.
University leaders chose Dewalt because of his continuous record of excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. "Mark is well respected as a teacher, scholar and contributor to the life of the university. His research is well grounded and addresses a unique area of education in North America,” said Patricia Graham, dean of the Richard W. Riley College of Education.
The Winthrop professor of education grew up in Pennsylvania near an Amish community and has traveled to dozens of communities stretching from New York to Iowa to observe Amish schools. He used the information as the basis for his latest book, “Amish Education in the United States and Canada,” which portrays the culture and history of the one-room schoolhouses of the Amish community. National and local media turned to Dewalt in the fall of 2006 to explain the Amish culture in the wake of a horrific shooting in an Amish schoolhouse near Nickel Mines, Pa.
Dewalt will be the second recipient of the Bank of America Endowed Professorship, which supports teaching and research for an outstanding faculty member in education. Winthrop’s first recipient was Marshall G. Jones, who studied how those familiar with and those unfamiliar with digital technologies learn differently.
Dewalt joined the Winthrop faculty in 1996 and has since become director of graduate studies. He has previously taught at Lenoir-Rhyne College and at Susquehanna University, where he was chair of the department of education. He also taught math, elementary school and adult education during an eight-year stint in the Manning, S.C., and Clark County, Va., public schools.
Dewalt earned an A.B. degree in social studies from Muhlenberg College, a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of South Carolina and a Ph.D. in educational research and evaluation from the University of Virginia.