Though he only recently graduated, Harrison Scholar and 2010 Honors Program graduate Benjamin Walker has not let up on the busy life he led since he left Oxford.
Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Benjamin entered Miami with an interest in Math and Education. As a student, Benjamin took full advantage of many diverse resources and opportunities. As Benjamin notes, Miami University gave him “every possible tool and resource [he] could ever want.” This included leading trips as a student program manager for the Outdoor Pursuit Center; involvement in student activist organizing around human rights violations; and blending his interests in Math, Education, and Social Justice through his Undergraduate Summer Scholars research.
These days, Benjamin can be found Colorado at the Eagle Rock School and Professional Center. Benjamin earned a one year teaching fellowship there, and has been enjoying developing his own courses (including one on Math and Social Justice), working with students from all over the country, and preparing himself to take what he’s learned at Eagle Rock to future schools he’ll teach at next year. In the future, Benjamin plans to teach at a public school in Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, or Chicago.
Benjamin is a lifelong learner. After college, he led a cross-country bike trip for teens from Savannah, Georgia to Los Angeles, California with Overland Summers, Inc. And now, outside of his work as an educator, he has also been taking advantage of the outdoor opportunities in Colorado – and is learning how to climb, juggle, and play guitar.
Looking back, Benjamin considers the Honors Program a defining part of his college experience and education. "In many ways, UHP was my starting point for nearly all of my successes in undergrad." The Honors department gave him one of his first opportunities to serve and develop his capacity for leadership when he served as a sophomore leader for the freshman Harrison service trip to New Orleans to build homes after Hurricane Katrina. It was through the Honors Program that he met and quickly linked with Dr. Jeff Wanko, a professor in Teacher Education. Through both academics and their mutual involvement in Miami’s Glee Club, Benjamin and Dr. Wanko built a close, collaborative relationship that was instrumental in pushing Benjamin’s education. This close interaction with a faculty member is a perfect example of how Benjamin embraced the Honors Program’s desire to see students engage in both in- and out-of-classroom experiences as meaningful learning opportunities.