The Maryland Art Education Association (MAEA) named Margaret Anne Walker, Ph.D., clinical associate professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning, Policy and Leadership at the University of Maryland College of Education, the 2022 Maryland Higher Education Art Teacher of the Year. Recognized for her outstanding service and achievement, Walker has been an arts educator, visual artist and strong advocate for the arts for almost 30 years.
“I am humbled that my colleagues in art education believe that my impact in the profession and in the state of Maryland is worthy of this type of award,” said Walker. “We don’t often recognize the impact we have outside of our classrooms, and receiving this award serves as a reminder that teachers can have a great impact on others.”
Walker leads the College’s visual art education program, teaching both undergraduate and graduate courses. Her research focuses on community-based art education, contemporary arts-based education, and socially engaged arts practices. Walker and her students played a key role in creating the “Unity Mural,” an arts collaboration with Bowie State University that helped unite and heal both campus communities following the death of 1st Lt. Richard W. Collins III.
“We are proud of Dr. Walker and excited that her passion for the arts and commitment to arts education research, particularly community-based art education and artmaking as activism, has been recognized and celebrated by the state,” said interim dean Laura Stapleton.
Walker began her undergraduate studies as a pre-medical student at the University of Maryland. After taking a few art courses to help fill her schedule and challenge herself creatively, she uncovered a passion for the arts that she couldn’t ignore and eventually changed her major.
“Art is powerful,” said Walker. “It helps us understand history, teaches us how to solve problems and connects us to one another. This is especially relevant now, as we continue to seek ways to heal as a country and imagine new ways of going forward,” said Walker.