MELISSA WALKER, Ph.D.
Dr. Melissa Walker is an award-winning teacher and scholar. She is the first faculty member at Converse to hold the George Dean Johnson, Jr. chair in history. In recognition of her work at Converse, she received the O'Herron Award for Faculty Excellence in 2002, the Kathryne Amelia Brown Award for outstanding teaching at Converse in 2001, and the Scholarly and Creative Achievement Award in 2007.
In 2007, Walker's book Southern Farmers and Their Stories was published by the University Press of Kentucky. This book makes extensive use of the oral history collections held by the Institute for Oral History and the Texas Collection, both at Baylor University. The book was awarded a prestigious Outstanding Academic Title Award from Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries for its overall excellence in scholarship and its value to undergraduate students.
Walker's first book, All We Knew Was to Farm: Rural Women in the Upcountry South, 1919-1941 (John Hopkins University Press, 2000) earned the Southern Association for Women Historians' Willie Lee Rose Prize for the best book in Southern history authored by a woman.
In addition, she is co-editor of Southern Women at the Millennium, an edited collection of essays drawn from a 2001 conference she helped organize at Converse; editor of a collection of oral histories, Country Women Cope with Hard Times (University of South Carolina, 2004), and co-editor with Rebecca Sharpless of Work, Family, and Faith: Rural Southern Women in the Twentieth Century (University of Missouri, 2006). She just finished editing the agriculture volume of The New Encyclopedia for Southern Culture.
Dr. Walker has received numerous grants to fund her research, most recently a Franklin Research Grant from the American Philosophical Society. She is recipient of the John Trotwood and Mary Daniel Moore Memorial Award from the Tennessee Historical Association and the National Mortar Board Award for Excellence in Advising. She was Joseph J. Malone Faculty Fellow to Syria in 1998. She served as the Executive Secretary of the Southern Association for Women Historians for five years, and she currently first vice president of that organization. She is on the editorial board of the Agricultural History Society and is a past board member of that organization. She also serves as president of the board of HubCulture, Inc., a Spartanburg, SC, arts organization.