Dr. Will Walker
Associate Professor of Kinesiology, School of Education
Dr. Will Walker has a great love for physical activity and athletics, and comes from a family of educators and health-related professionals. The 2012-2013 academic year is Dr. Walker’s twelfth year as part of the ETBU family, his eighth as a full-time employee, and his sixth as a professor. After graduating from nearby Avinger High School in 1999, he attended ETBU and received his B.S.E. in Secondary History and Physical Education in 2003, his M.Ed. in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2005, and his Ph.D. in Kinesiology (Pedagogy) from the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville in 2008. He was a varsity basketball player as a freshman at ETBU and then slowly transitioned into a coaching role with Coach Bert West and the men's basketball Tigers that lasted until 2005. He then accepted a full doctoral fellowship with the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas - Fayetteville. During his time at Arkansas, Walker was named the Outstanding Doctoral Student in his Department and taught a variety of courses, including lecture courses for majors, while completing his Ph.D. coursework. He was hired back at ETBU in the Department of Kinesiology and Exercise Science while still ABD (“all but dissertation”), and has since served in a variety of campus roles, including Department Chair of Kinesiology and Exercise Science, Program Coordinator for the M.Ed. in Sports and Exercise Leadership, Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) Advisor, and Faculty Athletic Representative to the NCAA. He is currently ranked as Associate Professor and teaches a wide variety of courses in Kinesiology and its related areas. Among other activities, he was named Top Tiger Fan in 2007-2008, was part of the winning ETBU team in the 2010 Marshall Harrison-County Spelling Bee, and has continued to participate in ETBU intramural basketball. 2012 will be the fifth consecutive year that one of his classes has organized and administrated a Field Day event for the Washington Early Childhood Center. His classes have also been responsible for other events, such as a Community Play Day and providing activities for children attending the Harrison County Relay for Life. Professional experiences include serving as an Area 6 Chair-Elect for the Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD), speaking the past two years at the Texas Conference Against Tobacco (TCAT), and attending the 2012 NCAA FAR Institute in Indianapolis. He and his wife Ruthie (who he met during the first chapel of freshman year) are members of Immanuel Baptist Church in Marshall and have a son, Levi.
What brought you to ETBU?
After completing my coursework at the University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, I had multiple job opportunities. However, I chose to return to ETBU due to proximity to family and because I believe that the faculty members of our university have a unique opportunity to personally impact students, both for this life and for eternity, in a way that is difficult to replicate in another setting. The traditional college-aged student (18-23) is going through a volatile stage during which the primary stressor is usually somehow related to the question, “what am I going to do with the rest of my life?” This could be in terms of occupation, relationships, personal habits, or other areas. Because we are at a Christian campus, I can help students to look at things not just in terms of what they want but in terms of what unique abilities and talents has God given them to prepare them for His will for their lives. Even at larger Christian schools, this is virtually impossible because of numbers. Here, faculty members not only have the ability to do this, but we also have the RESPONSIBILITY to work with all of our students in this way. That is what brought me back to ETBU.
What makes a student successful in your class?
The keys to success in my classes, just like virtually all others, are Time Management, Engagement, and Diligence. Students must learn to maximize the use of their time, both in-class and out-of-class. This is especially true in our field, because so many of our students also participate in several hours of athletics each week. Students must actively engage themselves in classes and in the materials. If it is truly God’s calling for your life to pursue a particular occupation, you owe it to Him to give that material a maximum amount of your attention. This also means GOING to class every time you can. Finally, students must be diligent. It is easy to be fired up about doing your work in spurts, but what about when you have several projects or tests due at once, or you are sick, or you are having problems with your team or your personal life? You must continue to do your best work and be focused on your tasks, not just for your benefit, but for the glory of the One you represent. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9
How do you promote Christian Scholarship in your classroom?
I try to emphasize in my courses that our tasks are a calling, and that the things we learn are all building towards whatever God’s ultimate purpose is for our lives. We cannot fulfill God’s purposes for our lives if our bodies are not performing optimally, so for our students, what greater calling is there than helping people to maximize the bodies that we have been provided? This is true for our future Physical Education instructors, our future sports coaches, our future Athletic Trainers, our future Elementary School teachers, our future Personal Trainers…even with our entire student body, with their required Lifetime Fitness courses. Our bodies are a miracle, and in my courses we talk about the body’s designed development, the multitude of things that can go wrong along the way, and how to best prepare the body for the long trip ahead. While it is true that physical training should be in the proper perspective behind godliness (1 Timothy 4:8), it is also true in the same way you would want to ensure your boat has no leaks before departing into the ocean, you should do all you can to keep yourself in optimal health (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20), not for personal glory, but so that you can better reach God’s ultimate purposes for your life. I try to make that clear in my courses.
B.S.E., Secondary History and Physical Education; East Texas Baptist University (2003)
M.Ed., Kinesiology; University of Texas at Tyler (2005)
Ph.D., Kinesiology (Pedagogy); University of Arkansas - Fayetteville (2008)
Areas of Expertise
Physical Education, Sports and Exercise Leadership
Area 6 Chair-Elect for the Texas Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (TAHPERD)