Malone professor to study, teach in Bahrain

Dr. Scott Waalkes, his wife Michele, and their three children Michael, 12, Rebekah, 9, and Kara, 7, look forward to spending nearly a year in Bahrain as their dad studies and teaches there.

VERONICA VAN DRESS Repository education writer

CANTON — Scott Waalkes will be learning and teaching in the Middle East next year.

The Malone College associate professor of international politics won a Fulbright Scholarship to study and teach at the University of Bahrain. His wife, Michele, and their three children will join Waalkes on his global adventure to get a taste of Islamic culture in what he calls a hospitable place.

“They’re excited,” Waalkes said of his family. “My wife and I have talked about this for many years, especially the travel and spending time in another culture. We feel strongly this is a chance for us to understand better and communicate a positive American presence.”

During the next school year, Waalkes will talk with government officials as well as civic and business leaders to find out if there is a connection between Bahrain’s economic and political change as part of his research. He feels spending a year in Bahrain will make him a better teacher.

“My students are more impressed by experience than by degrees or dissertations,” Waalkes said in a news release from Malone. “Living experience in Bahrain will increase my effectiveness in teaching about the Middle East and international cooperation.”

Waalkes wants to enhance international studies at Malone and create a study center on world affairs. He and his family will leave Ohio in August for the 10-month stay in Bahrain.