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Marquita Walker

  • Ph.D.
  • Interim Chair and Associate Professor of Labor Studies
  • Central Administration - All Campuses



I have been with the IUPUI School of Social Work in the Department of Labor Studies since August, 2008 and currently serve as interim chair and associate professor; I am responsible for providing leadership, coordination, and evaluation of the department from a school-wide and university perspective. Prior to teaching at IUPUI, I was an Assistant Professor of Labor Studies at the University of MO, Columbia and a Labor Education Specialist at the University of Arkansas, Little Rock. Prior to teaching labor education, I taught English literature and writing at Missouri State University and Drury University in Springfield, Missouri.



Emphasis/Major: Public Affairs
2005 - University of MO, Columbia


Emphasis/Major: Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
2004 - University of MO, Columbia

Dissertation: Perceptions of Educational Attainment on Intragenerational Social Mobility: Individual Agency within Class Structure


Emphasis/Major: English
2000 - Missouri State University

Dissertation: Separate Spheres Collide: The Economic Influcence of Slavery on Sarah Jospeha Hale's Northwood (1827 and 1852)


Emphasis/Major: English
1998 - Drury University

Research Interests

My research agenda revolves around my interest in policies concerning union organizing and workers’ education, informs my teaching, and is closely tied to my service activities. The social justice focus of my research directs my interest in service industry workers in the Indianapolis, Indiana hotel industry, policies relating to state and federal training programs for dislocated workers, and worker education programs which contribute to an informed citizenry.

Teaching Interests

Most of my life has been spent striving to achieve equality for workers in the labor-management relationship which consistently favors management over labor. The time I spent working in a unionized manufacturing arena and in teaching labor education or labor studies in the academy has uniquely qualified me to lead in a curriculum which deals with issues of social justice for workers. My passion as a union representative to correct injustices workers experience helps shape my teaching philosophy. My students either are or will become workers in a capitalist economic system skewed against them through policies and laws which tilt the playing field toward management. Offering labor studies courses which deal with history, globalization, society, culture, ethics, collective bargaining, and leadership positions potential workers for the realities of today’s economic climate and provides to them a solid foundation from which to make choices and decisions affecting their work lives and the kind of broader community in which they live. Situating my teaching philosophy within an interactive constructivist framework allows me to use my experiences as a worker, union member, and an instructor to follow, engage with, and lead my students.

Awards and Honors

  • 2023 - Institute for Engaged Learning