After retiring as Director of Student Life at the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus of Montgomery College, Jim dedicated a year of his life to national service as an AmeriCorps VISTA member for Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic, then becoming the Director of Collective Impact and P20 CONNECTS for Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic.
Jim was a tenured faculty member in the Performing Arts Department at Montgomery College. Jim served Montgomery College with enthusiasm and dedication for 42 years as a full-time faculty member and retired from the College on June 1, 2014. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from The George Washington University in 1972 and his Master’s in theatre from The Catholic University of America in 1978.
Jim began his career at Montgomery College in 1972. During his employment, he transformed the Office of Student Activities to the Office of Student Life, created the Office of Volunteer and Service Learning, assisted in its collegewide expansion, and served as the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus adviser to the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society. He directed and choreographed many shows at the College. Jim received the American College Theatre Festival Award for excellence in collegiate theatre initiatives, and was awarded grants from the National Corporation for National and Community Service. He played a major role in the opening of the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center at the Rockville Campus, where he established the College-Community Use, and managed the Professional Series of Artists, which included notable performers Marcel Marceau, Bobby Short, Stars of the Bolshoi, and the Chinese Opera.
Jim was active in numerous national and local organizations. He served as a board member on the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) in Higher Education, member of the Board of the Gateway-Georgia Avenue Redevelopment Corporation, member of the Silver Spring Transportation Committee, and served as president of the Silver Spring/Kensington Rotary. He also served as president of the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE), presenting, in Dubai and at many universities and colleges across the United States, on the institutionalization and assessment of learning outcomes associated with experiential education. He designed and implemented several programs for students, including the National Campaign to End Unintended Pregnancy. Through Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic, he co-created the Montgomery College/Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Collaborative, an experiential learning partnership and initiative that developed service-learning partnerships between the College and middle and high school students at six middle and high schools. Jim was a gifted mentor, supporting the many VISTA members and students he supervised.
Jim Walters will be remembered as being a dedicated teacher and dynamic educator and for his national, state, and local reputation as scholar and mentor to countless students and organizations. After retiring, Jim founded The Walters Group, providing experiential learning pedagogy and strategies to address competency-based student learning outcomes and continued his dedication to reflection, learning, and change through Campus Compact Mid-Atlantic. Jim was a graduate of St. John’s College High School in Washington, D.C. and relished time on his boat. He is survived by his wife, Karen, and son, James F. Walters VI.