Dr. Matthew Akers Appointed Executive Director of the James B. Renacci Center for Civic Engagement


School News

Walsh University has appointed Matthew Akers, Ph.D., as Executive Director of the James B. Renacci Center for Civic Engagement, effective July 1, 2017.

In this newly created position, Dr. Akers will be responsible for the management and programming of the James B. Renacci Center for Civic Engagement, which will serve as an epicenter for collaboration, research and civic engagement on Walsh’s campus. The Renacci Center for Civic Engagement, located in Walsh’s new Global Learning Center, will be a place for the Renacci Government Scholars, faculty, students and community to work together to tackle local or regional issues.

As Executive Director, Dr. Akers will help to facilitate the channels for discussion, create opportunities for collaboration, and establish platforms for debate on issues that impact all Americans as well as those that have global implications. The establishment of the Renacci Forum & Center for Civic Engagement was made possible through a personal gift from U.S. Congressman Jim Renacci, Ohio’s 16thdistrict.

"Matt brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to this position that will be instrumental in connecting Walsh students with local, state and national leaders on issues that are relative to the needs of our greater community," said Provost Dr. Douglas Palmer. "We are pleased to welcome someone of his reputation and stature to lead this important new initiative at Walsh."

Dr. Matthew Akers graduated from Drew University with a Ph. D. in English with an emphasis on the relationship between English literature and theology. Since earning his Ph. D., Dr. Akers has taught at both the high school and college levels and has served in leadership roles in higher education. He spent several years at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy teaching Latin and English. Most recently, Dr. Akers served as Director of Government Relations and Assistant Director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at The University of Akron. He taught several classes, including a course he developed about the 2016 American presidential election called Trump’s Triumph, which received local and national media coverage.

He has published a number of articles and book reviews in St. Austin Review, the premier international journal of Catholic culture, literature, and ideas. In addition, he serves on the Ohio Right to Life Political Action Committee and is involved in the Latin Mass community at St. Sebastian Church in Akron.

Dr. Akers and his wife, Elisabeth, reside in Doylestown, and homeschool their four children. The family enjoys reading, attending cultural events, participating in outdoor activities, and spending time with each other. The family attends St. Sebastian Church in Akron and looks forward to becoming involved in the Walsh community.