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Dr. Adam Watkins

Assistant Dean for Leadership Development and Clinical Associate Professor



B.A. University of Illinois, M.F.A. in Poetry, Saint Mary's College of California, M.A. in Literary Studies, Purdue University, Ph.D. in Literary Studies, Purdue University

Current Courses

HONR 19901: Evolution of Ideas, Nature

HONR 299: Honors Mentors

HONR 299: Honors Leadership Retreat

HONR 299: Lead Forward

HONR 299: Science of Teamwork

Recent Publications

Watkins, A. E. “Setting the Scene for Community-Based Learning: Creative Writing as Stage for Inquiry and Integrative Learning.” Journal of Creative Writing Studies, vol. 8, no. 1, 2022.

Watkins, A. E. “The Leadership Laboratory: A Practice Field for Leadership Development Involving Peer Mentors in a Project-Based Learning Classroom.” Journal of Leadership Education, vol. 19, no. 4, 2020, 99-115.

Watkins, A. E. “Owning Honors: Outcomes for a Student Leadership Culture.” Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, vol. 21, no. 1, 2020, 103-124.

Watkins, A. E., and Tehrani, Z. “Brave New Worlds: Transcending the Humanities / STEM Divide through Creative Writing.” Honors in Practice, vol. 16, 2020.

Watkins, A. E. “Environmental Self-Making and the Urbanism in Ann Radcliffe’s Udolpho.” European Romantic Review, vol. 28, no. 5, 2017.

Watkins, A. E. “Objects, Cabinets, and Cities: Wordsworth and the Matter of the Romantic Mind.” Studies in Romanticism, vol. 55, no. 4, Dec. 2016, 559-584.

Awards and Accolades

Outstanding Teaching Award, 2020; Honors College, Purdue University

Teaching Academy Fellowship Award, 2020; Center for Instructional Excellence, Purdue University

Leadership Development Pillar Award, 2019; Honors College, Purdue University

Outstanding Teaching Award, 2017; Honors College, Purdue University

Leadership Development Pillar Award, 2017, Honors College, Purdue University


Adam Edward Watkins has a background in creative writing and literary studies. His poetry and scholarship are mutually interested in the ways people engage with natural and built environments and how those forms of engagement in turn shape the way people think and feel. This examination of the situated nature of mental life has had a strong influence on his teaching philosophy. Inside or outside of the classroom, Professor Watkins creates arenas for intellectual play and personal development. He employs a variety of active learning tools - from speculative fiction to team building games - to guide students to new perspectives and valuable insights into themselves and the world they inhabit.

Of late, his teaching and scholarly endeavors have focused increasingly on collective leadership and collaboration, with a continued interest into how the leadership or teamwork context shapes individual and collective development. Through his work in leadership development, he strives to create inclusive and equitable opportunities for students to empower themselves, to spur the growth of others, and to have a meaningful impact on the world.

Contact Info

HCRS 1093

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