Dating back to his honors program in anthropology at Swarthmore College, Dr. Simon Hawkins has been dedicated to education and the liberal arts. In 1988, his interests in other cultures led him to Tunisia as a Peace Corps volunteer, an experience that eventually became the center of his professional research. Upon return from the Peace Corps he pursued an MA in secondary education at the George Washington University and taught briefly as a high school social studies teacher before joining the National Center for Improving Science Education where he conducted research on national and international education topics.
Rather than pursuing further graduate studies in education, he returned to anthropology at the University of Chicago. As a Fulbright Scholar, he moved with his wife and baby daughter to Tunisia in 1998 where he pursued his doctoral research on language learning and national identity. Over the years he has taught at the University of Tunis, the University of Chicago, Vassar College, Montana State University, and Franklin and Marshall College.
His anthropological research in Tunisia has tackled a range of topics, including: national identity, schooling and language learning, relations with Europe, gender and modernity, and state construction of religion. He is an award winning teacher with particular skills in social theory and qualitative research methods. In addition to his academic work, he is a graduate of Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey Clown College.