Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz

Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz
Ph.D., Co-Director, Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education, UMSL


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Dr. Marvin W. Berkowitz is the inaugural Sanford N. McDonnell Endowed Professor of Character Education, and Co-Director of the Center for Character and Citizenship at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and University of Missouri President’s Thomas Jefferson Professor.  He has also served as the inaugural Ambassador H.H. Coors Professor of Character Development at the US Air Force Academy (1999),  and Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Ethics Studies at Marquette University (1979-1999).  He was also founder and Associate Director of the Center for Addiction and Behavioral Health Research in Milwaukee.  Since 1999 he has directed the Leadership Academy in Character Education in St. Louis.

Born in Queens NY in 1950, he earned his BA degree in psychology from the State University of NY at Buffalo in 1972, and his Ph.D. in Life-span Developmental Psychology at Wayne State University in 1977.  He served as a Research Associate at the Center for Moral Development and Education at Harvard University 1977-79.  He has served as a visiting scholar in Canada, Germany, Switzerland, Scotland, Spain, and Taiwan.

His scholarly focus and expertise is in character education and development.  He is author of You Can’t Teach Through a Rat: And Other Epiphanies for Educators (2012), Parenting for good (2005), editor of Moral education: Theory and application (1985) and Peer conflict andpsychological growth (1985), and author of more than 100 book chapters, monographs, and journal articles.  He is founding co-editor of the Journal of Character Education. 

Dr. Berkowitz was named "Outstanding Young Educator of 1983" by the Milwaukee Jaycees, was cited as one of Milwaukee’s "87 Most Interesting People" in Milwaukee magazine (1987), named “Best University Professor” in a 1998 readers’ poll of the Shepherd’s Express, was named Educator of the Year by the St. Louis Association of Secondary School Principals (2005), was an inaugural recipient of the Bill Porzukowiak Character Award (2005), received the Sanford  N. McDonnell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Character Education Partnership (2006), the first Exemplary Partner Award from the Charmm’d Foundation (2008), the Good Works Award from the Association for Moral Education (2010), and the University of Missouri System’s Thomas Jefferson Professorship (2011). Dr. Berkowitz received the Kuhmerker Career Award (2013) from the Association for Moral Education, recognizing his outstanding, long-term contributions to both the Association for Moral Education and to the field of moral development.

He is co-founder of ComedySportz, a nationally franchised improvisational comedy show, and has co-written the play “Chuck, Bob, and Louie” which won best of show at the 1994 Milwaukee Festival of Ten Minute Plays.  For five years he was author of a weekly newspaper column on parenting for character published in the Topeka (KS) Capitol-Journal. He is also a two time Missouri State Senior Division Soccer gold medalist (2006, 2007).  He has been married to Judith Gewanter Berkowitz for nearly 40 years and has one son, Daniel William Berkowitz. 

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