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104 Sanford Inst Bldg
Durham, NC 27708
Box 90245
Durham, NC 27708-0245


(919) 286-0116



Stephen Schewel
Visiting Assistant Professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy


Ph.D., Duke University (1982)


Steve Schewel graduated magna cum laude from Duke in 1973. He earned a master’s in English from Columbia University in 1974 and a Ph.D. in education from Duke in 1982.

In 1983, he founded the Durham-based Independent newspaper. The weekly paper has won some of the most prestigious awards in American journalism, including the George Polk Award for environmental reporting, the Investigative Reporters and Editors national award, the H.L. Mencken Writing Award, and the Thurgood Marshall Award. Schewel published the paper for 30 years before selling it in 2012. 

From 2004-2008, Schewel served on the Durham Public Schools' Board of Education, including two years as vice-chair. He was elected to the Durham City Council in 2011 and continues to serve as a member of that body with special interest in affordable housing, public safety and parks and trails. A former English teacher and community organizer, Schewel serves on a number of boards in the local community. He coached youth soccer in Durham for 18 years.

Schewel began teaching courses through the Hart Leadership Program in 2000. Since that time, he has taught “Moral Leadership in Vietnam,” a freshman seminar on terrorism, and the gateway course for the Service Opportunities in Leadership (SOL) program entitled "Border Crossing: Leadership, Values and Public Life." He now teaches two courses, "Leadership, Policy and Change" and "Civic Participation and Community Leadership."

Representative Publications


Selected Grants