Professor inspired by traditional teaching methods and styles

Elise Franco

Professor Richard Craig is one of this year’s Honors College Faculty Award winners. Craig is one of two faculty members that won the award. JESSICA NAPLES | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

To Richard Craig, there is one thing that motivates him above all else.

“I think the fact that I’ve always had a little madness in me is what’s kept me going,” said the political science professor and one winner of this year’s Honors College Faculty Award.

Craig has been teaching at Kent State since the fall of 1969. He said he attributes most of his success as a teacher and a person to his parents and his upbringing.

“I know it sounds traditional and hokey, but I think my parents were really my inspiration,” Craig said.

Another thing Craig called traditional was his teaching style. He said he’s never shown a video in class or used any type of audio visual.

“I use chalk, and I talk,” he said.

Jason Craig, junior advertising major, took U.S.-Latin American Relations with Craig.

“He was really big on lecturing,” he said. “He said on the very first day that it wasn’t going to be a lot of participation, which I thought was kind of weird, but he was a very interesting lecturer. Probably one of the better ones I’ve had, ever.”

Senior architecture major Michael Herpy, who took Latin American Politics, said Craig takes education very seriously and always incorporated personal experiences from time spent in Latin American countries into his lectures.

“I see Latin America in a way I never did before I took the class,” Herpy said. “He has a passion for life and for what he does. To me, that’s what it’s all about.”

Craig has just as many nice things to say about Kent State and its students, as Kent State and its students have said about him.

“I felt very comfortable here,” he said. “I think the thing I liked about Kent more than anything else was, and Victor Alba expressed it perfectly, he said ‘This is the true proletarian institution. This is where the sons and daughters and working people go to school.’ I think that really had an effect on me too.”

Craig said some of his favorite memories as a professor have come from students after they graduate. Postcards, letters and phone calls from former students letting him know how much they appreciate what they learned from him, gives him the deepest gratification.

“If my students take anything away from me and from my class, I want it to be for them to look back once they get out and say, ‘I really learned something from Craig’s class,'” he said.

In the early ’70s Craig was also honored with the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Teaching Award.

“I am thankful to have had his direction as a teacher,” Herpy said. “It was refreshing to take a class that forced me to work extra hard and really think about the subject matter.”

Contact undergraduate studies and Honors College reporter Elise Franco at [email protected].