Profile: Andrew Richter

Currently: Teaching, Liberty Harbor Academy

I started in a business program in the Fall of 2005, and felt unchallenged, and more importantly, unmotivated for my entire freshman year. In my sophomore year I happened to take a history elective with Professor Reeder and for the first time since elementary school I felt engaged with my education.  After some thought over the next few months, I decided to change my major to history.

The program designed by Professor Reeder and Dr. Cooper made the material relevant, practical, and interesting. In addition to reviving my interest in school, they reached out to me as well as all of my fellow classmates and created for us a space where we felt accepted and valued as intelligent adults, this attitude can be hard to find especially in that particular institution.  Many university teachers talk down to their students and expect them to memorize facts, and/or the professor’s own interpretation, but in this program, it was different.  I recall that Professor Reeder once broke down the etymology of the word “education”, its stem being duco, to lead/draw with the prefix e-, meaning out of.  Education, then, is to draw knowledge out of the students, not to create parrot’s for a professor’s viewpoint. The teaching style of Dr. Cooper and Professor Reeder pulled the best out of those of us who were open to their guidance.  The students were always in control of their own education and treated as respected adults.

I came to the program expecting to learn more about the subject of history, but I ended up learning just as much in how to act as a professional adult.  Dr. Cooper expects everyone to maintain a professional attitude, learn how to carry themselves in front of others, and prepares them for entering the next stage of their life, be it continued education or the working world. For any students considering joining this program, I would say that if you open yourself up to the personal attention the instructors are willing to give, you will succeed.  And you will be surprised at how much you can accomplish and how much great work you will produce.