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Richard decided to become a teacher in the seventh grade when Mr. Novak was on TV. "When I went to college, I decided that being a college professor was the best job in the world. I went to grad school thinking I wanted to study literature, but soon I realized that I preferred teaching writing, as it seemed a way to be more directly of use."
He received his master's degree in English and doctorate in English literature, literature and pedagogy from the University of Virginia. He's been the director of writing programs at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, since 1987. He teaches first-year composition and graduate courses in the teaching of composition. Richard also coordinates and teaches a course on assessing writing in Wright State's summer institute on writing and teaching.
"I think professional development works best when it focuses on doing first, then reflecting on what you've done. Rather than read something and then discuss it, I find that asking people to experience pedagogy or technique or activity first, and then reading the theoretical or researched underpinnings of it makes the whole experience more worthwhile."