Professor Spotlight: Dr. Richard Krohn

Dr. Richard Krohn; Photo Courtesy of:

Dr. Richard Krohn; Photo Courtesy of:

Dr. Richard Krohn is a professor in the economics and business department. He earned a B.A. in economics and urban studies at Case Western Reserve, an M.A. in English at Rollins College, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from George Washington. At Moravian, he teaches courses in economics, Spanish, and writing.  

What inspired you to go into your field of study?

I have an unusual, eclectic background regarding academics and teaching. I had learned some economics and urban studies in college, but then in the Peace Corps in Central America in 1970-71 I was in a rural village a century back in technology and economic development, so my intrigue began when surrounded by and immersed in the interdisciplinary “weave of life” — fundamental elements projected into the past and toward the future I knew. Those motives eventually led to an M.A. in English and a Ph.D. in American Studies, mostly the cultural history of the U.S., but also of Latin America. My teaching has since woven all of that: history, economics, Spanish, literature and writing.

What research are you currently working on? What do you think is the most recent important development in your field of study?

Reflecting my long response to Question 1, though I certainly “keep up” in various fields, I don’ t do research or closely follow developments. All of my energies at Moravian are focused on teaching economics, Spanish for nurses, sometimes First-Year Writing, and on advising.

What job would you have if you couldn’t be a professor, regardless of salary and job outcome? Why?

I am an amateur, self-taught poet. My fantasy job would be to go around doing readings and workshops for interested audiences (as opposed to students required to attend). My second image would be to be back in the Peace Corps, but I don’t think I could make the extended sacrifice of creature comforts, family and friends. 

What do you know now that you wished you knew when you were in college?

I wish in college that I had already been intrigued enough by the world to study harder and more happily, in addition to focusing on friends and soccer, which I played for 30 years.

What is your biggest student pet peeve?

My pet peeve — and I otherwise consider myself a patient, student-centered prof — is tech-distraction in the classroom: students trying to sneak a peek at their phones or an irrelevant site on their screens.

What was the last streaming show that you binge-watched or the last good book that you read?

Even during the quarantine I haven’t streamed anything, despite many excellent suggestions. I am currently reading “The Best American Poetry 2019,” an excellent series that dates back to the mid-1980s.

What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?

In addition to what’s noted above that may be a surprise to some — Peace Corps, poetry, soccer — I had two stints as a high school principal.

What’s your spirit animal and why?

Sorry: no spirit animal.

What is your favorite activity to do during the COVID-19 quarantine?

My favorite activity during the COVID quarantine is to imagine our lives, economy . . . and political culture as we emerge from this full-body trauma and re-embrace the world. A consolation prize would be some progress in reason, learning, civility and respect.