Richard Leitch Receives Edgar M. Carlson Award

Posted on June 2nd, 2008 by

Richard Leitch accepts the 2008 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Richard Leitch accepts the 2008 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching.

Richard Leitch, Gustavus Adolphus College Associate Professor of Political Science, received the 2008 Edgar M. Carlson Award for Distinguished Teaching during the College’s commencement exercises on Sunday, June 1. Leitch was presented the award by the 2007 recipient, Professor of English Claude Brew.

A member of the political science department at Gustavus since 1996, Leitch has taught courses such as International Relations, Comparative Politics, Asian Politics, Environmental Politics, Analyzing Japan, and Politics of Developing Nations.

One student wrote that “Professor Leitch brings an amazing enthusiasm into the classroom. He becomes more than just your teacher, but also your colleague. He pushes you to excel and have a real desire to learn.” Another student simply stated that Leitch “inspires true critical thought — the best teacher I have ever had.”

Leitch earned his B.A. degree in East Asian Studies from Colby College in 1985. He later went on to attend the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where he earned an M.A. in Asian Studies and a Ph.D. in political science. In 2000 he received the student-selected Swenson-Bunn Award for Teaching Excellence at Gustavus. He has been an active leader at Gustavus, serving as First-Term Seminar Director, Interim Peace Studies Director, Co-Chair of the MAYDAY! Peace Conference, an advisor to the Gustavus R.O.T.C, and an annual participant in the annual Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week.

“It’s been incredibly rewarding to be able to live my vocation as a college professor at a school that values teaching as much as Gustavus does,” Leitch said. “Being nominated and selected to receive this award would not have been possible without the support and advice from creative, brilliant colleagues, staff and administrators who have supported me from the day I arrived at Gustavus, and especially the students who it is a privilege to work with and learn from.”

The Edgar M. Carlson Award was established by the Gustavus Board of Trustees in 1971 to honor former president Edgar Carlson for his years of distinguished leadership and in recognition of his commitment to academic excellence. Gustavus faculty, staff, administrators, and students nominate professors for this award, and each year at commencement a faculty member, selected by previous Carlson recipients, is awarded for their exceptional skill and effectiveness as an instructor.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Luc Hatlestad


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