Dr. James Radford, a ten year veteran of the RU faculty will be leaving the university to enjoy his retirement following the end of the Fall 2014 semester. After a 16 year teaching career and 30 years spent in the U.S. Army immediately prior, Dr. Radford has more than earned his time off. Yet sad will be the many students who enjoyed his jokes and engaging attitude towards the Political Science and International Studies courses that he’s taught.
Those who are familiar with him probably are aware that he isn’t only a professor of Political Science, but also the current director of the International Studies minor — a position we can only say makes perfect sense, considering his amazing travel resume. As of now, Dr. Radford claims to have visited no less than 44 individual countries, claiming both England and Europe (he particularly mentioned Salzburg, Austria and Rothenburg, Germany) to be his favorite and most frequented locales. (So if you have any questions about planning a trip, perhaps you should run on over to Russell Hall or shoot him an email before he jets off this winter!)
When we asked Dr. Radford what motivated him to pursue a career teaching, his answer was one we should have seen coming: “I was too young to do nothing and too lazy to work [after leaving the Army]. I didn’t really plan on teaching.” Yet he says that as soon as he started his graduate schooling and left the Army, that was the same day he began teaching.
Upon reflection, Dr. Radford said that both his careers have been rewarding and expresses pride for what he has accomplished. “[In the Army I] traveled all over the world, met thousands of wonderful people.” This was something he was able to draw on when teaching and inspiring many of his students, made clear to those of us in his classroom that the international community is something vast and accessible to anyone. “Everyone teaching is teaching their subject as well as their own life,” he told us.
In our interview with Dr. Radford we asked in what way he was most proud of his teaching and, sap that he is, he said “Oh, I think it’s hearing from former students who are doing just wonderfully well.” He concluded this statement with, “Pretty proud of an awful lot of them.”