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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Sara Richter

By Sidney Turner, Panhandle State Collegian on 09/13/2017 Dr. Sara Richter —Photo Courtesy Chris UriasDr. Sara Richter —Photo Courtesy Chris Urias

Dr. Sara Jane Richter was born in Atchinson, Kan. and later moved to Marysville, Kan. until the sixth grade when her family settled in Hennessy, Okla. She moved to Oklahoma for the climate because her brother, Kevin, could not tolerate the climate in Kansas which affected his allergies tremendously. Upon moving to Oklahoma, Sara fell in love with the climate, geography, and most importantly, the people.

Dr. Richter attended Phillips University achieving her bachelor’s degree in history. She then transferred to Oklahoma State University and received a master’s in History and later, English. She was a dedicated student, and she attended college for fourteen straight years, which resulted in four minors and two majors in undergraduate school as well as three graduate school degrees. To Dr. Richter, “Making the best grade wasn’t my bag, but I’d do my best, and that’s what mattered to me.”

She is very active on campus and in her own studies as well. She is the Dean of Liberal Arts at Panhandle State and researches and writes about many topics that interest her. Her dedication to writing is outstanding and the proof lies in some of the many awards and honors she has received. She has received awards such as “2011 Oklahoma Humanities Award” for spreading the importance of humanities in Oklahoma. She has also written her own books entitled “The Oklahoma Panhandle” and “Guymon.”

She loves Panhandle State and although she never considered staying for thirty-two years, she never regrets it. She has been in the classroom since 1978 where she started teaching at OSU. She liked it there, but, “The students didn’t compare to those students in the Panhandle.” Dr. Richter has never wanted to do anything else other than teach, unlike most children, she was born knowing she would teach. She began teaching at Panhandle State in 1985.

She could never imagine teaching anywhere else because “This is home. The Panhandle is my home.” She is avid about making an impact on students and believes anybody is capable to learn because, “Everybody is a seeker for education and experience. Everybody seeks order and achievement. I try to let them see the world in a different way; expand their horizons.”


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