*For Immediate Press Release*
Faculty Featured in Television Show
-released by OPSU Campus Communications 03-31-05
Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Sara Jane Richter, was surprised recently while watching the premiere of "Tales from the Dust Bowl," a Smoky Hills Public Television and Kansas Council on the Humanities production. The hour long show features people who lived in the High Plains during the difficult years encompassing the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Dr. Richter served as an historical consultant, but she was unaware that her voice and image would be used for narration.Dr. Richter said, "I was very excited and flattered that somebody cared to ask me about an historical event. While I knew I was being taped on camera, I didn’t know my words and my image would be featured so much in the show. I’m glad my arcane knowledge is beneficial to someone else." She became involved with the project through her work as a Bureau Speaker for the Kansas Humanities Council.The show’s producer Les Kinderkneckt and a camera man visited the OPSU campus, and Richter arranged for three local women who lived in the Great Plains during that time to be interviewed. One of those women, OPSU assistant professor Dr. Pauline Hodges, was raised in Beaver County, Oklahoma, and she recounted several compelling memories. When the blowing dirt was thick, her father would have to stop and read names on mailboxes on the way home from work to determine where he was. She recalled seeing a steady of stream of cars headed west on Highway 64, searching for a better life.Dr. Hodges also pointed out some positive aspects of those difficult years, saying, "We learned self-reliance and also learned how to trust others." Katie Goldsmith, originally from Kansas and now living in Goodwell, participated, and Pauline Richter, Dr. Richter’s mother, also took part. Mrs. Richter was raised in Nebraska, and was the only person represented from that state, and Dr. Hodges was the only Oklahoman.
"Tales from the Dust Bowl" is being marketed nationwide, and OPSU plans to show the tape when Dr. Richter receives her copy. Dr. Richter’s devotion to education reaches students far beyond campus, and she exemplifies the quality faculty at OPSU.