“The life of the mind has always been attractive to me. I’m always examining and evaluating and investigating.”
As the German studies program developer and director, Rick Weber wanted to create a curriculum that addresses undergraduate needs. In his mind, that includes getting to know the culture as well as the language and getting a feel for the literature that students would study at the graduate level.
"I think we offer a fully integrated program," says Weber. "It's a cohesive and articulated curriculum that moves you from basic learning to an advanced level at a reasonable, logical, and coordinated pace."
Weber also works with the study abroad office to make sure students have opportunities to study or intern in Germany. German pastries, occasionally made by Weber's wife, Christine, help give students a taste for the culture beyond the language alone.
"Teaching is essentially all I've ever done," says Weber. "In retrospect, I can't think of anything I'd have rather done. Teaching is like raising children in a sense. As a teacher, I'm there to be exploited and eventually discarded. The best teacher is one to whom someone eventually says, ‘I can do it on my own now. Thanks.' There can't be any higher compliment than to know that your pupils can now walk on their own two feet and are interested in doing so."
Chairman of the Board of the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS)
Director of a summer-study program in Munich and a semester program in Regensburg, Germany
Founder of a national interest group for German professors in small undergraduate programs
Served on the boards of directors and held numerous offices in state and regional foreign language organizations