Dr. George Richards, associate professor in the Criminal Justice, Anthropology and Forensic Science Department, recently was named Edinboro University’s 2017 Advisor of the Year. Richards was recognized for his advising skills and prolific contributions to campus programs, events and committees.
Richards said he believes students from varied backgrounds and ability levels bring unique needs that should be addressed in one-on-one conversations and prefers individual approaches to each student.
“A cornerstone in the foundation of building trust is showing genuine concern and a credible effort on the other’s behalf,” said Richards, who began his Edinboro University career in 2004 as an associate professor of Criminal Justice. “This is absolutely true in the advisor/advisee relationship.”
In his philosophy of academic advising, Richards – who is highly regarded as an outstanding advisor by students and colleagues – writes that each professor approaches courses with a different worldview.
“Our individual perspectives, effectively shared, add to the richness of a student's educational experience,” stated Richards, who detailed his advising philosophy during the nomination process. “Students need some expectation of consistency in how they are advised to negotiate their degree programs, but how we treat those who come to us for counsel is what students will remember.”
Richards promotes accessibility and communication through the advising process, always maintaining open office hours, holding in-person meetings and corresponding via email or telephone. He also frequently communicates with students about their progress, informing them of their academic performance while relating public praise and private critiques.
“I work at conveying the attitude that I notice how my advisees perform academically, and their actions are important to me,” Richards said.
Richards has served as a consultant, manuscript reviewer, course writer and grant writer throughout his professional career. In the community, he serves on the Suicide Prevention Task Force through Safe Harbor Behavioral Health and the Ethics and Professional Conduct Subcommittee of the Ohio State Bar Association.
During his tenure at Edinboro University, Richards has been a Distinguished Professor of Social Equity in 2016 and Educator of the Year in 2010. He was awarded Outstanding Mentor from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences in 2012 and was recognized as Educator/Academician of the Year by the Ohio Council of Criminal Justice Education in 2008.
Richards earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Berea College and a Master of Science in Justice Administration with a concentration in Corrections and Crime Prevention from the University of Louisville. During his professorship at the University of Akron, Richards earned a Ph.D. in Public Administration and Urban Studies.
Photo caption: Dr. George Richards of the Criminal Justice, Anthropology and Forensic Science Department was named Edinboro University’s Advisor of the Year for 2017. President H. Fred Walker makes the presentation.