Richard Schumaker

Profile Updated: June 30, 2019
Residing In: Greenbelt, MD USA
Teaching or Occupational Field: Director, Comparative Literature, Northeast Modern Language Association; Lecturer and Faculty Development Staff CUNY
Children: Marc b 1992; Zachary b 1994
Where and when were you involved with UMUC's programs (scroll down to see all)?

UMUC-Europe 1977-2004; UMUC-Adelphi '04-Present

What roles did you play? Faculty (Full-time; part-time) Staff Accompanying spouse

Faculty in Europe and US; Manager Worldwide Faculty Training, UMUC Center for Teaching and Learning; Assistant Director, Faculty Development; Sr Fellow Faculty Development, UMUC-Adelphi

Early FAC member; CUSF Member in the US 2009-2011

Editor, Focus on Robert Graves and His Contemporaries

President, Maryland Distance Learning Association

Presidential Award Winner

Member UMUC Delegation to Nanjing

Wrote many English, Philosophy, and Humanities Courses

Shooting guard, German-American basketball team

List the specific locations where you taught or worked for UMUC:

Fulda, Zaragoza, Naples, San Vito dei Normani, LaMaddalena, Hahn, Spangdahlem, Bitburg, SHAPE, Brussels, Ramstein, Buechel, Baumholder, Wiesbaden, Vilseck, Berlin, Stuttgart, Geilenkirchen, Bonn, Adelphi, Largo, College Park, Fort Meade, Shady Grove, Largo, Quantico, Waldorf

Richard's Latest Interactions

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Jun 30, 2019 at 6:57 PM
Richard Schumaker has left an In Memory comment for Herbert (Bart) Smith.
Sep 14, 2017 at 4:33 PM

I was saddened this morning when I saw the "In Memory" notice about my friend Herbert Smith.  I had lost track of him some time ago but thought of him often, easily remembering with great fondness our shared experiences at Hahn AB (BRD), Kröv/Mosel, Bremerhaven, and various other European cities.

As though it were yesterday, I remember meeting Bart Smith. 

It was a rainy, depressing Monday morning at "Hahn on the Hill" and the ESO, Mike Koester, approached me in the Hahn Ed Center.  "Your new wingman is here and says he knows you.  Bart...Bart Smith..."  Dr. Speckhard, the UMUC English coordinator had phoned me a few days earlier--it must have been term II--and asked me to give Herbert Smith a hand as he arrived to teach English.  I was teaching a "trick" English 291 course that semester---a good deal for the students, for they could either attend the 8am or 6pm session--and was relaxing after the early class.

Courtesy of Mike, we had a comfortable "Maryland" office at Hahn with coffee maker, fridge, academic journals, typewriters, and used paperbacks.   A little sleepy from the early class, I was dozing when Bart Smith walked in.  "You're Richard, from Paris?"

In that small room littered with PMLAs and beat-up Faulkner novels, Bart and I settled in for a two-hour conversation.  He had lived in Paris with his family during the heady NATO days of US bases in Paris.  In our first conversation, he shared his immense personal culture.  He knew the entire existentialist tradition and had visited many of the places described in the Sartrean novels. He saw himself as a sort of Mathieu character.   In those days, I carried the first volume of the Roads to Freedom trilogy everywhere, so Bart and I must have discussed the characters in "L'Age de raison" for an hour.  He knew Kafka well and had just read Max Brod's biography.  Bart was generous and sensitive and made sure to bring a gift for me with him, the Norton edition of "The Heart of Darkness," which was a nice gift.

In those days, Hahn was in the midst of the Reagan Cold War frenzy:  it was the first European base to get the new F-16s; a massive building and renewal effort was seen everywhere; many satellite bases were sprouting up:  an AF intelligence station was growing; Ford Airspace was coming in with a one-of-a kind project; down the road from Hahn a huge NATO weapons storage facility was growing.  The officers club had just suffered a terrorist attack and the base was beginning to be surrounded by German peace movement demonstrations.  It was noisy and demonic.  From the Hahn ed-center one could see the German peace demonstrators and hear a little of their chants sometimes.

For Maryland English instructors, the military build-up and political controversy was a dream come true.  The newly arrived military members, especially the 6911th intel students, desperately needed classes and our classes were full and often split. One of the new Heidelberg administrators, John Floyd, was driving his car around base with a large peace symbol on it.   Bart had worried about getting sufficient classes; suddenly, he would regularly be teaching three at a time.  On that first morning, I took him to a few landlords and hotel owners that I knew hoping to find a place for him to live.

We found a small, garret room across from the main base that Bart, who didn't drive, adored the moment he saw it.  "Kafka would love a room like this," was his comment as he signed the contract.  The landlord, a well-known German man in the Hahn community, smiled, seeing that he would have a new Maryland prof to talk to.

I saw Bart almost every day for that whole academic year.  My students quoted him and read his favorite books.  I always smiled when I walked into a class and saw students reading "The Castle" or "The Trial."  I knew who their English prof had been. 

Bart moved from Hahn after a while to be with his new German girlfriend in Bremerhaven.  I visited them many times and enjoyed meals at their hotel, around Bremerhaven, and going to the Bremerhaven opera with him and his family.  I met his sister, an opera singer and teacher of great charm and beauty, and one point and went to see "Otello" with them.

Bart was a great friend and made the trip to rural Hahn as often as he could to see me.  He seemed very happy with his girlfriend and kids in Bremerhaven.

Later in the Reagan administration, it became harder for me to see Bart Smith:  I was teaching so many classes at Hahn, Bitburg, and Spangdahlem, as well as traveling all over Europe to teach Monika Zwink's  6sh open university classes, so I had little time for any social life.  The Cold War was rapidly moving towards real war; the building frenzy continued until the closing of Hahn.  During this time, as my two sons were born, I heard of Bart mostly through our mutual friend, John Nolan.  Memory and care are strong, however, and all my shared experience with the intelligent, knowledgeable, and very kind Herbert Smith remain as vibrant as though they occurred yesterday, not over thirty years ago.

Richard Schumaker has left an In Memory comment for Profile.
Jul 01, 2016 at 4:33 PM

I would like to extend my sympathies to Dr Ernest Hankamer's family.  Ernie contributed enormously to the faculty, staff, and students of the University of Maryland University College.  He brought deep humanity and exemplary knowledge of philosophy to teaching and learning at UMUC.  I first met Ernie in 1980 when I was teaching in the Italian Mezzogiorno (San Vito dei Normanni):  throughout many years he mentored me in a sensitive and rigorous way.  I remember perfectly the last time Ernie and I shared a "Maryland" dinner in Heidelberg.  It was around the turn of the century, and the university was transitioning to an online mode of instruction.  Not only did he have provocative insights into teaching philosophy online but also very clearly grasped that this new mode of discourse was itself a philosophical question with its roots in the Sophists and Aristotle.  After all, "Being is said in different ways."   I never forgot that conversation and certainly won't forget the intelligence, courtesy, and commitment to education of Dr. Ernest Hankamer.

Richard Schumaker has left an In Memory comment for Ray Ehrensberger.
Dec 21, 2015 at 4:33 PM

Perhaps we need a "History" area of some kind?  I do find the historical information interesting. For example, one of us should relate the early days of distance learning in Europe, focusing on the pioneering work of John Floyd.  It's a shame that that is being lost in the sands of time.

Richard Schumaker has left an In Memory comment for John Riggs.
Dec 02, 2015 at 4:33 PM

I am shocked and saddened to learn of Dr Riggs' passing.  He and I worked closely at the Eifel sites for years. Very few days passed when we didn't discuss teaching, politics, or reading.  He was a brilliant and well-informed professor completely dedicatd to his students and classes.  I remember his generosity and warmth when my kids were born: he took an active interest in my evolution as a dad and in the well-being of my young sons.  I admired his seriousness in keeping up with this field and his understadning of geopolitical matters in Europe in the final years of the Cold War and during the Wende.  

Richard Schumaker has left an In Memory comment for Carl Buchner.
Nov 10, 2015 at 12:33 PM

It is with sadness that I learn of Carl's passing.  He was an especially fine scholar and wonderful colleague.  He had a deep knowledge of German literature and culture and was extremely open to discussing them with his colleagues, who often did not have his same deep background.  I looked forward to seeing him at all the English meetings and learning from him and sharing notes on the state of the ever-changing English Department. 

Richard Schumaker has left an In Memory comment for Horst Trost.
Nov 10, 2015 at 12:33 PM

I worked along side Horst from 1992 when I moved to the Eifel after the birth of my first son.  Horst Trost was an exceptional UMUC German teacher: he was beloved by his students, deeply respected by the field reps, and admired by the other professors.  Countless times, I would walk the halls of the Spandghahlem or Bitburg teaching facilities during my breaks and hear Horst working through German grammar with his classes, which were invariably full.  He was a wonderful colleague--always good natured and open to discuss German, Germany, or life in general.  Thousands of US students have a better understanding of German culture becuase of him.

Richard Schumaker posted a message. New comment added.
Jun 22, 2015 at 10:16 PM

Posted on: Feb 19, 2015 at 2:04 PM

I begin as the director of comparative literature for the Northeast Modern Language Association in about a month. Two of my primary goals are raising awareness of the online teaching of literature and teaching to diverse populations, one of which is military communities. I would always be pleased to hear from Marylanders in Europe about these topics.

Richard Schumaker changed profile picture.
Jan 06, 2014 at 10:09 AM
Richard Schumaker changed "Now" picture.
Jan 06, 2014 at 10:07 AM
Richard Schumaker posted a message. New comment added.
Jan 07, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Posted on: Jan 06, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Thanks Bill. You should add somewhere on your profile that you were a FAC member and FAC chair, Those are considerable accomplishments that should be shared.

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Posted: Jan 06, 2014 at 10:01 AM