CCSA is fortunate to connect with individuals – students, staff, and faculty – who are committed to the ideals of experiential learning through education abroad.
You’ve read about CCSA’s focus on global learning and global teaching. This emphasizes the people involved with CCSA, who make the most of the learning and teaching experience. As CCSA approaches a notable milestone (you have to wait for that), we acknowledge the specific support of a few long-time CCSA faculty.
First is Richard Hansen from Middle Tennessee State University. The article below from 2016 shared his passion for study abroad and specifically his support through a scholarship for CCSA theater students.
Richard passed away in March 2020, but his impact is captured in an MTSU College of Liberal Arts magazine article penned by one of his students – Matthew Hiddon.
Remembering Richard Hansen By Matthew Hibdon
Former student recalls “Mousetrap” memories on London trip
Dr. Richard Hansen changed my life forever. Whether as a teacher, a colleague, or a friend, Richard possessed a unique ability to remind people just how special they are. He did this, not for praise, but because that was his character. Although he received many welldeserved accolades over the years, he usually avoided the spotlight offstage. So, since his passing March 19 at age of 67, I have struggled with how best to publicly memorialize my friend and former professor. When the opportunity arose to write something for this magazine, I had my answer. I would do what Richard would do—tell a story.
During my second semester at MTSU, I walked into a classroom on the second floor of Jones Hall and got way more than I expected from my Honors THEA 1030 course with Richard. His lectures were packed full of wit, knowledge, and some theater history trivia for good measure. During one class meeting, Richard told us that even though Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap was the longest-running play in the world, he had never watched the production because he knew it would still be there the next time he went to London. He had visited London several times and led a study abroad program there every two years. The more he told us about the London program, the more intrigued I became. Although I traveled domestically while growing up, the thought of international travel never really crossed my mind. I am not sure whether it was Richard’s passion for British theater (especially plays written by Harold Pinter) or his insistence that study abroad could be a reality for me thanks to scholarships that ultimately sealed the deal, but I decided to go with him to London in December 2009.
The way I saw the world drastically changed the minute I stepped off the plane in London’s Heathrow Airport. Not only was I in another country for the first time, I was the farthest away I had ever been from my hometown of McMinnville, Tennessee. And it was amazing! The first few days were full of culture shock and jet lag, but our class eventually got more comfortable in our new short-term home. We had a hotel conference room reserved for classroom space, but Richard had a knack for finding much more exciting places to hold class—like on the banks of the River Thames by the Royal National Theatre or even at the table after we finished lunch in a café. Richard effortlessly guided and taught us as we explored 400 years of England’s rich theater history by seeing modern West End productions, touring the Globe Theatre, and visiting Shakespeare’s birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon. If you asked Richard, he would have said that we should have visited Sir Francis Bacon’s birthplace instead, but that’s a story for another time.
On our last night in London, I had one mission—convince Richard to go watch The Mousetrap with me. I was a longtime fan of whodunits and wanted to see the record-breaking production for myself. Richard agreed to go, and we headed to St. Martin’s Theatre after dinner. We arrived right before curtain in an effort to secure reduced-price rush tickets. Alas, the theater did not offer such a deal, and I was down to my last £20. Richard agreed that the “nosebleed seats” would be just fine, so we purchased tickets and squeezed into our narrow upper balcony row. The show was great, but it was not the most memorable part of the evening. I will never forget discussing the show with Richard at the interval or laughing alongside him during it. I know he had as much fun as I did, if not more.
Richard is one of the most amazing people that I have met, and I am thankful that I got to tell him often how much he impacted my life over the years. Students loved Richard, not because of his encyclopedic knowledge of theater history, but because he loved them. So, the next time that you sit in the balcony at MTSU’s Tucker Theatre, read a Pinter play, or tell people how special they are, I hope you remember Richard. –
We salute Richard Hansen and aspire to inspire students the way he did.
Next we acknowledge Ron and Doris Cella. Ron represented Murray State as a founding member of what is now CCSA. The article below tells their story and includes the announcement of a specific scholarship to support Murray State students in their CCSA adventures.
As we look forward, CCSA has embarked on an effort to reach former students. Through self-maintained networks of past students, we’ve collected stories and we’re reaching out to document CCSA’s impact on both the educational and personal success of hundreds of people. As we now see the path from student to teacher in several of our current CCSA faculty and Board members, we learn more of the ripple effect the CCSA experience has on individuals, their lives, and the lives of the people they influence.
Some of our current CCSA folks have shared this link with their former students, but we continue to seek contact with those who have built and benefited from CCSA. Please use this link to reach out to your contacts.
CCSA is a living organization; never static. It is through the generous support of people’s time and yes… money … that CCSA thrives. As we move into 2022, and a spring/summer/fall of fourteen programs, we follow the example of those who’ve come before, and chart a path knowing that CCSA is designed to evolve and respond to the needs of students, faculty, and our 29 member institutions.