Keith Krehbiel said mentoring future scholars and teachers has also meant learning from and being inspired by students.
Excerpts and Highlights from Nominations
Keith is very encouraging of student expressing their opinions, makes lectures interesting, and really listens to his students. His lectures are clear and interesting. He has given me confidence in my ability to critique research and contribute to ideas with my own research, and has really inspired me and my classmates.
Keith’s teaching style also makes the class extremely enjoyable. As part of our final exam, Keith has us over to his house to play ‘Congress Jeopardy’. This gesture was very meaningful to me as a first-year graduate student who found whole first year graduate school experience to be a difficult transition.
Keith is genuinely interested in the students’ concern over the materials, and he never forgets to entertain students with his own anecdotes of being a grad student.
On Advising and Research
One of the best things about Keith is that he utilizes different types of advising styles with different students. This sort of personalized advising style is in part why almost every student finds Keith to be a helpful advisor.
Keith has been my adviser in the real sense of the word. He helps focus me, identify interesting problems and turned my broad ideas into specific research questions. What is great about being advised by Keith is that even though our substantive interests diverge, he is an adept consumer of research from other fields, and his comments on my work are invariably insightful. My work is no doubt enhanced by his perspective and his influence has been a key part of my scholarly development.
I consider myself very lucky to have Keith as an advisor for two reasons. First, he is as supportive as I could imagine. Given the constant uncertainty that pervades the life of (most) graduate students, it’s hard to overestimate the positive influence of an accomplished and thoughtful faculty member who actually believes in your work. Second, and more importantly, he doesn’t allow his support to get in the way of his candor.
A very prominent professor at another university once told me he could imagine no better person to have on your dissertation committee than Keith. He wasn’t just referring to the GSB or Stanford, but in the whole country.
Keith’s greatest asset in my mind is that he tells you how it is. If he thinks your work is going well he’ll tell you. If he thinks you should be going in a different direction, he will tell you that too. I am very glad to have someone who I can bounce ideas off of, and know that I’ll get honest feedback. After my first-year paper presentation, without any prompting from me, he wrote me a three page email telling me what I did well and what I could improve. That sort of attention again demonstrated that someone actually cared about my success.
Keith plays ping-pong with his students on a weekly basis. By doing this, I believe he makes his students feel like he is more approachable. As a first-year graduate student it can be very intimidating to initiate contact with professors. By doing something like inviting you to play ping-pong, Keith really helped break down some of the initial barriers to communication. I think this not only helped me feel comfortable approaching him, but also made me more comfortable approaching professors in general.