Dr. Clifton Kreps
Dr. Clifton Kreps
Professor of Classics; Classical & Modern Languages Department Chair
B.A. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
M.A. University of Texas-Austin
Ph.D. University of Texas-Austin
Member of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens
My current research focuses on Greek tragedy, especially social issues embedded within tragedy; a recent interest has been coming-of-age myths in tragic contexts.
What do you like best about teaching at Truman?
Truman has many high-caliber students, class sizes are manageable, and there is a clear institutional commitment to student learning. All of this suits my approach to teaching, which emphasizes direct personal communication, active student involvement, and mutual trust and goodwill.
What has been your most memorable experience at Truman?
Performing in Baldwin Hall with the blues band Deadwood, backing up pianist Johnny Johnson was a very memorable moment.
What has been your greatest accomplishment or success while teaching at Truman?
My greatest success has been introducing a program in classical Greek and developing, with the help of my colleagues, a full degree-granting program in Classics to complement the university’s mission in the liberal arts.
What has presented you with the greatest teaching challenge?
Most of my teaching is in ancient Greek and Latin, which are difficult subjects requiring sustained efforts on studentssssssÃƒÆ’? part; in addition, they are ÃƒÆ’?deaddddddÃƒÆ’? languages, the significance of which is easily obscured by more immediate concerns of the modern world. The constant challenge for me is to make the technical aspects of the language manageable while also providing students an opportunity to discover the ways in which the study of ancient Greek and Latin can change their lives for the better.
How do you get acquainted with students at Truman?
Primarily in the classroom. I do hold gatherings for Greek and Latin students and faculty at my home fairly regularly, however. I like to spend time with students in such a setting in order to develop a relationship that goes beyond the classroom experience. I have also developed some close associations with students through musical activities.
What do students seem to like most about your classes?
I think students perceive that I am trying to help them, to support them, to reward their efforts, to guide them as efficiently as I can through the learning process, and to enjoy our collaboration as much as possible.
What graduate schools are some of your former students attending?
Former students of mine are attending or have attended graduate school at: University of North Carolina, University of Texas, University of Missouri, University of Kansas, University of Minnesota, University of Michigan Law School, Yale University, Duke University (Divinity School), Princeton Theological Seminary, Washington University, Rutgers University, University of Wisconsin and Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta.