Richard J. Dieker grew up in Emporia, Kansas and attended school there until his senior year of high school when his family had moved to Reading, Kansas. He graduated Valedictorian of his graduating class at Reading High School in 1955. Richard then attended Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia (now Emporia State University) where he received his BS Degree in Education in 1959. He taught junior high English and Speech at Hugoton Kansas Junior High. Richard then received his Master's Degree in Speech from Kansas State Teachers College in 1962. He went on to Michigan State University and completed his PHD in Communication in 1967. During the time he was at Michigan State, Richard taught for Michigan State in Education Seminars in Berkley Springs, West Virginia. He became an Assistant Professor in Communications at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana from 1965-1966. In 1966 Richard started as an Assistant Professor in Communications at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and became an Associate Professor in 1970. In 1976, Richard became Full Professor and Department Chairman of the Communication Department at Western Michigan University, and remained Department Chairman for 17 years. He also continued to teach along with being Department Chairman until he retired in 2001.
During his teaching career, Richard not only taught at Western Michigan University, he also did consulting work and taught agency development and was a guest lecturer. Richard's love of teaching helped inspire many students to achieve their career goals. I think my dad also showed that you never stop learning as throughout the years he would continue to study and achieve new skills such as learning to play classical guitar, sailing, and flying and obtaining a pilot's license. His mother, Matilda Dieker is also honored with he brick on the wall in the Teachers Hall of Fame. She completed her BS degree from Kansas State Teachers College the same year Richard completed his BS Degree there. I want to thank my dad, Richard J. Dieker for all his hard word and dedication to teaching.