Dr. Richard Knott
Director of Health and Physical Education Program, Assistant Professor of Health and Physical Education
Division of Management and Education
Ph. D. University of Tennessee 1994
M.S. SUNY at Cortland 1984
B. S. SUNY at Cortland 1983
Dr. Knott has over 20 years experience in teaching and program development in the health and physical education field. He comes to Pitt-Bradford from East Stroudsburg University where he was an assistant professor of sport studies.
What do you think the purpose or benefit of a higher education is?
I think the real benefit is first and foremost a higher quality of life. It enables one to ask better questions of the world. It enables one to be better prepared to assume responsibility in one’s community. The further one goes in education, the more options one has for careers.
In your opinion, what are the benefits of working on a small campus?
I like being able to know everyone. I like being able to develop relationships with students and maintain them over the years. It is more humanizing than a big university.
How would you describe your approach to teaching?
I don’t pretend to have all of the answers. I view my role as a facilitator of learning. It is my desire to make learning a collaborative process. I learn with my students in the process. The better I do my job, the more likely my students will be life-long learners.
What do you think students like best about your classes?
I like the mix of students who are in different places in their lives. Non-traditional students bring very unique experiences to the classes that improve the dynamic of the classes.
Within your field of teaching and research; what specific directions do you tend to channel your energy and why?
My research area is in the history of sport and physical education. I think like a historian. I can’t help it, so I approach most questions that way. My topical interests, however, are very broad, because I teach a wide-variety of courses.
What is an interest or hobby of yours that is an extension of the teachings of your academic field?
Golf, mountain biking, racquetball
What is an interest or hobby of yours that really doesn’t have anything to do with the teachings of your academic field?
Home-brewing and beer tasting
How might you respond to a student who enjoys the subject matter of your classes but isn’t necessarily strong in that field of study?
We all learn and grow at different rates. If the student really desires a career in Health and Physical Education teaching, I would work with him/her to help him/her get his/her grades up. At a certain point, if that seems improbable, I would work with him/her to find a major such as sport management or exercise science that doesn’t require a 3.0 GPA. He/she might be able to pursue his/her interests outside of public schools.
What kind of music do you most enjoy? Why?
My musical tastes are very eclectic. I’m listening to Bob Dylan as I’m writing this. I probably listen to classic rock, and jazz more than anything. The classic rock is the music of my youth. I learned to like jazz in graduate school. I could be on in the background while I read or write. I offered a nice break when I liked the tune, or reduce the pressure of silence when reaching for a deadline.
What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book?
I am reading two things right now, Clueless in Academe by Gerald Graff, and I just started a Dan Brown novel. My favorite author is Tony Hillerman, but I also like Lillian Jackson Brawn. I read a lot of golf books, and works of history, as well as many American classics.
What do you think about today’s pop music?
I don’t. I’ve turned my kids onto my music. They’ve turned their friends onto my music. I really don’t hear any pop music.
Who do you admire? Why?
Jesus Christ, St. Francis of Assisi, Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They all preached a message of active change through non-violence. They were all far more successful than those who chose pathways of violence.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Professional baseball player
As a former undergraduate student, was there a certain professor that stands out in mind as a favorite, someone who you really respected, or someone who really inspired you? Why?
I think that professor was Dr. Joe K. Pierson, who was my professor of Biomechanics, as well as an outdoor education person. He helped create a love and an interest in an area where none existed before. He taught me that learning didn’t have to be painful. He used a lot of interesting stories in his teaching. I didn’t think I was learning much at the time, but I still remember everything he ever taught me.