Profile: Dr. Kachur

Jeff Davis

Staff Reporter

He is a fun-loving, energetic man who is able to make anyone laugh. He is the epitome of strong faculty-student relations. He is a master of human relations and a great listener. He is one of McDaniel College’s most beloved professors.

His name is Dr. Robert M. Kachur and he is one of the friendliest and most genuine people you will ever meet, an Associate Professor in the English Department. With a smile on his face and his head held high, he is the quintessential enthusiast. His love for his job, teaching, and life show that Dr. Kachur is exactly where he wants to be as he constantly exudes a warm, welcoming demeanor.

Every year he teaches a first-year seminar called “Horror in Fiction and Film,” a course covering novels among the likes of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Kachur also helped create a three-week January Term trip to Europe that many of his students were able to go on in 2009.

Here his students lurked about England’s Whitby Abbey, spied on the Romanian hometown of Vlad the Impaler, and retraced the steps of Dracula to places like Budapest, Hungary, as depicted in Bram Stoker’s classics. “I brought my students into the real-world, to the actual places we read about,” Kachur said.

Freshman Amber Slater is currently in Dr. Kachur’s first-year seminar. She loves the fact that “he’s really funny, making us all laugh a lot and holding our attention. Also, he has this crazy, stereotypical, villainous laugh. I’ll be sitting in Glar and I won’t see him, but I’ll hear his laugh.”

Another key aspect that makes Kachur stand out is the fact that he invites his students to his house for Halloween every year, allowing students to get to know him outside the classroom.

“We had a lot of fun at his house,” Slater said. “We played a murder mystery game and I even met his wife.”

In addition to being sociable, Kachur said that he is not only “outgoing but also very introverted and reflective – go figure.” This reflective nature has helped him maintain his strong interest in literature and is part of why he is so intelligent.

Receiving a B.A. in English Literature with highest distinction from the University of Virginia, Dr. Kachur is extremely credible in the field of literature. He went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, also receiving distinctions there.

This past Spring, Dr. Kachur received the Ira G. Zepp Distinguished Teaching Award for inspired classroom work and dedication to students at McDaniel’s Honors Convocation. The award provides a $5,000 honorarium for the faculty recipient and a matching fund for ongoing professional and scholarly development.

According to Kachur, he won this award because he “believe[s] in students – often more than they believe in themselves.” Students, professors, and many in the community all notice Kachur’s inspired work.

Professor Bill Spence, also of the McDaniel English department, went to high school with Dr. Kachur in Hagerstown, Maryland and has known him for 35 years.

“I love his fine sense of humor that his students get to know well,” said Spence. “By doing research with his students, Kachur goes beyond what you would normally expect, especially considering how hard it is to do something like that in the humanities,” Spence noted. “He is often doing collaborative activities with his students.”

Fully aware of the fact that he brings smiles to the faces of others, Kachur said he “loves to teach, laugh, make others laugh, be able to focus on one thing at a time, and see the best in others.”

Dr. Kachur is not only here as a professor, but also as a friend. He enjoys keeping in touch with students after they graduate and observed that “it’s wonderful to realize that the student you mentored has grown into an adult peer, someone whom you can have a long-term friendship with.”

With his welcoming attitude and loving personality, he is one of the main reasons why the light of McDaniel College shines so brightly on the Hill.