Richard Hodges

NHD 1980

Where do you currently live?
Columbus, Ohio

What is your current occupation?
Executive in Residence, Ohio University

What school did you attend while participating in NHD?
Archbold High School

What college did you attend?
BA with Honors from Oberlin College and MPA from the University of Toledo

Who were your teachers?
Jeff Cornett

What years and in what category did you participate in NHD?
1980, Paper

What are a few of your favorite or defining moments from your NHD experience?
I remember traveling with my grandparents to the local, state and national competitions. I vividly remember the moment I realized I was awarded second place. Finally, I was struck by all the student presentations and how they interpreted the theme of the competition.

How did NHD help you after high school?
The NHD process improved my discipline and jump started my research skills. It also gave me confidence in my academic skills that marked a turning point. Finally, it brought me closer to my grandfather, the subject of my paper, who was proud of what I achieved with his story.

What recognition did you receive for participating in NHD?
2nd place at the National Contest

Did you do anything with your NHD project or research after the contest year?
I remember the paper was printed in the local newspaper and prompted a few local stories as well.

What has kept you busy since your days as an NHD student? Any particular challenges, stories, or achievements?
I was elected to the legislature and served in Governor Kasich’s cabinet as Director of the Ohio Department of Health.

Is there anything else that you would like to share about your NHD experience?
NHD was a turning point for me. It gave me the confidence and focus I truly needed at the time.