Rick Maxson, Ph.D.
Rick grew up in Ventura, Calif. playing the guitar, performing at events, gatherings, camps and weddings. On a trip to Hawaii in 2005, he took advantage of a free ukulele lesson at Waikiki Beach, and he was hooked! He bought a ukulele when he returned home and discovered it was a natural fit for his experience and talent with the guitar.
In 2012, Rick started a ukulele club at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri, where he is an associate professor of communication. Called the DUkes (dee-ukes), the group meets weekly at a local coffee house to “play and sing loudly,” says Rick. The DUkes were chosen by city officials to represent Springfield at an arts festival in Springfield’s sister city of Isesaki, Japan in August 2015.
An award-winner professor, Rick earned his Master Degree in communication from California State University, Fresno, and his Ph.D. in communication from Indiana University, Bloomington. His research interests include social movements, apocalyptic discourse, memorials and the construction of public memory. He has been teaching for Central Michigan University – Global Campus since 1999, traveling to Georgia, Michigan, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, Virginia, Florida, Louisiana, Puerto Rico, Ohio and Hawaii to teach adult learners.
When he’s not teaching or playing ukulele with the DUkes, Rick helps Karen with the Queen City Ukulele Club. He also spends his summers teaching at a youth camp in Indiana, using guitar and ukulele for enrichment. Together, Rick and Karen perform at events and ceremonies in Springfield and beyond.