Bruce Richardson, PhD, a retired faculty member at Samuel Merritt University’s California School of Podiatric Medicine (CSPM) who received numerous teaching awards during his career in health sciences education, died unexpectedly on Dec. 13. He was 72.
During his 27 years at CSPM, Dr. Richardson held leadership roles including associate dean for preclinical affairs and chair of the Department of Basic Medical Sciences as well as serving as a core faculty member. He retired last year and moved to Utah.
Among Dr. Richardson’s professional honors, he received the “Outstanding Teacher Award” six times from 1995 to 2002 at what was then called the California College of Podiatric Medicine before the school joined Samuel Merritt University.
CSPM Dean Eric Stamps, DPM, said Dr. Richardson’s teaching style was very student-centered and that he always looked out for students who needed extra academic attention.
“Bruce was beloved by his students and our faculty,” said Stamps. “We will greatly miss his subtle wit and gentle sense of humor.”
Besides being a colleague, Stamps said Dr. Richardson was also his friend. The two lived in the same neighborhood and occasionally carpooled to work, when they often discussed their children and Dr. Richardson’s passion for professional cycling.
He was also a dedicated environmentalist, Stamps said, always collecting recyclables at work to bring home and properly recycle. On most days, Dr. Richardson would leave the University with a large plastic bag filled with cans and paper as well as food scraps for composting.
Stamps fondly recalls that Dr. Richardson drove a sports car, but never broke the speed limit.
“Bruce almost always laughed at my jokes which were often centered on his exceptionally careful and slow driving,” he said. “The joke — which had some truth to it — is that I could leave work 15 minutes after him, but arrive home 15 minutes before him.”
A trained anatomist, Dr. Richardson contributed numerous research articles to professional publications on topics ranging from the physiology of the pineal gland to the biochemical effects of melatonin.
He earned his doctorate in anatomy at the University of Arizona and completed a post-doctoral position at the Health Science Center at the University of Texas at San Antonio. During his career, Dr. Richardson taught medical, physical therapy, physician assistant, dental, and podiatric medicine students.
Dr. Richardson is survived by his daughter Lauren, 19, and his son Brian, 16.