By Tom Riddell

Cynthia was a teacher, a colleague and an adviser.  I took classes with her during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s at AU.  She was enthusiastic and loved her material.  In addition, she clearly had high expectations.  It was also evident that she was very principled and committed to a search for the truth.  In the early exploratory days of my decision to actually get a Ph.D., she became an adviser for my first idea/project, which had to do with income inequality and the development of Washington, D.C.  She was gracious in guiding me into exploring the topic and then also in recognizing and communicating that it might be more fruitful to move in a different direction.  Which I did, still overly ambitious, but more contemporary.  She was equally gracious about stepping aside as an adviser when I decided to focus on the political economy of the Vietnam War.  Later (much), I was teaching at Smith when Cynthia joined the faculty there.  As a colleague, she was still very engaged with her teaching as well as her scholarship; and she still had high expectations for students and faculty.  She had an important impact on my own approach to teaching, scholarship and community.  I appreciate her energy, dedication and contributions to higher learning.

–Tom Riddell


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