History Faculty

Meet our Faculty:

Paul Richgruber began teaching at Lake Superior College Fall Semester 2008 after ten years of teaching at various colleges around the Twin Cities. He is a Minnesotan who hails originally from Bloomington where he attended Normandale Community College. Paul went on to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, where he completed a B.A. in International Relations (1990), with an emphasis in inter-state diplomacy. After living abroad in France and Morocco, he returned to the University of Minnesota to pursue graduate studies. Paul earned a Master of Liberal Studies Degree (1998), with an emphasis in European diplomacy, the causes of World War I, and the origins of the Cold War. He went on to finish a Master of Arts in History (2002). For the M.A., he focused on twentieth-century China, US/China relations, and pedagogical approaches to teaching comparative world history. Paul’s research interests have remained in the area of foreign/diplomatic relations, militarism, and the failure of human relations (more commonly referred to as “war”) since the time of his undergraduate studies. He is an impassioned advocate of global education and the need to prepare American students for their 21st century global reality.



Erik Riker-Coleman completed a Ph. D. in U.S. History with a secondary field in the history of the modern Middle East at the University of North Carolina in 2005. His dissertation traced the evolving worldview of senior U.S. military leaders from the Vietnam era to the present. Erik’s research interests include military history and civil-military relations, American radicalism, and political economy. Since 2002, he has taught courses at Lake Superior College on a wide variety of topics, including Minnesota history, American history, world history, the Vietnam War,  “War and American Society,” the modern Middle East, and modern Europe. Erik remains convinced that history constitutes a potent form of power, as what people think they know about the past very much shapes the way they behave in the present, and that in turn influences the course of societies–thus, history provides the potential for indoctrination and subjugation, but also for liberation through an open, critical exploration of a shared past.


Phil began teaching at Lake Superior College in 2002, after eleven years of part-time and full-time teaching appointments at various colleges within Minnesota. Phil earned an A.A. degree in Liberal Arts from North Hennepin Community College, a B.A. in History from the University of Minnesota, an M.A. in Speech Communication and an M.A. in History/Political Science from Minnesota State University-Mankato. He is currently completing a Ph.D. in History at North Dakota State University. His two Masters’ theses focused on the interpretation of Rastafarian rhetoric and the diplomatic relations between Germany and Italy over the status of Austria in 1933-1934. In the 1990s, Phil authored a number of intercultural and group dynamic exercises, one of which was reviewed by the Journal of Simulation and Gaming. Several of these exercises are now hosted on Michigan State University’s globalEdge international business education website. Phil started teaching online in 2000, and in 2005 he was profiled in the September 2005 edition of Online Classroom. Phil’s current teaching interests include the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean, History of Religion (Judaism, Christianity, Islam), American Politics and Media, General European and American History, Minnesota History, and Instructional Technology.