Dr. Geoffrey Kucera, a faculty member in the College of Education (COE) for 44 years, died on April 7, 2012 at the age of 85. He began his tenure at the college as a professor in 1965 and served the college in numerous capacities until 2009.
Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Kucera attended Charles University in Prague, then the Sorbonne in France for a few years, before receiving his BS in communications and MA in education from the University of Florida (1959, 1960). He earned his PhD in communications from Michigan State University in 1968.
From the early 1950s until his employment at the COE began, Kucera was a newspaper reporter and magazine editor in New Zealand; a film editor, producer/director, and TV newswriter in Florida and Michigan; and an assistant professor of journalism and mass communications at the University of Florida and University of Denver.
After serving as chair of the COE Department of Educational Psychology in 1969, Kucera became chair of the same COE department for the next 33 years while it transformed and underwent three name changes: Department of Educational Communications, Department of Educational Communications and Technology, and Department of Educational Technology. He would become chair of the Department of Counselor Education from 2004–2007 before returning to the educational technology faculty until his retirement.
Curtis Ho, professor and former chair of the Department of Educational Technology, further explained how Kucera led the department through the evolution of teaching with technology, beginning with the overhead projector, slides, film, and educational television. These made way for computer assisted instruction, multimedia, and eventually distance education and the Internet.
“Geoff Kucera provided steadfast leadership for the department and college spanning five decades,” Ho added. “Throughout these changes, Geoff remained firm in his commitment to providing a high quality graduate program. His concern for and support of students is legend. He leaves a legacy that will remain unmatched in perseverance and duration. He has been a wonderful colleague, and our faculty members will miss him dearly.”
Kucera’s professional memberships included the Association for Education in Journalism, Alpha Epsilon Rho, Association for Educational Communications and Technology, Hawai‘i Audio-Visual Association, KappaTau Alpha, National Association of Educational Broadcasters, and Phi Delta Kappa.