Quick 5: Craig Clifford

Craig Clifford

1. You're from New Orleans. What brought you to Tahlequah?

Simply, a job at NSU. Job searches are not fun. While I had not heard of NSU before seeing the ad, it sounded like a good job. A one-day interview trip on a Thursday led to a job offer on the next Tuesday. The rest is history. Tahlequah is now home.

2. Tell us about some of your past biology projects at NSU, like your work with fruit flies.

Fruit flies? Burying beetles, house crickets, honey bees, oh my! My doctoral research used house crickets as a model for reproductive physiology studies. I am a physiologist. A great offer came from Camp Gruber to assist with American burying beetle surveys there. What adventures we had at the Camp and adjoining wildlife area! Drs. Amy Smith and Mark Paulissen, along with many students, helped get a better understanding of this endangered species. An honors research project on honey bees reignited a former hobby of mine, beekeeping. I am still at it.

3. Some of your colleagues joked you'd never retire. What was your penultimate status with NSU, and what do you do now?

I retired as a full professor. I was also serving as the Pre-Professional Health adviser. I look fondly on all the students whom I may have helped get where they want to go with some encouragement and advice. I am still teaching as an adjunct because I love it so much.

4. You're known locally for your charitable work, especially with Habitat for Humanity. How did you get involved?

The answer is simple. George Fulk, my good friend and colleague at NSU, caught the Habitat bug and I caught it from him. I really enjoyed using the skills I already had and honing many more, so I can do lots of home repair jobs, as well as knowing that I helped provide a home for others.

5. You also dabble in the arts, as with Tahlequah Community Playhouse. What's that like?

TCP members are third family members. First is my own, wife Patsy and daughter Samantha; second is church; and then the fellow actors of TCP. We have come a long way in our 47 seasons. We are the only dinner theater in the area. We provide affordable entertainment with a good meal. The Penguin Project will make you laugh and cry at the same time. You really need to find out for yourselves.

- Kim Poindexter

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