Change is the essence of Richard Finkelstein's world. Sets. Angles. Productions. And in this visual realm, Richard is a master craftsman and a master teacher. The associate professor and head of stage design at JMU is internationally renowned for his stunning set designs. He creates for the New York stage and a plethora of universities, including the University of Colorado where he taught before coming to JMU and was named the state's Higher Education Teacher of the Year in theater. His work, honored by four Kennedy Center Awards, the Denver Critics award, and by exhibition at the prestigious Prague Quadrennial in 2007 and the Toronto World Stage Design Expos — to name a few — represents exceptional creativity and impact. A simple listing of his work in set design and photography is overwhelming. He has worked with professionals as diverse as Lillian Gish and Yakov Smirnoff, and the estate of the late Agatha Christie tapped him to design sets for Ordeal by Innocence. His photography, equally lauded, is featured on the cover of the 9th edition of Acting is Believing, and he is official photographer for the USA International Ballet Competition. All his talent and enthusiasm Richard delivers to his students whose own success reflects his enormous devotion to his craft and to teaching. His students have gone on to work on such shows as The Lion King, Mary Poppins and Orphan Train. While teaching the kind of change that electrifies theatergoers, at heart Richard Finkelstein is a master teacher, described by a colleague as "a teacher down to his toes."