Remembering Erik Heidemann
Dr. Erik D. Heidemann (1978 - 2013)
We were unspeakably sad to have to announce the passing of our friend and colleague, Erik D. Heidemann, on September 3, 2013. Erik was beginning his 2nd year with us at Kent State, and during his short time with us he showed himself to be a stellar teacher, a committed scholar, and an active member of the department. He was teaching five courses per semester, and almost all of them were filled to capacity, showing just how much students sought him out. Even more telling was the outpouring of grief and sympathy from current and former students, as well as others who knew him.
Shortly after his death, a vigil was held for Erik at "The Rock" on Front Campus. Visitors shared their memories of Erik and reflected in the company of others saddened by his passing. You can view photos of the vigil here. We continue to remember and honor Erik with the Erik Heidemann Scholarships. Each year, one undergraduate and two graduate students are awarded scholarship funds that support student activities and research that align with Erik's work. We are grateful to Erik's family and friends, who have ensured that efforts to honor Erik's life and legacy will continue.
Condolences & Memories
"Dr. Heidemann is one of the professors that stood out as an impactful instructor during my time at Kent State. A day didn't go by without him having a smile on his face and he knew how to get the most out of each individual student. Political Research Methods is one of the courses a journalism student dreads taking. Numbers are not our forte. I was lucky to have taken the class with Dr. Heidemann, who helped me understand the coursework through relevant current event discussion. His passing is a tragic loss to his family, Kent State University, former students and the young minds Erik did not get a chance to mold. I hope that the Poli Sci Department does not forget Erik easily. He was and is one of the great professors to have ever taught at Kent State. One of the most intelligent people to have a discussion with, his loss cannot be measured."
A Wonderful Professor, My Deepest Condolences
"I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of one of my former professors, Dr. Erik Heidemann. I had the pleasure and privilege to take an American politics course taught by Dr. Heidemann during my Sophomore year at Ohio State. He was extremely intelligent, energetic, humorous, and had a tremendous passion for teaching. 35 years of age is just so incredibly young. Although I didn't have much of a personal connection with him, his course was one of my absolute favorites at Ohio State. He always wore a bow tie, brought a great deal of humor to each class, and was very engaged with students. My sincerest thoughts and condolences go out to his family. Dr. Heidemann, thank you for your diligent work, humor, and passion for teaching."
"Erik was by far one of my favorite instructors during my four year stay at The Ohio State University. He was caring yet held us to high expectations and treated as professionally as peers. He had a great way of making you laugh and of teaching you material in a memorable way in addition to leading discussions without bias. My condolences go out to his family, and I am sad for future generations that will not be able to experience being taught by Erik."
Class of 2013
"Erik Heidemann was the kind of man that makes a university like Kent State worth attending. While gifted as a researcher and professional, he cared about the success of his students above all else. He took a difficult course like Political Methods and made it interesting and easy to understand. He was always willing to help after class. I got to know him outside of class. He was absolute class and this loss is devastating. I am shocked, troubled and deeply saddened by passing. My heart and prayers go out to his family. Know you are not alone in your grief."
Sophomore, Fashion Merchandising Major
"When I read about this in the Daily Kent Stater, I just felt absolute shock, then sadness. I had heard that a professor died, but I could never imagine that it was a professor that was so dear to me, and so young. His teachings will impact how I vote, form my communities, and view the world and what publishes in a way I will never forget.
What really made me cry and grieve was that he was so young, that I would never see his lively face again, and that other students will not have the opportunity to be impacted by him. The world has lost one great and talented professor and researcher."
"I miss Erik's emails and phone calls, he always made me laugh. He was a very caring, loving nephew."
Former Student (Political Science)
"After doing a Google search for Professor Heidemann to get in contact with him about Grad School. However, today I was unfortunate to find this headline. I took a PoliSci 574 Voting Behavior class with him in Autumn 2008. I distinctly remember him valuing discussion input from his students, expanding our minds, and encouraging us to be civically active. Maybe it was the dry humor or the fact that he always had an open door policy during office hours in Derby Hall. I am getting teary eyed trying to type up my memories. Erik will always have a special place in my heart as one of the professors that helped me grow as a young scholar and professional. I truly wish his family the best and wanted to express my thoughts here."
"Erik, was a great teacher. I was his RA while he worked on his thesis at Ohio State. He really cared about his students and was extremely knowledgeable. That commitment to those he cared about continued as Erik was always willing to reach out and give advice. He will be deeply missed."