Ralph attended public high school in Ogden, Utah, where he was born. His higher education began at Weber State University and continued at the University of Utah where, following 3 years studying in the Netherlands, he completed B.A. and Masters Degrees. He earned a doctorate in Germanic and Hispanic studies at the State University of New York in Albany and also studied at universities in California, Switzerland and Spain. He has continued to travel extensively throughout the world, including several stays in foreign countries with the Experiment in International Living as leader of student home placement groups.He studied with Dr. Brewster Ghiselin, at the University of Utah who encouraged Ralph to write and stressed " render, render, render" in order to achieve a "vital fullness". Be sparing yet incisive with language and recounting. An author should convey the greatest meaning through wise choice of words while avoiding verbosity. In reading many postwar German works such as novels by the "Gruppe "47, who formed a group that was always a very loose group, he quickly perceived that the same philosophy prevailed as it did with Hemingway. Words were to be treated with the greatest respect and used sparingly and precisely. Ralph's working life has been devoted to education and supervision in colleges and high schools. For the last 12 years he has been engaged in the evaluation of schools throughout the world. He is fluent in Dutch, German and Spanish, passable in French, dabbles in Italian and Bahasa Indonesian, and is able to utter a few words in other languages. He serves on the Arts and Humanities Committee, as an advisor to the Dean of Humanities at Weber State University and writes articles and reviews as a "guest columnist" from time to time for local newspapers. Ralph and his wife, Judith Howell Vander Heide, last year published with Xlibris,Chris and Louisa,a novel which spans 125 years of Mormonism, polygamy and changes in the church from its founding by Joseph Smith in New York State to the 1960´s. The German Leaves grew out of Ralph´s work for his Ph.D. and focus on German Exilliteratur Exile Literature. Although much work has been done on the subject, both in Germany and the USA, the exile writings are still not widely known, yet the literary production of the exiles comprise some of the most excellent pieces in the history of German literature. Indeed, America has greatly profited by the so-call "brain drain" of men and women writers from Germany and Austria. The German Leaves is a work of devotion to the cause of world peace and the great importance of teaching/enjoying the humanities, in encouraging children to be all they can be, to strive and achieve, but always while considering the rights and respecting the way of life of all humans who share our planet. Persons who have read the manuscript have expressed only words of praise. They agree that they have learned a great deal about a subject they had known nothing or very little about.
: Ralph P. Vander Heide, Ph.D
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: Robert Roswell Palmer,Joel G. Colton
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