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Klaus Theis

  • Holds a B.A. degree in the Social Sciences from The Ohio State University

  • Studied labor, international, and civil rights law at The Ohio State University College of Law

  • Has experience as a youth and adult community organizer

  • Is an accomplished producer, director, editor and cinematographer; and a successful entrepreneur

  • Is a long-time peace and social justice activist who participated in a Peace Study Tour of the U.S.S.R. and Eastern Europe during the Cold War

  • Is a published poet and short story writer

At age 42, Rick Klaus Theis is the senior member of the trek team. He has a broad range of experiences resulting from his insatiable curiosity and his love of life. He especially enjoys travel and the arts. Travel aids him in increasing his knowledge and understanding of other cultures. The arts are his avenue for expressing both his wonder at life and his abhorrence at the many degradations which plague our society including environmental destruction, racism, violence, poverty, exploitation, ignorance and intolerance. Theis also works hard to correct these social and personal defects believing that it is his obligation to leave the world better than he found it.

After earning his undergraduate degree at age 20, Theis studied law for two years. Soon after, he became a community organizer and eventually director of a juvenile delinquency prevention program. Theis then began a career in video production. Training on the job, he worked his way up from a production assistant to become an accomplished writer, producer, director, editor and cinematographer. Since 1987 Theis has been a successful entrepreneur, operating his own video production company, Media Works. In 1997 he branched out into writing, editing, research and web site design by launching two sister companies Word Works and Web Works.

Theis's personal commitment to peace and social justice began at any early age. In high school he led students in effectively demanding their rights of assembly, free speech, free press and due process. In college he successfully organized students around the issues of student representation on all university decision-making bodies (including student membership on the boards of trustees of all state colleges in Ohio), open meetings, and affordable fees. After college he spent four years as the organizer for the OSU Students for Peace and Justice which became one of the most visible and effective peace groups in central Ohio.

In 1988 Theis was one of seven Americans chosen to embark on a Peace Study Tour of Soviet-dominated Eastern Europe. The delegation discussed peace and environmental issues with government ministries, non-governmental organizations, and individuals in Bulgaria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and the U.S.S.R. Later Theis spent time working on a collective farm in rural Russia as a part of an International Peace Work Camp. Besides his semi-official sojourn to eastern Europe, Theis has backpacked through Europe three times including visits to Austria, Belgium, France, East Germany, West Germany, Greece, Italy, Monaco, The Netherlands, Spain, The United Kingdom, Vatican City, and Yugoslavia. He also has traveled in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. He speaks English and French.

Theis was first published as a short story writer in 1983. His work is featured in several textbooks including Breaking Through: College Readings by Brenda D. Smith and Workplace Brass Tracks by Lynn Gaetz. His poems have appeared in numerous periodicals and collections. His first book of poetry Recycled Words: Collected Poems (1980-1996) is now in its second edition. Soon to be released are his poetry collections Lorca's Grave and Blow, Man, Blow!, his spoken word and music CD Lorca's Grave, and the music CD Scrath by his band "110".

In his free time, Theis plays bass guitar, collects music, paints, cycles, studies Eastern religion, and dabbles in traditional Chinese and Native American medicine.

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