By Thomas May
I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Evan Kropp, a new face on campus, who is beginning his first year as Assistant Communication Professor here at Reinhardt University. Dr. Kropp hails from Connecticut, has B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Hartford, and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in Mass Communications. He brings with him quite a wide variety of experience and has an extensive background studying media industries. I had the chance to ask Dr. Kropp about his transition to Reinhardt, what he hopes to accomplish during his tenure, and finally, what he enjoys doing in his spare time.
Q. What would you like students to know about you?
A. I would like students to know that I am here for them. I strive to be a personable and accessible professor that students trust and feel comfortable confiding in. Beyond the teaching that occurs
in the classroom, I enjoy mentoring and helping students develop into happy, confident, and aware young adults who are ready to take responsibility for their futures and aren’t afraid to pursue their dreams. When I receive an email, phone call or text from a student, I’m happy they decided to reach out to me, and I’m excited to see them succeed.
Q. What would you say is the most interesting part of your job?
A. One of the most interesting and enjoyable parts of my job is teaching and researching in the field of Communication and media studies. As a constantly changing field, it’s important for me to stay on top of current events, familiarize myself with pop culture and test new technologies. This means I get to watch TV, use the latest apps and go to the movies while claiming these activities are work.
Q. Why did you choose Reinhardt and how was the transition?
A. I chose Reinhardt because I think the school has so much to offer students. Not only are we located in a fabulous area, but we have strong academic and athletic programs that are constantly improving. The faculty, staff, and administration are all dedicated to making this
school the best it can be, and that creates an exciting atmosphere. To work in a place where everyone cares so much is wonderful. These attributes have also helped make my transition so easy. Every person I’ve met has been welcoming. People are happy to take time from their busy schedules to answer questions or help in any way they can.
Q. Did you always plan to go into academia?
A. I did not always plan to enter academia. After graduating from college, I wanted to work in film or television production, but I didn’t want to move to Los Angeles. That’s really where all the job opportunities were at the time. While looking for work, I took what was supposed to be a temporary job in sales and marketing. That job led to another in Internet marketing,
which led to a position in web design and things just evolved from there. Before I knew it, ten years had passed. Around 2005, I realized I wasn’t following my intended path, and I wanted to be a bit more strategic when planning my future. I spent a good amount of time assessing my strengths, weaknesses, interests and priorities. That is when I decided to pursue my advanced degrees and go into academia. I thought it would be a great fit, and I think I was right. Two motivations really fueled me; to study and teach in the field I find so fascinating and to use my varied life experiences to mentor students.
Q. What are your goals during your tenure at Reinhardt?
A. I would like to continue to strengthen the Communication Program and build on the fabulous work completed by those who came before me. The classes, faculty, and extra-curricular activities we have in place are excellent. I envision some keys to the next few years to include fostering new relationships with the film and television production industry in Georgia, upgrading the technology available to students, and offering more experiential learning activities including some travel abroad learning opportunities.
Q. What classes are you currently teaching or plan to teach in the future?
A. This semester, I am teaching screenwriting, public relations, and our introductory media and writing course. In the spring, I will be teaching media law, media history and professional writing and communication. I am also the internship coordinator for all Comm majors. In the future, I will teach a few other classes in addition to these. I would also love to establish a program that allows our students to intern and study in Hollywood over summer break. These programs exist at several other universities, and they are quite popular.
Q. What is something none of your students know about you/oddest hobby?
A. Well, I don’t know if it’s odd, but my primary hobby is adventure motorcycle riding. I ride the dirt roads and trails located throughout the north Georgia mountains. A few weeks ago, I fell and fractured my clavicle. So, it can be a bit dangerous, but I look forward to healing up and
heading back out. In a few weeks, I will be curating and hosting an adventure film festival in North Carolina. I was hoping to ride my motorcycle to that event, but due to my injury, I now have to drive.
Something my students probably don’t know is that I was married on a Reality TV show. No, I wasn’t on The Bachelor or anything. My wedding was featured on a long-running TLC series called A Wedding Story. To save everyone some time, I will let you know that the episode does
not exist online, so don’t bother Googling it. I do have a copy on my computer, and I might share it one day, but I find it rather embarrassing at this point.