Academics

Dr. Mark Roberts promoted to Reinhardt University provost

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Dr. Mark Roberts was promoted from the position of vice president and dean of academic affairs to Reinhardt University’s first provost to strengthen student experience at the university.

The provost position makes Roberts second in command at Reinhardt University, working side-by-side with President Dr. Kina S. Mallard to help strengthen experiences and enrichment. The change will allow the university to “break down the barriers between students’ academic and social experiences,” Roberts said.  Dr. Mallard agreed, stating that Reinhardt’s goal in adding this position is to “bring together two areas of campus [students and teachers] that most directly affect students.” She added, “We will develop more integrated and creative learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom.”

Before this change, Roberts worked solely with faculty and staff, focusing on the effectiveness of teaching and the communication between faculty and staff members. Roberts’ stated that his previous position limited him in the ways that he could receive commentary on the functionality of the university as he had little to no extended communication with the students, but consisted solely of communication with faculty and staff. The addition of the position opens many doors for refinement and allows him to include not only professors, but student views into his consideration when looking to bring new events and curriculum to the university, he added. The addition of a student development leader that will report to Roberts will also be added to the mix.

These changes are geared at enhancing Reinhardt on an academic level. Roberts stated that improvements in technology should be on the horizon as he takes on this role and oversees the information technology department. He said that “IT services [are] critical to establishing an effective, efficient and an enriched learning community.”

As Roberts grows closer to the Reinhardt community, he will be able to convey a broader view of changes that may need to be made to improve students’ Reinhardt Experience. The addition of the position of provost was made to help improve the efficiency at Reinhardt by gaining a more inclusive view of the opinions of everyone who plays a role in the Reinhardt community.

“Organizations thrive by challenging themselves to change,” Roberts said.

Reinhardt’s challenge now is to restructure itself to include the position of provost and that through this inclusion,“Dr. Mallard believes it will allow us a broader vision, a more expansive vision of the University,” Roberts said.

This “broader vision,” while important to the existence of Reinhardt as a quality place of education, would be less powerful if it didn’t receive the support of its students. Roberts emphasized how important his duty to the scholars of the university is to him. All of his efforts are and will be directed toward improving Reinhardt for current and future students. Students are excited for the changes that will come about with the introduction of a provost.

Commuter and senior Zachary Koppes stated he “[has] never heard of a provost being a negative addition to a university. Having a position that can take on a broader view of Reinhardt’s needs and having someone with the ability to communicate and allocate effectively should be a welcome improvement to the overall welfare of the University.”

The belief that this addition will be beneficial for communication and unification among members of the university is a common one.

Freshman McKayla Parmele said she feels that “the introduction of Provost is a step forward in creating a closer community.”

Regardless of the effort it takes to continue to grow and improve Reinhardt, Dr. Roberts has made it very clear that there is nothing that is more important to him than enriching the lives of students and the material that they encounter during their years at the university.

Written by: Erin Laas.

Leaves of Gold Fall Essay Contest accepting submissions

Levi Cochran
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The annual Leaves of Gold Fall Essay Contest is currently open for student submissions.

The contest, first started at Reinhardt in 2013, provides students with the opportunity to showcase their writing abilities and present their ideas. Students write an essay on one of the three provided topics and compete for cash prizes.

The Chair of the essay contest committee, Associate Vice President for Academic Services and Graduate Studies, Dr. Margaret Morlier, encourages all students to participate in the contest because the competition helps students demonstrate their ability to put their thoughts on important topics into a logical format.

“I think it’s important to reward good writing skills, composition skills, in the essay form because so much of our communication today is in small bits.. …But we’re used to small bits of information,” Morlier said. “There’s a value to thinking through a topic through at least three or four pages, thinking a topic through logically, going into some depth with it and this essay contest rewards that kind of thought process and that kind of writing.”

The three topics for this year include historical, social and philosophical questions. Students must choose one:

Question #1:
2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Parks. Are they necessary to our well-being and worth the enormous cost? Would the public money be better spent rebuilding our decaying urban centers, allowing the parks to be owned and operated by private corporations?

Question #2:
Law enforcement and national security issues are hotly debated today and are complicated by issues of terrorism and racism. What are the significant challenges for public safety? How do you think your generation will meet these challenges?

Question #3:
From a spiritual or philosophical perspective, all of the following character qualities are important— courage, honesty, compassion and determination. Compose an essay about one of these qualities. Why is it important, personally and in terms of benefit to the larger society?

The required length of the essay is four to six pages typed and double-spaced, with 12-point font and 1-inch margins, and should include a title. Dr. Morlier said the judges evaluate both content and composition skills.  Essays are to be submitted electronically via email to Dr. Morlier and should not have been turned in for a class assignment or edited by a professor. The contest is open to any undergraduate student wishing to participate.

Morlier explained that the top essays will contain certain elements.

“I think if someone had a clear thesis and opinion … and logic and examples to support it, just had a good logic to the essay and good specific examples to support. And [the judges are] looking for writing skills, as well: topic sentences, well-organized paragraph, a logical flow to the whole essay,” Morlier said.

The essays will be judged by Dr. Theresa Ast (History), Dr. Evan Kropp (Communication and Media Studies) and Joel Langford (Library). The first-place winner will receive a prize of $200, second place will receive $150, and third place will receive $100. The contest is sponsored by the Student Government Association and the Arts and Humanities Department. 

The deadline to submit essays is 5 p.m. on Oct. 17, and prizes will be awarded Nov. 10.

 

Written By: Jordan Beach. Photo By: Jordan Beach. Featured Image: Freshman Levi Cochran

Reinhardt University Leadership Academy kicks-off 8th annual conference

Leadership Conference
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The Reinhardt University Leadership Academy, sponsored by Student Government Association, launched its 8th annual fall conference with guest speaker Chicka Elloy.

Elloy is a writer for USA Today Education and has been affiliated with numerous programs and organizations around the world. His unique learning style and educational themes granted his work being referred to by the White House. In 2011-2012, Elloy was voted Best Daddy Blogger by parents magazine. One thing led to another, and Elloy was granted appearances on Huffington Post Live.  Elloy has traveled the world and given speeches on leadership to all types of people.

Elloy presented the first conference, Step Up; Stand Out at the Bannister Glasshouse. He has given speeches about leadership all over the United States from employees to students. He is known for his interactive speeches. Elloy uses exercises and games to help explain concepts of leadership. The speech started off with a game of musical chairs, which was broken up into girls and boys. Chicka Elloy used this simple children’s game to inspire meaningful conversation about leadership and the skills a leader should have. He moved on to a game of “Simon Says” and used the game to talk about the “Line of Circumstance.” Chicka Elloy used these games to teach the students about leadership in a way they could understand.

After the conference, Elloy talked about his experience in leadership,

”From when I was 15 years old, I always wanted to be an educator. [And] for me seeing the difference in others after they leave seminars like this always makes the difference for me. So the selfish side is that I get to watch people grow [and] the unselfish side is the people that I am working with are going to be the leaders of what my kids are growing up into. So if you set the tone then my kids are going to follow so anything that I can do to impact that is going to be important,” Elloy said.

Elloy went on to say that all of his material is recycled and most of it comes sitting on planes and growing himself. He looks up to people such as integral and well-behaved athletes and strays away from cultural leaders like Kanye West.

Stand up, Stand Out is a first of a group of conferences on student leadership happening this semester. A conference will be held every month until December. If you would like to attend a future conference, information and sign up can be found on the Reinhardt official website.

This series of leadership conferences are designed to help empower students. The goal is for students to develop leadership skills that can be used throughout their lives in any situation.

Upcoming RULA Events

Leadership and Lemonade: Leadership for a Better World with Meredith Keating
Friday, Oct. 21, Bannister Glasshouse, 1-2 p.m.

Leadership and Lemonade: Leading Out of Character with Rev. Ted Goshorn
Friday, Nov. 18, Bannister Glasshouse, 1-2 p.m.

 

Written By: Marvin Monroe and Jaydon Smith. Photo Credits: Jaydon Smith

Students gather for first Presidential debate watch party

Presidential Debate
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In an effort to get students involved, Reinhardt Student Activities set up the Bannister Glasshouse for a presidential political debate viewing party.

The first debate of the 2016 Presidential race took place Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. According to CNN, 70 million to 100 million viewers were expected to tune in to the debate, making it a huge opportunity for the candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, to get their positions in front of potential voters.

Students began gathering in the Glasshouse well before the debate was slated to begin at 9 p.m., filling up all seating available. Dr. SimonPeter Gomez, assistant professor of political science, was in attendance to facilitate discussion among the students.

Issues mentioned during the debate, moderated by NBC journalist Lester Holt, were broken into three segments: achieving prosperity, America’s direction and achieving America.

The first segment ended up going over schedule with each candidate’s insistent rebuttals, consuming a lot of the allotted time. It included issues covering individual income, securing American jobs, trade relations with other countries, as well as tax cuts (and who should get them). Trump was questioned about the non-release of his tax returns and he said he would do so when Clinton releases her 33,000 deleted emails.

The second segment began as a discussion on race relations and crime rate, but also covered the birther movement perpetuated by Mr. Trump. The third and final segment addressed cyber warfare and how ISIS has used the internet as a tool in war. Each candidate also addressed nuclear threats.

This segment, and the debate, closed with an argument of which candidate essentially has what it takes to be President — a question that arose from Trump having previously said, “I just don’t think she has a Presidential look…” regarding Clinton.

Gomez shared his thoughts on how each candidate performed during the first head-to-head presidential debate of the campaign season.

For Trump, it was an opportunity to demonstrate composure, Gomez said.

“He had to come across as rational, as someone who wasn’t a hothead, and that he actually had at least had some control of the facts,” Gomez said.

During the discussion following the debate, several students mentioned that they were surprised at how reserved Trump seemed, relative to his norm.

“Honestly, I was impressed that Trump wasn’t as radical as he was during the primaries,” student Ian Schumacher said.

Clinton’s problem was nearly the opposite. Gomez agreed that she should use this debate as an opportunity to demonstrate her ability to relate to the country’s general populace.

“I don’t know if she necessarily accomplished what others said should be her goal, which is to show her personal side,” Gomez said.

Schumacher said he felt Clinton answered with some good comebacks for Trump.

“I think Hillary came back with some good shots,” Schumacher said. “She would come back with something smarter. … It was something I was looking for.”

Following the debate, Gomez led a discussion regarding the students’ thoughts on the debate, such as things that they wished had come up and who they felt performed better. Several students stated that immigration and educational funding were two issues of which they would have liked to see more.

Students all seemed to enjoy the opportunity to view the event with their fellow college students.

“Yeah, it was fun,” Schumacher said, adding that he would come to the future debate watch parties as long as his schedule allowed it.

There are watch parties planned for the remaining two debates, one on Oct. 9 and the last one on Oct. 19. Gomez said that he would love it if the entire campus was in attendance.

 

Written By: Thomas May. Photo By: Aaron Simmons.

Reinhardt ranks in top 25 percent of Best Regional Colleges in the South

Best Regional College
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Reinhardt University has climbed the ladder to rank in the top 25 percent in U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Regional Colleges in the South for 2017. Reinhardt is now in the 29th spot of 113 schools jumping up from the 54th place in the 2016 rankings.

President Dr. Kina S. Mallard acknowledged this success and said, “In higher education today, rankings have become part of the credibility of a university. The significant increase in Reinhardt’s ranking over the last year validates that we are on the rise fulfilling our mission, increasing our student outcomes and continuing to provide a unique experience where each student thrives.”

dsc01696_optReinhardt succeeded in advancing its peer assessment ranking from 2.6 to 2.7. This ranking accumulates the opinions of people in a position to judge a school’s undergraduate academic excellence and weighs 22.5 percent in the overall score. The score is decided by a survey sent to presidents, provosts and directors of admissions at peer institutions in spring 2015 and spring 2016.

Other accomplishments include Reinhardt’s low student to faculty ratio and class size, which is 9 percent of the overall score. The average class size is 13 students, with the student to faculty ratio being 12:1. Reinhardt’s dedication to student success is revealed by the released rankings. The University’s mission to educate the whole person, preparing the individual to enter the professional world and instilling good community citizens, is strived for each and every day.

“Reinhardt University is pleased to be ranked among the top regional colleges in the South,” said Dr. Mark Roberts, vice president and dean for academic affairs. “Our movement upward in the rankings reflects our learning community’s ongoing commitment to educating, as our mission directs, ‘the whole person’ by ensuring enriched experiences in the academic and social environment.”

The U.S. News and World Report ranking evaluated seven different components overall: undergraduate reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity, financial resources, graduation rate performance and alumni giving rate.

 

Written By: Marvin Monroe. Photo Credits: Marvin Monroe