“She is an amazingly cool instructor! She is nice, helpful, and very thoughtful.”
– Michael Elder
“I found Mrs. Merchant to be a very sweet, personable professor who genuinely cares about her students.”
– Avery Miller
“She is a great role model , and really cares about the success of her students.”
– River Brannon
These are just some of the great things students had to say about Reinhardt’s Communication and Media Studies Professor, Stephanie Marchant. Marchant is a skilled communication professional with expertise in communications, marketing and social networking.
Watch the video below to learn more about Professor Marchant.
Written By: Matthew Gordon. Video By: Matthew Gordon
The African Descendants Student Association (ADSA), a student-run organization, is looking to expand its activities for the 2016-2017 school year. The organization already is known for its popular Culture Fest, a spring event celebrating the different cultures found on campus, and Afrikka Reads, a community service project that donates books and supplies to schools in Nigeria, but new initiatives include partnering with other clubs, recruiting new members and managing an additional community service project.
This year, ADSA is partnering with an organization called Women of Purpose. The organization works with an orphanage in a rural village of Nigeria that rescues twin children from death and abandonment. ADSA will help raise money and collect baby supplies for the orphanage. A GoFundMe account will be setup and a collection event is planned.
“It is a great project that ADSA is doing, many children will have the opportunity to get a chance to live healthy lives,” Aleah Cooper, a senior sociology major said.
ADSA will be partnering with the Hispanic Club (ALAS) as that group works through some leadership changes. The Hispanic Club and ADSA already have a working partnership managing Culture Fest.
“It is great that ALAS and ADSA are working together to make Reinhardt more diverse and bringing culture awareness,” Omar Cruz, vice President of ALAS, said.
In addition to these new initiatives, ADSA will again work with Afrikka Reads. People from Reinhardt and the local community will be asked to donate books and materials (such as teaching supplies and computers) to be shipped to universities and schools in Nigeria.
“Since this project started four years ago, we have donated books to three universities in Nigeria, two elementary schools, one international school and started the library for an orphanage of children with cerebral palsy, in total, we have donated more than 7,000 books,” Tunji Adesesan, ADSA advisor, said.
ADSA Secretary Emily Haney is hoping for a greater turnout this year.
“For book stamping, I plan on seeing more participation, a huge turnout and the members of the club truly bonding,” Haney said.
The club is seeking new membership and participation because the school population has grown due to the influx of freshmen; that means there are new cultures represented at Reinhardt University. Anyone interested in joining can attend ADSA’s bi-weekly meetings on Tuesdays at 5 p.m. in Lawson 104. Contact Adrienne Lawrence (Lawrence124698@students.reinhardt.edu) for more information.
Written By: Deborah Dahn. Photo Provided By: Tunji Adesesan
In 2012, enduring cyber-bullying and experiencing family issues, 19-year-old Aubrey Woods attempted suicide. Aubrey is not alone. More than 42,000 people die by suicide each year, according to The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
For every suicide, there are 25 attempts, according to the foundation.
During her freshman year of high school, hurtful rumors surfaced about Aubrey’s personal life. After hearing these rumors, students began to call her names and taunt her in the hallways. The bullying eventually spread to the internet and social media.
In an attempt to resolve the situation, Aubrey sought help from her school’s principal. The school attempted to punish the bullies, but that made the situation worse and Aubrey stopped seeking help. She found herself deeply depressed.
“My depression started to worsen, and I began cutting my wrist,” Aubrey said.
Cutting, or self-harm, is a dangerous behavior associated with increased risk of suicide attempts. Research suggests there is an increasing trend toward self-harm and as many as 15 percent of adolescents nationwide are affected.
Aubrey successfully hid her physical and emotional pain until one day she decided to open up about her cutting to her brother, Zane, and their small circle of friends.
Zane was devastated. He understood why his sister was hurting, but he was upset with the way she chose to cope with her pain. He told her that if he were to lose her, he would have nothing left. He would not only lose his sister, but he would also lose his best friend.
After the conversation with her brother, Aubrey stopped cutting herself, but the respite was short-lived.
“I kept feeling mental pain and needed to feel it physically to know it was real. … I imagined the blade being the bullies,” Aubrey said.
Making the situation worse, Aubrey found a new group of friends who were also harming themselves.
One day during her school counseling sessions, Aubrey’s counselor noticed the cuts on her wrist. She immediately contacted Aubrey’s mother, Shea.
Shea was devasted.
During the late 70s, Shea also cut herself, and she was now seeing Aubrey making the same mistakes she did. She wanted better for her daughter and sought help for her.
“Parents, I would say to you, listen to your children, watch their behavior. You are the best judge of your child. Talk to their friends, know them too. If you notice your child is not acting like themselves, talk about it. Get them some counseling, through the school or your own privately. Do not let depression take your child’s life away,” she said.
Despite these interventions and counseling sessions, the situation worsened and the bullying became unbearable.
It was then, Aubrey decided to end her life.
She receded to her room, wrote a suicide letter and ingested a handful of pills.
Zane sensed something was wrong; he felt it in his gut. He checked on Aubrey in her room and discovered what she had done. He immediately notified their parents.
“This may not be the right thing to of done, but we went to Walmart and got her something to make her vomit. … That’s all it took for me. From then on, I stuck by her side through it all,” Shea said.
Aubrey knew she hurt her family with the suicide attempt, but she didn’t realize the depth of pain her actions would cause them until her junior year of high school when her best friend Danielle ended her life.
Danielle’s death made Aubrey realize the impact suicide has on the people closest to the victim, and because of that impact, she realized it was something she could never do.
“I could never put my friends and family through it. I learned people were there for me and I didn’t have to feel alone,” Aubrey said.
With this new awareness, Aubrey found a new purpose in life. She decided to be the first person in her family to attend college. She applied to Reinhardt and was accepted.
“I knew she was special while I was still carrying her. I knew she was going to college one day; I just felt it,” Shea said.
Aubrey persevered through many difficult road blocks, but one more was standing in her way. Despite her acceptance to Reinhardt, Aubrey didn’t have the money to enroll. Searching for a solution, she attempted to enlist in the Army Reserve, hoping they could help pay for college, but due to a previous surgery, she didn’t meet the qualifications. She then started a GoFundMe account and hosted yard sales to raise money. Her efforts paid off and she raised the money she needed.
Now a freshman at Reinhardt, Aubrey is focused on achieving her career goals.
“My major is Communication. … I want to become a journalist. There is so much bad news reported, I want to be the person who reports positive news,” Aubrey said. “I’m a huge football fan. I was a football manager all four years of high school. So, I’m considering possibly being a sports journalist. I hope to one day be on TV.”
In addition to her focus on school, Aubrey hopes to use her experiences to help others.
“There are so many people out there suffering from depression and feeling like they are alone, and I hope when they read this they see that they aren’t. So many people go through the same thing. I wanted to do it so I could show that no one is alone,” Aubrey said.
Aubrey has started her outreach efforts here on campus. Reinhardt students, like many other college students, face many stressful situations. It’s important that any suicidal statement or gesture made by any student be taken seriously and reported to a Reinhardt staff member.
“Staff in the Student Life Department strive to identify students who may be suicidal through awareness, education and wellness initiatives,” said Derek Struchtemeyer, Reinhardt’s Director of Counseling Services. “Therefore students are able to recognize suicidal ideas in themselves or in their peers and refer to our counseling services. We also strive to make it clear that any faculty, staff or student may refer a student they are concerned about to our counseling office.”
Students seeking help can contact Derek via email at email@example.com or by phone at (770) 720-5549. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255.
The Communication and Media Studies program has a new face roaming the halls this fall, Professor Jeffrey Morris. Morris is a Georgia native and attended Paulding County High School near his hometown of Hiram. He later went on to earn degrees from Berry College and San Diego State University. His professional experience includes nine years of teaching and 10 years of operating his own videography company.
Morris answered a few questions to help students get to know him and explain his goals at Reinhardt:
Q: What would you like students to know about you?
A: “I want my students to have goals and to work to achieve them. I feel my job as a professor is to share knowledge in a way that illuminates ideas they hadn’t thought of or focused on and at the same time has a practical application. I don’t believe it is enough to complete assignments as purely academic exercises. I believe that assignments and projects should build on and demonstrate a growing knowledge of whatever subject you are studying, and that should lead to knowledge of a career you are pursuing so that the student leaves Reinhardt prepared to enter the job market.”
Q: What would you say is the most interesting part of your job?
A: “The most interesting part of my job is seeing what the students create in the production classes. Everyone has a unique perspective and creative vision, regardless of their level of experience or talent. I enjoy seeing the students develop their talent and discover their own unique capabilities.”
Q: Why did you choose Reinhardt and how was the transition?
A: “I was already familiar with Reinhardt before the position became open because my wife, Kelly, works in the Human Resources (HR) department. I already had decided (in the back of my mind) that I would like to get back into the classroom again. As chance would have it, Mr. Webb decided to retire last year, and the open position felt like a perfect fit. It has been a challenging transition, going from setting my own hours as a business owner and freelance videographer and editor and going to a set schedule with a five course load this fall. That being said, the Reinhardt community has been very welcoming, and I have enjoyed meeting and getting to know all of the students, faculty and staff I work around.”
Q: Did you always plan to go into academia?
A: “No, but I did decide early on that academia was a good fit for me. I love shooting and editing (especially editing and post production), but I also like sharing knowledge and teaching others. I had an opportunity to teach public speaking while I was a graduate student at San Diego State University, and that was an important formative experience. When I moved back to Georgia a couple of years later, a teaching positioned opened up at my undergraduate alma mater that I accepted. For the next three years, I taught all of the production courses and had a blast! I’ve generally been split between teaching and running my own production company, so in 2006 I decided to focus on building my own company full time and that is what I have predominantly done the past 10 years. However, I never lost my affinity for teaching and now I am back in the classroom.”
Q: What are your goals during your tenure at Reinhardt?
A: “My goal this year at Reinhardt is push the students to do their very best work, regardless of which class they are taking, and achieve this by giving them the knowledge and guidance they need for each assignment or project. I am also sorting through all of the equipment to better utilize the resources that Reinhardt already has while looking for areas that need to be improved. Another major goal this year is to assess where the students and program are at so that the Communication and Media Studies Department can chart a clear course for the future.”
Q: What classes are you currently teaching or plan to teach in the future?
A: “I am currently teaching Digital Film and Video Production, Media and Sports, Audio Design and a special section of the Communication Capstone Seminar. Next semester, I’ll be teaching Part II of Digital Film and Video Production along with Editing and Post-Production (no pre-requisite, students from any major can take it and learn all about editing) and Producing and Directing. I am also teaching a section of COM108 Communicating Effectively each semester.”
Q: What is something none of your students know about you/oddest hobby?
A: “I am a huge fan of Jim Henson’s work from the Muppets to Labyrinth and the Dark Crystal. I have a great respect for his artistry and vision as well as his focus on creating entertainment for children that also appeals to adults.”
Written By: Thomas May. Photo By: The Eagle Eye Staff
One of the many new faces on campus this fall is Rev. Ted Goshorn who joins the Reinhardt community as the University Minister to Students and Adjunct Faculty Member. A Berry College graduate, Goshorn has been working as a pastor in various United Methodist churches in Georgia for the past four years. On his path to Reinhardt, Goshorn says life has often landed him in unexpected places.
“At every moment where I’ve had one thing in mind, turns out God has something else in mind,” said Goshorn. “So, when people ask me where do you see yourself in the future, what’s next after this, I’ve learned to say, ‘I don’t know. I’m here until God calls me somewhere else.’”
After earning his undergraduate degree, Goshorn was unsure of what he wanted to do with his degree but he knew he was interested in counseling. For that reason, he enrolled in a graduate program at James Madison University where he earned a Master of Education degree in Counseling Psychology and Higher Education Administration.
Two years later, while working in Student Affairs at Mercer University, Goshorn remembers “there was something stirring in my soul and I couldn’t figure out what it was, and I’d tried some things that didn’t work out but I felt like maybe I was being called a different way.” He found that way one day after his boss gave him the idea of becoming a college chaplain.
“The thought stuck with me,and God put the right people in my life,” he said. “So, since I couldn’t get rid of the thought I talked about it with some folks and some friends and one thing led to another and realized that the stirring in my soul was God calling me to ordained ministry.”
After earning his Master of Divinity with a concentration in Formation and Witness at Emory University, Candler School of Theology, Goshorn became a pastor. He has served at several Methodist churches around Georgia, and most recently, he was the Associate Pastor at Vineville United Methodist Church and President of the nonprofit organization Field of Hope Inc. His career path then took another unexpected turn when his friend mentioned Reinhardt’s search for someone to fill a new pastoral position.
Goshorn said God brought him to the University during a time when he did not realize he was ready to move again. He recalled feeling “very conflicted” after a phone conversation with Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Roger Lee.
“I was sold once I talked to him and heard his story, heard his background, and then of course seeing his ability to connect with people was another comfort level. But, more than anything else, it was his commitment to service,” Dr. Lee said. “Commitment to service carries a lot of weight with me, and not only his boldness in his faith but his understanding of God’s calling, and for sure his desire to serve people. That’s what it’s all about to me.”
While working in his garden to clear his mind, Goshorn remembers hearing a clear message, “uproot yourself and be planted somewhere else.” He says he knew it was God telling him to take the position. When Goshorn initially interviewed for the position, he recalled feeling, “a sense of home here without meaning to.”
After pursuing multiple directions, Goshorn feels this job is “a merger of both career tracks” that he pursued in school. He says he has had a “remarkably smooth transition” into Reinhardt and he has big aspirations for the school’s ministry.
Goshorn said, “My hope is that through my position, students encounter the living God in such a way that they are shaped as a person of faith, and go from Reinhardt and transform the world.”
Students can become involved with the campus ministry in several ways, like the worship service that takes place every Tuesday at 7 p.m. on the second floor of the Hasty Student Life Center. There are also Prayer Services every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. in the Tarpley Prayer Chapel.
A Rest and Renewal Retreat at Hinton Rural Life Center in North Carolina is planned for Sept. 23-24. Goshorn’s goal is to “establish a culture of worship on campus,” and slowly add to the campus ministry as he learns more about the needs of the university community.
Written By: Jordan Beach. Photo Credit: Jordan Beach