At a recent Faculty Senate meeting held on Tuesday, April 20, administrators underscored the crucial role that faculty play in making Reinhardt a true community of challenge and care. Among the outstanding faculty honored at the meeting were Dr. Kevin Crawford, Dr. Bobby Epling, Dr. Kathy Hyatt and Dr. Beth Russell.
The Faculty Research and Scholarship Award went to Crawford, an assistant professor of English and theatre, who has taught at Reinhardt for more than two years. Crawford's review of The Third Part of Henry the Sixth, with the Death of the Duke of York, presented by the Atlanta Shakespeare Company at the New American Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta in November 2008, was published in September 2009 in Shakespeare Bulletin 27.3 (2009).
Crawford, a resident of Ellijay, Ga., was selected for the honor by a committee of fellow faculty. On receiving the award he stated, "I hope Reinhardt is as proud as I am to receive the Faculty Research and Scholarship Award, because it's the very encouragement and opportunity the College provides me that fostered my work in the first place. It's rare for an institution to appreciate the extent of interdisciplinary research my projects require-traditional literary scholarship combined with actual theatrical practice-and even rarer to see an award granted for it."
The prestigious United Methodist Exemplary Teacher Award was presented to Epling, a resident of Cartersville, Ga. Funded by the Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, the award is given annually to a Reinhardt faculty member to recognize excellence in teaching, commitment to value-centered education and service to students at the College. Epling, an associate professor of physical education and sport studies, has taught at Reinhardt for more than three years. He was chosen by his peers for this award.
"Receiving the United Methodist Exemplary Teacher Award is truly significant to me," Epling said. "I see the effort my faculty colleagues put into their work and the commitment they make to Reinhardt and its students. Earning recognition on behalf of this group I like, respect, and admire so much is humbling and meaningful."
Hyatt, an assistant professor of business, was honored with the Jane England Faculty Award for Excellence. The $500 award is named for a long-time Reinhardt faculty member who retired in May 2001 and passed away in January 2007. England was a professor of history and political science for 31 years at the College. She also served in numerous leadership roles, including advisor to the student newspaper and faculty chair. Upon her retirement, Reinhardt established this annual faculty award, along with a scholarship fund, in her honor.
"I am extremely honored to receive the Jane England Award of Excellence, especially since we have such wonderful faculty and staff and this was for the first year that I was at Reinhardt," said Hyatt, who has taught at the College for one year and resides in Jasper, Ga. "There are many deserving people on campus and I am blessed to have received it."
Honored with the Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award was Russell, an associate professor of psychology who has taught at Reinhardt for more than 16 years.
"I am especially honored to receive the Vulcan Award as I understand that it was a nomination by students that permitted me to be considered," said Russell, a resident of Canton, Ga. " Then it was a committee of my peers who assessed my portfolio, etc and deemed it appropriate to present me with the gift. This award and process truly does affirm one's commitment to the art and skill of teaching, and I am so grateful to receive this prestigious award."
Vulcan's Southeast Division has sponsored the teaching excellence award since the early 1990s through the Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges, Inc. The award is presented to a faculty member at each of the GFIC's 25-member institutions, in recognition of outstanding contributions to undergraduate education, student learning, and campus life.
Dr. Robert L. Driscoll, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, concluded the awards presentation. "Reinhardt is an exciting place; a college of change and opportunity. As the institution continues to be enhanced with more training, better technology, and more opportunities to learn, we support the work of our faculty and trust the commitment they make to providing our students with the best possible learning experience."
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