At the final Faculty Senate meeting of the academic year, University 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. Ken Wheeler, Dr. Jonathan Good and Dr. Zach Felix.
Dr. Ken Wheeler, an associate professor of history, received the Academic Research Award for the recent publication of his first book, Cultivating Regionalism: Higher Education and the Making of the American Midwest. Wheeler, a resident of Birmingham, Ala., has taught at Reinhardt for more than 12 years.
“I feel deeply honored to have been recognized by Reinhardt for scholarship that expands human knowledge,” said Wheeler. “It is wonderful to work in a place that cultivates the life of the mind and celebrates intellectual inquiry of both students and professors.”
Also honored for his research, Dr. Kevin Crawford, an assistant professor of English and theatre, received the Artistic Performance/Research Award for directing and performing in the Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival’s 21st anniversary “Shakespeare by the Sea” production of The Tempest. This is the third consecutive time Crawford, a resident of Waleska, Ga., has received the award.
“I am continually reminded how wonderful Reinhardt is in recognizing the efforts of its faculty, just as I am proud that the work of Reinhardt's ever-growing artistic community is acknowledged in this particular award,” said Crawford, who has taught at Reinhardt for more than four years.
Dr. Jonathan Good, an associate professor of history, 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 Reinhardt. 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 like how, at Reinhardt, a professor can get to know his students over the course of several semesters,” said Good, a resident of White, Ga., who has taught at Reinhardt for more than seven years. “It is a pleasure to see them grow and develop intellectually, and to learn from them, too. I feel deeply honored that my teaching and mentorship have been judged worthy enough for the Jane England Award.”
Honored with not one, but two awards, Dr. Zach Felix received the prestigious United Methodist Exemplary Teacher Award and the Vulcan Materials Company Teaching Excellence Award. Felix, an assistant professor of biology and resident of Canton, Ga., has taught at Reinhardt for more than three years.
Funded by the Division of Higher Education of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, the Exemplary Teacher 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 University.
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.
“I don't think that there are any faculty here at Reinhardt that teach so that they can win awards; I am no exception,” said Felix. “I decide how and what to teach by thinking about what students need to know and be able to do in order to be more professional, successful people. That said, when you do what you feel to be right and true and your efforts are noticed and rewarded by your peers and your students it feels pretty good. I am honored to have received these awards.”
Dr. Robert L. Driscoll, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the University, concluded the awards presentation. “Reinhardt is an exciting place; a University of change and opportunity. As the institution continues to be enhanced with new facilities, 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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