By Madelyn Montgomery  

The scholarship and research efforts of not one, but two, Reinhardt University faculty members earned them both recognition at the 2018-19 Evening of Honors ceremony.  

“This year we have an unusual situation,” said Provost Dr. Mark Roberts. “We could not decide between two excellent candidates, therefore we selected both men for their excellent work.” 

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Dr. Efe Sevin

Drs. Efe Sevin and Kenneth Wheeler not only value teaching; they are also focused on contributing to the scholarship of their fields through research they complete in addition to their responsibilities as professors.  

In order to be a recipient of this award, candidates must have conducted or published their research in the last 12 months and exhibit a high degree of scholarly aptitude and contribution to the faculty members in the field. Both Sevin and Wheeler did just that, walking away from the 2018-19 year with the Faculty Research and Scholarship Award.  

Wheeler joined Reinhardt’s team of history professors in 1999 and has been recognized for his passion for working with students several times, including being a recipient of the Jane England Teaching Excellence Award in 2018. In these past 12 months, the professor of history published “Racial Expulsion and a Myth of Whiteness: Why Reinhardt Normal College Abandoned the New South and Became a Mountain School” in the “Journal of Appalachian Studies,” “Universalism and the Dissenting Tradition in the Deep South,” in the “Journal of Unitarian Universalist History” and “Black Student Experiences in the Racial Integration of Reinhardt College 1966-1972,” in the Georgia Historical Quarterly (GHQ). The GHQ was co-authored with the students from his Town and Gown course in the Fall of 2018. All publications focus on the history of Waleska and Reinhardt University.  

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Dr. Kenneth Wheeler

“Collaborating with my students to research and write the article on the racial integration of Reinhardt is a highlight of my professional career. The work we did together combined my love for teaching and for the historical past in an uplifting way,” said Wheeler. “It gives me great satisfaction to contribute to our self-knowledge, to make aspects of our university and this place better known and better understood.” 

Sevin, professor of communications since 2017, also had great success this past year as he published “Public Diplomacy on Social Media: Analyzing Networks and Content” with Diana Ingenhoff in the International Journal of Communication and “From Embassy Ties to Twitter Links: Comparing Offline and Online Diplomatic Networks” with Ilan Manor in Policy and Internet. 

“I’m happy to have been able to work with other scholars to complete this research and see it published,” said Sevin. “I was surprised and honored to win this award alongside Dr. Ken Wheeler.”