Staff Spotlight: Dr. Evan Kropp

By Thomas May

I recently had the opportunity to interview Dr. Evan Kropp, a new face on campus, who is
beginning his first year as Assistant Communication Professor here at Reinhardt University.
Dr. Kropp hails from Connecticut, has B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Hartford,
and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in Mass Communications. He brings with
him quite a wide variety of experience and has an extensive background studying media
industries. I had the chance to ask Dr. Kropp about his transition to Reinhardt, what he hopes
to accomplish during his tenure, and finally, what he enjoys doing in his spare time. [Read more…]

Q&A with President Mallard

By Deborah Dahn

Many of you are familiar with the newly elected President of Reinhardt University. President Dr. Kina Mallard gives hope for the promising future of Reinhardt University. She has implemented many changes such as the renovation of the Gordy Dining Hall. In this Q&A, she answers many of the FAQ amongst students on campus and you as students and individuals will get to know what kind of person and leader she is. There will continue to be more changes for Reinhardt because President Mallard has plans to make Reinhardt an even better place by first listening to what the students have to say. September 22 will be the day the students will be heard and on April 15, those suggestions will be presented to the inauguration.

The five-year plan for Reinhardt will come from those important suggestions from the students to the leaders. President Mallard’s main focus is on the students because every decision affects them. “We are working on improving the student experience at Reinhardt. Renovation of residence hall space, the new Grab n’ Go at the library, the addition of Starbucks in October, increased activities on the weekends, and a focus on school spirit are examples of student- focused changes.” President Mallard is working on “creating more opportunities for a large group meeting for student input such as the Strategic Planning session on September 22.” She wants more student representation at faculty committees and also encourages that students continue to let their voice be heard through SGA. She is further opening up the bridge of communication by personally reaching out to students and asking their opinions on certain issues. “I always want to be a president who is accessible to the students”- President Kina Mallard.

Under the new leadership of President Mallard, there will be more academic opportunities such as new degrees in Bachelor of Business Administration online and Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. In 2017, there will be a Bachelor Degree of Nursing. President Mallard will work with a leadership team of Vice Presidents and the athletic director to implement these new changes. Most of you have probably wondered what exactly the President does, besides making these exciting changes. President Mallard is an extremely busy woman and the success of Reinhardt depends on her. Strategic planning is the number one thing to do if you want anything you do to succeed. In other words, President Mallard is the sole strategic planner for the school. It is her job to “set the vision and direction of the school” and make sure that everybody else follows suit.

The President and Advancement Team are responsible for fundraising and raising money to support student scholarships, facilities and operations. One of the important jobs that President Mallard does is, in my opinion, be the school’s PR. She” maintains relationships with the students, faculty, staff, donors, alumni’s, the Board of Trustees, the community and the churches.” Every person has strengths and weaknesses, leaders are not exempt. I asked President Mallard what her weakness was and how she overcomes it. She said,“I am impatient, rarely do things happen fast enough for me. I compensate by being transparent and sharing with my leadership team that I realize I may expect them to move faster than they honestly can move- and I ask them to reign me in when they need to. I asked them to be honest with me when I move too fast and they are! My family figured this out a long time ago and I have a fabulous spouse who keeps me grounded.” Being a leader is not an easy task, and it takes hard work, cooperation and unity from everybody to be a success.

The advice that President Mallard leaves with the students is “- Seek God’s advice. God knows more about Leadership than anyone else. Lean into His understanding. – Listening is the most important leadership skill. You need to have your ear to the heart of your employees and your constituents. – Always respect others. Their opinions matter and can help you be a better leader. – Get things done. Great leaders get great results. – Find opportunities to laugh and have fun. Leading is not easy. You need to find joy in the work. – Surround yourself with balcony people – those who believe in you and cheer you on. The naysayers will find you and you need to balance that with family, friends, and colleagues who will tell you the truth, but believe in you 100% – Hire people who are smarter than you in their areas. Never underestimate the importance of a competent team – Don’t compromise who you are. Be authentic and honest – Always do “the next right thing!”

Dr. Kina S. Mallard named Reinhardt’s 20th president

Dr. Kina Mallard. Photo by Jeff Reed.

By Katie Gibson

In a press conference held in the Science Center atrium on Thursday, February 12th, the 20th president of Reinhardt University was announced.  Dr. Kina S. Mallard will be assuming office after current university president Dr. Isherwood’s retirement later this year.

The search for this president was conducted over the previous seven-months, and just this Tuesday, Feb. 10th, the Board of Trustees voted on the three final candidates.  A member of the search committee and the Reinhardt Board of Trustees Chair William G. Hasty, Jr. informed the public of several aspects of the search during his speech: “The 70 applicants were all very well qualified, yet we were particularly impressed with Dr. Mallard.  Every time she spoke with us, she was so enthusiastic about being our next president.  She has excellent communication skills and a heart for students.”

The 70 applicants who were considered came from across the country. Dr. Mallard comes to Reinhardt from Newman University, in Jefferson City, Tenn., where she served as executive vice president and provost since 2012.  The decision process, while ultimately up to the Board of Trustees, was consulted by a search committee with representatives of the student body, faculty, and community.

Some of Dr. Mallard’s first words to the assembled students, faculty, media and community were, “That felt good, this feels like the right place to be.” Dr. Mallard has 30 years of experience in higher education and spoke enthusiastically and optimistically about the future of the University. She has a Doctorate in Communication, a Master of Arts in Organizational Communication from the University of Tennessee, and a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Theatre from Middle Tennessee State University.

As Dr. Mallard concluded her speech thanking the various people that led to her being chosen as the new president for Reinhardt University she said, “I am humbled and I am honored.  From the moment I met the search committee I knew this was the perfect place.” Before she left the podium she simply said, “Let’s go Eagles.”

Reinhardt’s Student Government Association president and search committee member Alexander Bryant presented Dr. Mallard and her husband Steve Dietz with an engraved door knocker as a gift welcoming them to Reinhardt.  In Bryant’s speech he likened Reinhardt to an old southern home, and invited Dr. Mallard to stay awhile, ending his speech with a resounding, “welcome home” as he presented her with the gift.

Dr. Isherwood, Reinhardt’s current president, will retire on June 30th, with Dr. Mallard assuming office on July 1st of this year.

Dr. Mallard and husband Steve Dietz are presented with engraved door knocker by Alexander Bryant. Photo by Katie Gibson.

Dr. Michael David Gregory Resigns During Investigation of Sexual Battery

Professor of Music Dr. Michael David Gregory resigned from Reinhardt University ahead of schedule during December of 2014. This information was emailed to the student body on January 2nd of this year.  What was only released today, is that his resignation happened after the Cherokee County Sheriff’s department had shared their results of the investigation on allegations of sexual battery.  While the University was in the midst of their review, Dr. Gregory tendered his resignation.

More details will be forthcoming.  In the meantime you can further explore the issue by reading this article on Atlanta Journal Constitution here.

Reinhardt University: A Change is Coming

Three candidates are currently vying to be university president at Reinhardt University.  As the different candidates showcase their capabilities and desire to become a part of the Reinhardt community, the students are asked to share their opinions.  All of the candidates have held, or will hold, an open forum where students have the option to attend and ask questions.  If anyone wants to share their opinion after their experience with the potential leaders of the University, they can check their student email and respond to a survey which will be considered when the final decision process for choosing the president is underway.  Especially for those students who will not be graduating in May, this decision will likely have an impact on how their university is being run and represented.  The opportunity to make your voice heard is available, who will answer the call?

Hotel/motel taxation update

By Meagan Hurley, Editor-In-Chief

At the council meeting on Monday, Sept. 22, Waleska city officials spoke in reference to their attempted imposition of a hotel/motel taxation ordinance on resident students at Reinhardt. In a statement issued by Mayor Doris Jones, the council explained that the city is waiting on a current ruling from the Georgia Attorney General before any further action may be taken.

Mayor Jones stated, “I am coming up to speak to you tonight on the subject of the lodging ordinance and the fees. The option was presented and encouraged by the Department of Community Affairs at the Georgia Municipal Association convention and the city was looking into the possibility. Apparently it’s a gray area of the law. However, the city is not taking any further action on the issue until we receive direction from the Attorney General’s office, which the Georgia Municipal Association is obtaining.”

City Manager Aimee Abernathy later commented that the Attorney General’s office has not provided the city with any timeline for the decision.

Abernathy also stated that, while no college in the state of Georgia has attempted the ordinance, other states have been successful.

SGA President Alexander Bryant was present at the meeting. He issued the following statement:

“I believe the meeting went extremely well. I believe it was very civil and reasonable dialogue and I think both sides are much better informed now. However, my position is still the same. I still oppose [the taxation] on behalf of the students and the university.”

He added, ”I believe it is not a beneficial policy, not so much for its temporary effects on Reinhardt, but for the precedent it makes for the state of Georgia.”

For more information regarding the hotel/motel taxation, visit the Georgia Department of Community Affairs website. City council members encourage questions. Meetings are held the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month at city hall.

School Mascot to be Named After Many Years

Who-RUIn late February students, staff, faculty, and alumni should expect an email with a ballot to vote for the name of Reinhardt’s mascot, the eagle. While Reinhardt has had an eagle as a mascot for thirty years, the eagle has never had an official name. This year the Student Government Association is working to change that in their plans to ramp up school spirit. In addition to a new football team, Reinhardt will get a new marching band, official fight song, and a real mascot name. In the past students have referred to the mascot as “Soar” or “Reiny” but no name has ever been officially recognized by the university.  
In 1982 Thelma Rogers, a member of the physical education faculty, decided Reinhardt needed a mascot. An eagle was decided on, perhaps because of Reinhardt’s religious ties and the inspiration of Isaiah 40:31: “They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint.” Originally part of the cheerleading team, the mascot appeared at athletic campus events and wore the same costume for twenty-five years. Five years ago, SGA took over the mascot. They bought a new eagle costume as well as multiple outfits for the different athletic events. The mascot currently has basketball, soccer, and spirit costumes for campus events such as Orientation and Experience Reinhardt. Next year the mascot will also have a football uniform and will make appearances at football games, pep rallies, and community events. SGA has funded $1,000 for this semester’s mascot program assistant position, which is currently filled by Brad Cook. As the mascot, Brad will have attended over 50 home games in the spring semester and will continue to attend even more with the football program in the fall. Athletic Director Bill Popp is excited about the naming of the mascot. “This is one of those moments at Reinhardt that we can all come together over a common theme like our mascot and truly have a group effect on a tradition that will last for many many years,” comments Popp.
Walter May, Director of Student Activities, was pleasantly surprised at the level of participation in the naming nomination process and was amazed in the knowledge students had in the history of Reinhardt and North Georgia. In the first day of nomination, over thirty names were submitted. By the end of the nomination process, eighty names had been submitted. Some names tied in relation to both Reinhardt and Georgia’s past, including Gordy, Hasty, Tara, Captain Reinhardt, and Augustus or “Gus”, the school’s founder. Others submitted eagle-related names such as Talon and Soar. The 

nomination committee is currently eliminating names and will provide a ballot with five names they feel will represent Reinhardt in the best possible way. After the ballots from students, staff, and alumni are counted, the committee will present the votes to administration. The administrators of Reinhardt will have the final say in the naming of the mascot.
Keep waiting for the ballot, and take part in the naming of your mascot!
Candice Bailey

Possible Increase in Student Activities Fees

Photo courtesy of Google Images.
Photo courtesy of Google Images.

Photo courtesy of Google Images.

A new proposal will be put forth to the Student Senate this February: a proposal to raise student activity fees from $50 a semester to $100 a semester. The Office of Student Activities, the Student Government Association, and the Student Activities Fee Committee have put forth this proposal after reviewing how student fees are being spent. In a survey of the student body, many students said they would enjoy more programs and weekend or late-night activities. The committees involved in proposing the rise in student fees state that the extra money will be given to clubs and organizations around campus to expand their event and activities.

The Student Senate will vote on the proposal to be put forth to the Executive Board by late March. The majority of the student body will need to support this proposal in order for the change to be made. Without student support, the proposal will not succeed nor will it be supported by the Board of Trustees. Students wishing to give their input on the proposal are invited to attend the Senate meetings.

While some students may feel that a rise in student activity fees is unnecessary, Reinhardt’s student fees are relatively low compared to other Georgia colleges. On average, other schools charge about $100-$250 a semester. A rise in student activity fees will increase the number of programs and activities around campus and enhance Reinardt’s appeal to prospective students.

Candice Bailey

Reinhardt Receives New Entrance Sign

Photo by Candice Bailey.
Photo by Candice Bailey.

Photo by Candice Bailey.

Many students have noticed Reinhardt’s new sign that appeared after winter break. The generous James and Sis Brown family donated $100,000 for the new sign. The long-term friends of Reinhardt from Dalton, Georgia, felt that Reinhardt needed to make a grander first impression when strangers to the school first enter Waleska. The sign will display the words “Reinhardt University 1883”. Further construction and completion of the sign is halted until a dry date. Once the letters are put into place, the sign will be lit and flowers and shrubs will be planted around the new sign. Along with the new sign, modifications have been made to the main entrance to the campus in order for the sign to more closely resemble the new sign. In the past the family also donated money for a new athletic center: the James and Sis Brown Athletic Center.

Brasfield and Gorrie Construction Company has undertaken construction of the new sign and expects to complete the sign as soon as the rain lets up.
Candice Bailey

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