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McWatters, Rineharts celebrated with Excellence Beyond the Call awards

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — Faculty and staff at Mount Vernon Nazarene University celebrated the contribution of peers during the Excellence Beyond the Call awards reception held Thursday, Dec. 9, in Foster Hall. The honorees were Joe and Marcy Rinehart, and James “Jim” McWatters. They were nominated by peers and selected by the award committee through a review process.

Joe Rinehart is Director of Broadcasting and Assistant Professor of Communication; Marcy WNZR’s Station Manager. James McWatters is a security officer.

The Rineharts dedication to MVNU and the Knox County community was described as second to none. Here’s what some said:

Joe goes above and beyond the call of duty literally every day. He does far more than just teach and advise. He leads a team of students broadcasting sporting events and chapel services every week. He works countless hours to improve the student experience with real-world skills that they can use to find jobs after graduation. He is responsible for much, both on campus and in the community, that he will never receive credit for. The remarkable thing is, he does this all because he truly cares about our students, our mission, and the body of Christ. He's a true servant at this institution and beyond.

Marcy has dedicated 25 years of her life to MVNU and Knox County through her outstanding work at WNZR. Not only does she work with students, but she works with community members and organizations to strengthen connections and spread the message of God’s love. Marcy often works weekend community events and basketball games, and she stays late to make sure the station is running smoothly when crisis strikes. Marcy is the first friendly face of MVNU for most people in the local community. She is a voice of strength and encouragement especially through the time of COVID. MVNU wouldn't be the same without her.

McWatters' colleagues describe him as someone who always has student safety as his priority. Peers poured accolades including:

Jim’s past work experience in a corrections facility has proven to be beneficial to the Safety Department. The detailed training insights that Jim brought to new Campus Safety hires instructs them to be very diligent in their observations as they patrol. We were grateful to be able to use Jim’s knowledge of de-escalation tactics during COVID. He understands the importance of communication within the Safety Department and in the many departments on campus and does not hesitate to relay any concerns he has.

As Jim moves on from MVNU at the beginning of the year, we thank him for his contribution and wish him well going forward.

The quarterly award includes recognition at an employee reception, a certificate, and $500. The honor was developed and sponsored by donors, who are members of the faculty and staff, to applaud outstanding service, innovation, collegiality, peer leadership, and going beyond the call of duty as recognized and nominated from their peers. Nominations were reviewed by the Excellence Beyond the Call Award Committee, chaired by Mel Severns, University Registrar.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education both in-seat and online to more than 2,100 students from 42 states and nine foreign countries.