By Ralph Winfrey
A husband, doctor and lifelong learner.
In the political science department, on the fifth floor of the Center for Humanities and Behavioral
Science building at Radford University, a muffled and deep melody of jazz music can barely be
heard leaking from one office. Most likely the sounds are from artists such as Wes Montgomery, Miles
Davis and Boney James.
This officeholder is a veteran at Radford University as he has been teaching here for 28 years. He has authored four books and numerous academic journals with his first being published in 1984 while he was pursuing his doctorate degree in public administration and policy at Virginia Tech.
He is a tall, well respected, African American professor with a solid reputation. “He makes sure that you
take away more than just 3 credits from his class, you will leave his lecture with actual knowledge,”
Dominic Murphy said.
Tenured professor, Dr. Reginald Shareef will continue his work until he can’t anymore.
At age 65 he is aware but not excited about the idea of retirement. His passion for knowledge is the
source of his intense work ethic apparent in his lectures and research.
When he is not conducting research or writing academically he will most likely be reading, listening to
jazz music or doing work around his home. He has traveled to both ends of the North American
continent and spent time in Canada and Mexico. He doesn’t have an interest in traveling outside of the
country. On Jan. 29,2017, Shareef celebrated being married for 40 years. “We are what you call empty
nesters,” Shareef said. This means that his son and daughter have grown up and moved out. He is very
proud of his children’s accomplishments as his son is an attorney and NFL players agent, and his
daughter is a high risk pediatrician. “It takes a special person to deal with sick babies but God has
blessed her to be equipped to do all of that,” Shareef said.
Shareef is very close to his family and believes that they were indispensable to his success. “Even though
I am very well middle class, maybe a little above, I try to keep those working-class values. Which means
strong religious beliefs and commitment to family and I have prospered from doing that,” Shareef said.
“Since I have been here nearly 30 years, there are a lot more students of color on this campus. There
used to not be a lot of African American students or faculty either here or at Virginia Tech and that has
changed dramatically, that has literally been the difference of night and day,” Shareef said.
Over the years he has watched technology progress through the turn of the century. Students are
sometimes overextending themselves through relationships, clubs, Greek Life, sports and social media.
Shareef continued to explain that students from previous generations did not have as many
distractions. He then theorized that the current distractions that students face could also stem from the
type of society that we live in. “Since we are in an affluent society that has money, we tend to do more,”
Shareef said. We go out more, buy more and tend to participate in more recreational activities.
In our western culture…” focus is essential for success,” according to Shareef. Students have a lot on
their plates in the modern day and just as many, if not more distractions. Good time management is
necessary to succeed in college and the workplace. He stressed the importance of utilizing the time that
we are giving daily to the maximum potential.