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Pfeiffer University News

Pfeiffer establishes Alpha Mu Delta honors society

ThetaThe Department of Religion and Practical Theology at Pfeiffer University is proud to announce the founding of Alpha Mu Delta, a chapter of the national Religion Honors Society Theta Alpha Kappa. Pfeiffer joins over 300 institutions recognizing academic excellence in the study of religion.
“Encouraged by Marilyn Sutton-Haywood, dean of arts & sciences, we are glad to promote and reward achievement among our Religion students by offering opportunities for society membership, awards, scholarships, and potential student publication in the Journal of Theta Alpha Kappa,” said Kevin Taylor, assistant professor of religion.


Pfeiffer mourns the death of Emeritus Professor J. Griffin Campbell


Dr. J. Griffin “Griff” Campbell, who taught English at Pfeiffer College from 1956-85, died suddenly on Mon., Jan. 12, 2015. He was 95.

During his tenure at Pfeiffer, Dr. Campbell, who at the time of his death resided in Burlington, N.C., with his wife, Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Fellers Campbell, was named an honorary alumnus of the class of 1965, a group he served as faculty advisor. While at Pfeiffer, he served as chair, division of Language and Literature; head of the English department; chair of the library committee; member of the presidential search committee (1968) and faculty sponsor for Order of the Sundial. He was a founder and former chair of the board of directors for Pfeiffer Friends of the Library. Upon his retirement, he was awarded emeritus professor status by the board of trustees.


Pfeiffer University earns 2015 Community Engagement Classification

Carnegie CEC digital sealPfeiffer University has been selected by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching to receive its 2015 Community Engagement Classification. This designation is among the highest honors a college or university can achieve in recognition for the impact of its community service and engagement efforts.

Pfeiffer, classified initially in 2008, is among 157 colleges and universities nationwide to be reclassified for this honor and is joined by 83 new institutions receiving the classification for the first time this year and 121 others that were named in 2010. It is one of six private universities in North Carolina –among a total of 18 universities statewide—to hold this distinction.


Pfeiffer hosts annual Angel Tree celebration for local families

Group SantaPfeiffer University hosted its sixth annual Angel Tree Celebration, a student-run event through the Francis Center for Servant Leadership that sponsors families and children in need at Christmas time in partnership with the Stanly County Christian Ministry.

This year, 70 students participated in the event for 120 local children at Open Door Baptist Church, Richfield. In addition to traditional gift sharing, a Christmas dinner and party were organized for 18 Angel Tree families. The church provided an inflatable bounce house and magician. Various Pfeiffer student clubs and organizations sponsored booths where kids could write letters to Santa, decorate cookies or have their face painted.


Pfeiffer University selected as a top school by Military Advanced Education

MAE LogoPfeiffer University has been designated by Military Advanced Education (MAE) as a Top School in its 2015 MAE Guide to Colleges & Universities. The guide, which measures best practices in military and veteran education, is available in the December issue of MAE and online at


Pfeiffer Sport Management active at ACC Football Championship Game

ACC ChampionshipFor the third consecutive year Pfeiffer Sport Management students were active in serving the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) at their annual football championship game in uptown Charlotte at Bank of America Stadium.

Lacy Lange, Volunteer Director of the ACC Football Championship expressed her appreciation in partnering with Pfeifer University, “Pfeiffer’s Sport Management students who volunteered for the 2014 Dr Pepper Football Championship played a vital role in the success of Championship Weekend. We can’t thank them enough.”


Pfeiffer students and professors roll up their sleeves for “I Love My City”

DSCN0963A group of 35 students and faculty members from Pfeiffer’s business management and leadership program recently participated in “I Love My City,” a designated day of service during which volunteers help homeowners in Concord, Kannapolis and China Grove, North Carolina, make repairs to their homes and property that are too costly for them to make individually.


Ascot Society Alumni Book Collection unveiled at Pfeiffer Library

IMG 3449On Friday, Pfeiffer University cut a ribbon that officially opened the Ascot Society Alumni Book Collection, which features books authored by Pfeiffer alumni, in the newly renovated Joan Rengel Eargle Reading Room at G.A. Pfeiffer Library. 

Also available in the new space are the Barbara Earnhardt Contemporary Poetry Collection, donated by North Carolina author Heather Ross Miller in honor of retired Pfeiffer professor Barbara Earnhardt, and the NC Writers Collection, which spotlights the works of North Carolina writers. 


Homecoming 2014 : "Connected: We are Pfeiffer"

Freddie FalconPfeiffer University’s 2014 Homecoming celebration, “Connected: We Are Pfeiffer,” will take place Thurs., Oct. 2 through Sat., Oct. 4 on Pfeiffer’s Misenheimer campus. The weekend’s schedule includes a variety of celebratory events, dedications, milestone year class reunions, athletics and several free family-oriented opportunities for alumni, current students and the entire community.

For a complete schedule of events, reunions and athletics events and information about those requiring advance registration, visit


Pfeiffer Campuses Welcome New Faculty

Marilyn Sutton-HaywoodWith the start of the 2014-2015 academic year, Pfeiffer University announces the addition of 10 full-time faculty members, including a new dean for the division of arts and sciences. 

“Our newest professors complement and add depth to Pfeiffer’s excellent faculty,” said Dr. Tracy Espy, provost and dean of academic affairs. “Their credentials, qualifications and commitment to excellence will certainly enrich the experience of Pfeiffer students—who this year come from 24 states and 16 different countries— as they endeavor to excel beyond the boundaries and expectations of teachers, families and themselves.”

Pfeiffer welcomes the following new dean and professors:

Marilyn Sutton-Haywood, whose background is in biology, joins Pfeiffer as dean of the division of arts and sciences from Shaw University, Raleigh, where she was vice president for academic affairs and professor of biology. She held similar positions as an administrator and in the classroom with Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, Fla., and Johnson C. Smith University, Charlotte.  Her experience includes consulting on topics such as faculty development, teaching strategies, student learning outcomes and others. She holds a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Central University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Clark Atlanta University.   

Wendy Walston Achilles, associate professor of accounting (Charlotte), a certified public accountant who taught for Pfeiffer last year as an adjunct professor, has corporate experience as a tax manager and staff accountant. She taught previously for Argosy University, North Carolina Wesleyan College, East Carolina University, Barton College and Nash Community College.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University and master’s and doctoral degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Heather BukardHeather Burkard, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice (Misenheimer), brings experience in forensic science and criminology from higher education and the public and private sectors. In addition to teaching at Central Piedmont Community College and St. Leo University, St. Leo, Fla., she has worked for the Cabarrus County District Attorney’s Office, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department and others as a crime scene and forensic investigator. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Leo University, master’s degree from National University, La Jolla, Calif., and doctorate from Capella University.

Anamaria DickersonAnamaria Calincan Dickson, assistant professor of finance (Misenheimer), most recently taught at Minnesota State University-Mankato. She also has experience as a tax preparer and is on track to receive certification as a certified financial analyst and complete requirements later this year for the doctoral program in finance at the University of Missouri-Columbia. 

Jason EmoryJason Emory, assistant professor of chemistry (Misenheimer), most recently was visiting assistant professor, Simpson College, Indianola, Ia., preceded by a post-doctoral research position with Colorado State University and teaching position at Louisiana State University. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from UNC Charlotte and a doctorate from Louisiana State University.

Laura HudsonLaura Hudson, visiting assistant professor of biology (Misenheimer), a general biology lab coordinator and adjunct instructor for Pfeiffer last year, brings teaching experience from Rowan Cabarrus Community College, Duke University, North Carolina State University and UNC Greensboro as well as private sector experience as a research scientist for Soymeds, Inc., based in Charlotte. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UNC Greensboro, master’s degree from University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a doctorate from North Carolina State University.

Charles MeadowsCharles Meadows III, assistant professor of communications (Misenheimer), brings a public relations component to Pfeiffer’s communications program. He has taught at St. Andrews University, Laurinburg, N.C., and University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University and a doctorate from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa.

Marissa SchwalmMarissa Schwalm, assistant professor of English (Misenheimer), a published poet and journal editor, comes to Pfeiffer from Binghamton University, Binghamton, N.Y.; prior teaching experience was at St. Paul’s Advanced Studies Program, Concord, N.H.; Colorado Technical University; F.L. Chamberlain School, Middleboro, Mass.; and Greater Works Outreach Academy. She holds a bachelor’s degree from  LeMoyne College, Syracuse, N.Y.; master’s degree from Chatham University, Pittsburgh, Pa.; and doctorate from Binghamton University.

Sherra WhiteSherra McMillan White, assistant professor of human relations (Charlotte), brings extensive clinical experience in behavioral health as well as teaching experience at Craven Community College, New Bern, N.C., and East Carolina University. She holds bachelor’s, two master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as certification in substance abuse counseling from East Carolina University.

Victoria WinsteadVictoria Winstead, assistant professor of marriage and family therapy (Charlotte), formerly an adjunct professor for Pfeiffer, brings clinical experience in medical, academic, public health and private practice settings. She holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees as well as medical family therapy graduate certification from Nova Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. 

Pfeiffer Sports Hall of Famer Ferri-Lewis Featured by NCAA

Ferri-Lewis1Former Pfeiffer three-sport star Stephanie Ferri-Lewis was selected as one of the 48 best NCAA Division II former student athletes, as part of the division’s 40th anniversary. The 1994 NCAA North Carolina Scholar Athlete Woman of the Year, Ferri-Lewis starred in cross country, soccer and swimming for the Falcons.

Currently, Ferri-Lewis is an emergency room physician and is a wife and mother of two children. Still, the Springfield, Missouri resident finds time to compete in marathons and triathlons.

“I am still an athlete – an old lady-athlete – but an athlete nonetheless,” Ferri-Lewis said. “It’s still a balanced life, and that’s what carried over from my student-athlete experience at Pfeiffer.”

Below she talks about her time at Pfeiffer and her experiences as a student-athlete.

Friends of the Library Welcomes Smoky Mountains Author Wally Avett

Wally AvettPfeiffer University Friends of the Library welcomes author Wally Avett, Fri., Sept. 19, Misenheimer campus, G.A. Pfeiffer Library, 48380 U.S. Hwy. 52N, LTC Mike Little, USA, Ret., Room, 2nd floor. The event begins at 10 a.m., with brunch, followed immediately by Mr. Avett’s presentation. Reservations are required; visit

Born in Salisbury and raised in Concord, Mr. Avett currently resides in Murphy, N.C., a town often compared to Mayberry. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, he developed a gift for storytelling as a newspaperman, including editor for Murphy’s weekly newspaper. His first novel, Murder in Caney Fork, was published earlier this year by BelleBooks/Bell Bridge; a second novel, Last Bigfoot in Dixie, will be available in September.
“Pfeiffer University is thrilled to present Wally Avett, a talented writer who is enjoying literary success on the heels of a long career as a journalist,” said Al Rose ’63, president, Friends of the Library. “Clearly he exemplifies Pfeiffer’s commitment to lifelong learning.”
Mr. Avett, the son of a Methodist preacher, credits the storytellers in his family with providing inspiration for his story plots and characters. He is uncle to Scott and Seth Avett, known internationally as The Avett Brothers, a popular, mostly acoustic bluegrass, country, folk, pop and funk band. He is also an avid reader and gardener, Sunday school teacher and bluegrass gospel singer, hunter, fisherman and semi-retired realtor.
Friends of the Library supports special projects of Pfeiffer University’s libraries at its Misenheimer, Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham campuses. The group’s two main annual events, a fall brunch and spring luncheon, feature an accomplished local author or literary figure. For more information about becoming a Friends of the Library member, please contact Erica Burroughs, director of development, or 704-463-3038.