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Alumni Profile: Rusty Ring


During my summer breaks at Pfeiffer I took advantage of internship opportunities on Capitol Hill.  This led to an offer to work for Congressman Stan Parris (R-8-VA) just after graduating from Pfeiffer University in 1985.  I worked as a Legislative Assistant helping the Congressman on labor and educations issues.  After leaving the Hill, I had an short stint as an editor for a small publishing company.  I found that I missed working in politics so I decided to take an opportunity to represent a trade association in the insurance industry as a lobbyist.  This led to a position representing Mutual of Omaha Insurance in Washington and I eventually ended up running their federal affairs department.  After thirteen years with Mutual of Omaha I left to open the Washington office for AdvancePCS, a pharmacy benefits manager.  Ten years later, and three major mergers later, I am running the government affairs group for CVS Caremark the 18th largest company in the country.

My passion for history continued after graduation and I found that the skills and knowledge developed from my time at Pfeiffer have been invaluable in my career.

Alumni Profile: Michael Stowe

m_stoweI graduated with an A.B. in History in 1971.  The late '60s was an interesting time to be a student at Pfeiffer -- perhaps to be a student anywhere -- considering the social, political, and cultural changes that were everywhere so evident.  Being a small school, Pfeiffer offered a supportive program, but one that was also attuned to the changes we were experiencing.  Several departments, including sociology and history, did not shy away from having honest dialog, even including radical views.  I found the intellectual diversity and honesty quite stimulating, and upon graduation I decided to pursue a career in social work.  I also studied music at Pfeiffer.  My first job was as a social worker for Stanly County, and after about a year I decided to get an M.S.W. at UNC-Chapel Hill.  It was after several more social work jobs that I was hired to teach at Pfeiffer in criminal justice and social work in 1977.  In 1982 I took a job teaching in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work at Slippery Rock University in western PA.  I had helped with Pfeiffer's social work accreditation and this experience helped me get the job of leading our accreditation efforts at SRU.  

I completed a Ph.D. at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Social Work and went on MS1to teach for 25 years in SRU's department, the last six as department chairperson.  I was honored to be named Professor Emeritus in 2008.  Since my retirement in 2007 I have been traveling, playing and writing music, and sleeping late.  My retirement present to myself in 2007 was for my wife and me to take the "Beatles pilgrimage" to Liverpool, London, and Hamburg, following the many Beatle sites and experiences.  This trip will probably not come as a surprise to any alumni who remember me at Pfeiffer because I have long been a Beatles fan.

Alumni Profile: Itamar Friedman

i_friedmanClass of 2009.

After finishing my degree in history at Pfeiffer University, I had the pleasure of volunteering in the Stanly County museum of history. I plan to continue my education with an M.A. and a PhD in history and dedicate myself to a career of lifelong learning and teaching.

Alumni Profile: John McNeil


Class of 2004.

I am currently teaching at East Rowan High School in Salisbury NC  and coaching baseball. I am serving as the Social Studies department chair, and I am teaching Civics and Economics and honors Civics and Economics to 10th grade students. As for the extra curricular activities, like I said I am an Assistant Baseball Coach, and our team won the 2010 NC 3A State Championship.

Alumni Profile: Howard McDonald

h_mcdonaldHoward McDonald
Health Care Consulting Group
Mooresville, NC
704 660-0054 x203 Office
704 421-4905 Mobile

Class of 2005.

Advise public and not-for-profit hospitals and healthcare organizations across the country on marketing and advertising strategies.  An example of current and past clients include Carolinas Healthcare System, University of Mississippi Healthcare and Trinity Health. 

As an account strategist, I am responsible for working with our clients' marketing and PR department and various stakeholders in devising effective strategies to ensure brand awareness and deliverable services while maintaining a positive ROI and messaging. 

Obtaining my history degree at Pfeiffer University allowed me to develop the skills necessary to research, analyze and deliver sound and thorough plans to our clients at all levels in their organization.  The ability to think about and view a multi-faceted obstacle from different angles is key to understanding history and has served me well in my professional life.  The ability to think, not just regurgitate facts and dates, is what has given my firm's leadership the confidence in me to work directly and independently with our clients.