Faculty: Michael Thompson

thompsonMichael D. Thompson, Professor of History
Chair, Department of History and Political Science

It has been an incredibly rewarding experience to teach at Pfeiffer since the Fall 2000 semester. My principle responsibilities include teaching the general education survey of United States History and the advanced and research courses in American History. Topics range from the American Revolution and Early Republic to the Civil War and Reconstruction to the Vietnam Era. The classes that I am especially proud of are the few that I have developed in tandem with professors in Pfeiffer's Language and Literature department—The Civil Rights Movement and The American South. Both topics reflect my past research and ongoing passion.

Away from Pfeiffer, I enjoy spending my time running, watching English Premier League soccer, traveling, and volunteering at the YMCA of Greater Charlotte. All of these I am able to do alongside my wife, Molly, and my daughters, Elly and Sarah. One of my most significant accomplishments that ties together work and service has been the development of an educational program for middle and high school students in Charlotte called “Creating a Usable Past: A Study of the Civil Rights Movement.” In Spring 2009, while on sabbatical, through a partnership with the Stratford Richardson YMCA, I created a travel and learn program for young people. You are welcome to take a look at some of the many locations where organizers and participants have made an effort to tell our story.

Creating a Usable Past
This blog traced the partnership between the Stratford-Richardson YMCA and Pfeiffer University historian, Michael Thompson, as they seek to engage young people in the study of the Civil Rights Movement and ways to use lessons from the past to transform their present and future lives.

 

Faculty: Juanita Kruse


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I earned my Ph.D. in History from Miami University in 1982 and have been teaching at Pfeiffer ever since. My primary field of study is nineteenth and twentieth century Europe, with particular emphasis on Britain. I'm also very interested in medieval England and have created a class called Life in Medieval England which allows students to explore the lives of Medieval English people through their own research. My current reading is largely focused on the ancient world as I am preparing to teach a new class on Ancient Greece and Rome. I have found much of my time increasingly absorbed over the years in reading world history and trying to find ways to make it interesting and understandable to freshmen. I teach Civilizations of Asia, Civilizations of Africa and the Middle East, Civilizations of Europe I and II, and most recently, Civilizations of Latin America.. My current obsession is with finding good pictures to illustrate these classes. History is so much more than names and dates. Pictures of art, architecture, artifacts and people help bring these civilizations to life.

During the school year, I don't find time for much but my work, but during the summer I pursue other interests as well. Chief among those are reading novels, travel, hiking, and taking pictures. The picture above is me from August to May. The one below is more characteristic from May to August, and with it, I included a "friend" my sister and I encountered last summer in Glacier National Park (a fabulous place to hike).

 

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Alumni Profile: Damion Miller

damion1I am honored and privileged to have completed my undergraduate degree in History at Pfeiffer University. I feel that I received a well-rounded and balanced scholastic experience studying History. I am now in my final semester as a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in the Library and Information Science program. My experience as a work study student in Pfeiffer's library and a semester as an intern with Jonathan Hutchinson in the university archives and special collections opened an opportunity that didn't immediately occur to me. History will always be my first love, and originally I had considered pursuing a Masters degree in Ancient Studies or Museum Studies.

Yet after some consultation with Dr. Thompson during my senior year, he encouraged me to take the course of a MLIS degree due to its versatility. I can now say that his suggestion was the best advice in a long string of good advice that he ever gave me. I was able to receive a full scholarship largely based on the support of Dr. Kruse and Dr. Thompson. They were very supportive both in and out of the classroom. I can honestly say that they are both two of the most brilliant professors that I damion2have ever had during my academic career. They both hold their History majors to a high standard and give them all of the tools they need to be successful.

In addition, they were always available with an "open door" policy to answer any questions. In particular Dr. Thompson was a great mentor for me personally, and I consider him to now be a good friend. Without his guidance and mentorship I am sure that I would not be enjoying the success today as a scholar.

Faculty: Tom Hyde

Tom HydeProfessor Thomas Hyde worked in Washington, D.C. as a Congressional staff member in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1978 to 1984.  Dr. Hyde assisted one member on issues of American Foreign Policy and World Politics. For another member, Hyde assisted with oversight of the Federal Election Commission (campaign finance law) and the budgets of all of the Standing Committees of the U.S.  House of Representatives.  Dr. Hyde's goal is to translate his real world experience into the content of his Political Science and Pre-Law courses.  Hyde's hobby is film and he has developed a number of courses using movies to explore a variety of political issues such as espionage, world politics, American politics and law and justice.

Alumni Profile: William and Susan Lee

Both of us retired in 2008; Susan from her teaching career teaching High School world history in Virginia Beach, VA  for 13 years and me from a 34 year career as a Financial Manager for Graybar Electric Company, Inc., last assignment being Norfolk, VA. We now live in our retirement home we built in Junaluska Highlands, near Lake Junaluska, in the mountains of western North Carolina.

During our careers we lived in Charlotte, NC, Montgomery, AL, back to Charlotte, NC, Richmond, VA, and finally in Chesapeake, VA., where we raised two sons (now grown and living in Charlotte, NC and Virginia Beach, VA, respectively).

I look back on my four years at Pfeiffer as a time many faculty and friends helped me grow up and become prepared to face the challenges of the world.  I had many professors, such as Dr. William Cotton, Eugene Earnhardt, and Norman Singetary, to name a few, that helped me make that transition into the next phase of my life.  Allowing me the opportunity to fail, but giving me the encouragement and the promise to pick myself up and try again with better results and graduating in four years is something I will always remember.  I believe the small campus and small class atmosphere, prevented me from getting lost at a larger institution.  Our oldest son in Charlotte, NC is now enrolled at Pfeiffer's Charlotte campus and is receiving the same personal attention I received in Misenheimer and is on track to graduate soon.

I trust this has given you a little insight as to what Pfeiffer did for me in my life.

Mac Lee (Class of 1970)