Faculty: Michael 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
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).
Current Student: Nicole
Nicole Springer, senior history major, is participating in an internship at the Pfeiffer University Archives with Archivist Jonathan Hutchinson in spring 2011.
Graduate School plans: Nicole is considering graduate school in library science or entering a paralegal program.
Faculty: Tom Hyde
Professor 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.
Current Student: Leslie
Leslie Driver is a senior history major and member of Phi Alpha Theta, National Honor Society in History. She recieved the 2010 Edna Stitt Robinson History Award. Asked to describe her time at Pfeiffer, she wrote “I have had a wonderful experience at Pfeiffer University. My instructors have given me valuable tools to be able to excel in my studies. I have learned a great deal and feel that I am certainly prepared to enter into a graduate program. The History Department has offered a structured and understanding environment, and I have made life-long friends and connections there. In the Spring of 2011, I plan on entering into an internship at the Rowan Museum, and I am very excited about it. I will be assisting the Director and the Education Coordinator in their duties. I will also attend events hosted by the museum and help set up exhibits. I look forward to the doors this experience will open for me. I hope to obtain my Masters Degree after graduating from Pfeiffer.”