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2014 Science Grads Soar Toward New Chapters in their Lives

IMG 1958Spring commencement ceremonies brought excitement and provided a springboard for what’s next for many 2014 Pfeiffer graduates. The experiential education that science students received leaves them with options and optimism for the future.

Chemistry major Zach Dyer originally thought that after high school he would attend one of the U.S. military academies. But a talk with his older brother, Chris, a 2010 Pfeiffer graduate, steered him to Misenheimer. Once at Pfeiffer, Dyer was quickly impressed by his professors’ concern for his success and their willingness to guide his studies.

“I participated in an REU (research experience for undergraduates) at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville,” Dyer said. “This 10-week program convinced me that graduate school in the sciences was the correct and interesting path for me to take.”

This fall, Dyer will attend the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he will study analytical chemistry.

Kaleigh Featherstone , a biology/pre-med major, Milton Rose Scholar and Academic All-Conference member of Pfeiffer’s tennis team, made service to others a priority while she was an undergraduate. Logging more than 700 volunteer hours during her four years at Pfeiffer, she was awarded at commencement with the Pearl Walton Fisher Citizenship Award, given annually to a student particularly committed to community service. Featherstone will attend Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she will pursue her dream of becoming a physician.

“I discovered that even at a small school I could find opportunity to do big things,” she said. “Pfeiffer has helped shape me someone who is ready for the hard work, challenges, compassion, service and learning that comes from being in medical school and eventually a physician.”

Joseph Sutlive, biology major with minors in chemistry, physics and mathematics, completed a number of internships while at Pfeiffer, in addition to being on the cross country team and a member of Campus Crusade for Christ. His most recent internship was with a team at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, that partnered with UNCC’s mechanical engineering REU program in its Biostability Lab, and laid the groundwork for an exciting graduate opportunity.

This fall, after a summer mission opportunity with the International Association of Methodist Colleges and Universities conference on Peace, Reconciliation and Human Rights in Hiroshima, Japan, Sutlive will head to Virginia Tech. There he will conduct research in the field of neuroscience with the university’s translational biology, medicine and health program, with tuition, student fees and health insurance covered and a substantial stipend included.

“Kaleigh, Joseph and Zach each have been exceptional students at Pfeiffer,” said Dr. Mark McCallum, dean, division of arts and sciences. “They engaged fully in the academic environment as undergraduate researchers and as students willing to tackle new challenges. Each contributed uniquely not only to the sciences but also to other areas of the University, preparing them fully for their next challenges.”

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