Campbell Magazine | Spring 2018

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Innovators and advocates making a difference


The Korean Children’s Choir, a ministry of Korea’s Far East Broadcasting Company, brought its message of peace and joy to Butler Chapel in April, performing songs like “It’s a Small World After All,” “It is Well” and “Jesus Loves Me.” The choir has been touring the U.S. with the Rev. Billy Kim since 1992, featuring colorful costumes and traditional Korean dance. The group of 50 children — ranging in ages from 7 to 13 — have performed at the White House, United Nations, Walt Disney World, revival events, cultural centers, churches, schools and universities throughout the world. | Photo by Billy Liggett

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22 ____________________________________ PRESIDENT


Britt Davis


Haven Hottel ’00 ____________________________________ DIRECTOR OF NEWS & PUBLICATIONS & MAGAZINE EDITOR

Billy Liggett



22 The Power of Rural

A Harnett County pig farmer. A group of med school students with big hearts. A leader in rural public health. A woman who lends an ear to those suffering. They're but a few of the men and women associated with Campbell University who are making a difference in the lives of those living in our nation's most underserved rural areas. In this edition, we highlight our rural health advocates and put the spotlight on Campbell's mission to serve the underserved. ���������������������������������������������

16 Leading with Purpose

Brendi Bluitt made history this spring as the first black student to be named president of the Student Government Association. Bluitt talks about diversity at Campbell and her goals as SGA president.

44 54

Jonathan Bronsink ’05


Nikki Zawol


Sarah Hardin


Will Bratton, Karl DeBlaker, Elizabeth Edwards, Lissa Gotwals, Bennett Scarborough, Kate Stoneburner, Lynsey Trembly ____________________________________ ACCOLADES

CASE International Circle of Excellence Feature Writing: 2017 (Bronze)

44 Making the Break

CASE III Grand Award Best Magazine: 2013 Editorial Design: 2018 Feature Writing: 2017 Illustration-Cover: 2018 Most Improved: 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Photography Series: 2017

54 A Seat at the Table

CASE III Award of Excellence Best Magazine: 2017 Best Article (Platinum): 2018 Editorial Design: 2017, 2018 Feature Writing: 2018 Periodical Design: 2018 Publications Writing: 2014 Illustrations: 2016 ____________________________________

Campbell Law has a history of having the best student advocates in the nation. But for the first time, its national championship-winning trial team was comprised of all women. The foursome shares their experience and talks about overcoming the stereotypes of women in their profession.

Cindy Bolden helped launch Raleigh's first "payit-forward" cafe, then found a way to continue her calling as an urban minister by listening and talking to the cafe's patrons.



Last fall, Tom Butler was recipient of Campbell University's first Rural Health Advocacy Award for his work in making his Harnett County hog farm not only environmentally friendly but also friendly to the health of his neighbors (at a time when the hog industry is facing backlash for doing quite the opposite). Photographer Lissa Gotwals spent an afternoon at Butler's Lillington farm this spring for our "Power of Rural" cover and main feature in the Spring 2018 edition of Campbell Magazine. Cover design by Jonathan Bronsink.

Founded in 1887, Campbell University is a private, coeducational institution where faith, learning and service excel. Campbell offers programs in the liberal arts, sciences and professions with undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. The University is comprised of nine colleges and schools and was ranked among the Best Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report in its America’s Best Colleges 2018 edition and named one of the “100 Best College Buys” in the nation by Institutional Research & Evaluation, Inc. EEO/AA/Minorities/Females/Disabled/Protected Veterans

2 SPRING 2018

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MORE HELP FOR OUR GEN1 STUDENTS: Campbell University will introduce a new mentor program for first-generation students in the fall. Called 1st-GC (First-Generation Camels), the program will be designed to provide mentoring relationships for students by connecting them to Campbell faculty, staff and alumni who were also first-generation students when they attended college. Alumni interested in learning more can visit and search “Student Success.” Photo of Megan Robillard by Lissa Gotwals

First-generation students share their own struggles and triumphs To the Editor: I’m so happy to see an article about this ("Gen1" Winter 2018 edition of Campbell Magazine). I really struggled with the college process and transition. Hopefully this will help other students who were in my shoes. As a first-generation student, the most difficult part wasn’t finding a college, but going through the whole financial aid, FAFSA and scholarship process.

first generation, I would have applied for more scholarships. DARLYS GIBSON Junior, School of Business To the Editor: I arrived at Campbell pretending that everything was fine. My whole family made the trip with me and helped me move into my dorm. Everyone was so excited for this new adventure of mine, but inside I was a wreck. It wasn’t until they left that I realized (or thought) I couldn’t ask anyone for help.

My parents had never gone through that process, and were no help in that aspect. I had to do all the paperwork by myself and had to go back several times to correct the smallest mistakes. It was also tricky finding scholarships I was qualified for, and still can be.

I didn’t know anything about life on a college campus, expectations as a student, or even what living with a roommate was like. I couldn’t go to my mom about my class schedule, ask her what club I should join or which loan to apply for. In theory, I could ask her all of those questions, but she wouldn’t know the answers since she did not attend college in this country.

I wish someone would’ve explained to me exactly what it meant to be first generation, because my mother has an associates degree that she started and finished when I was in middle school. Had I known I was considered

My mom has always been my greatest motivator; I never want to let her down. When I finally admitted my fears about this whole college “thing,” she reminded me that I went through high school and community college

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on my own and that in two short years, I would have something that nobody could take away from me — a degree. She always told me that people can put you down, take things from you, or judge you but they can never take away your knowledge — knowledge is powerful. After my first semester, I was hired on as an RA, I joined clubs in the business school and I formed a great relationship with the Student Success Coordinator of the School of Business, Renee Green. She became like a sister to me and helped me immensely throughout my years at Campbell. She offered advice and tough love and prayed with me when I needed it most. The great thing about being a first-generation student at Campbell is that there is always someone there to take you under their wing, and I am so thankful I found mine early on. I blinked, and two years had gone by. I was sitting in the front row of my graduation ceremony. My name was called, I walked across the stage, looked up at my mom and saw her smile. That’s all I could ever ask for. I did it! G. TATIANA AMADOR ('16) Raleigh


My own first-generation story


was a junior in high school when I scheduled my ACT exam at a school three hours from my house, because this, I was sure, was going to be my college one day. I spent the first half of that Saturday stressing through a test that would determine my future and the second half walking a campus by myself, simply to “check it out.” This was my “visitation day.” Morgan Renee Packer Campbell is GREAT for first-generation college students! I never would have made it to graduate school if it weren't for the incredible mentors Campbell blessed me with!

To the Editor: Campbell is working hard to increase student success, and the first-generation student mentor program is one initiative to that end. We have begun accepting faculty, staff and alumni applications to serve as mentors for our Gen1 students and have seen a great response to this first phase of the initiative. We will begin recruiting students into the program during this summer’s new student orientations and begin the mentor matching process after that. We are excited and extremely hopeful about this inaugural year of the program. And we are confident that once matched with a mentor, these students will find sincere and satisfying mentor relationships that will support their decision to enter higher education, reinforce their decision to come to Campbell and ensure that they always know that they belong here and can succeed. We are updating our website and will soon open the mentor registration form again for more faculty, staff and alumni who are interested in mentoring Campbell’s first-generation college students. Until then feel free to contact me at MICHELLE PEREZ Assistant Vice President of Student Success

JOIN THE CONVERSATION Have something to say about our feature on rural health in this edition? Comment on any of our stories or send us your favorite Campbell experiences by emailing Billy Liggett at Write us at Campbell Magazine | PO Box 567 | Buies Creek, NC 27506.


Fast forward a year to my freshman orientation. For all the excitement in me as I was about to embark on a new life, there was an equal amount of nerves and apprehension. And loneliness. I didn’t know parents usually accompanied incoming freshmen at their orientations. In their defense, my parents didn’t know this either. They also didn’t know what to do on Day 1 of my fall semester after following me for the long drive from home to my new dorm, hugging me outside those front doors after handing me a laundry basket of clean clothes, wishing me the best and then high-tailing it back home faster than I could get my key. I struggled as a first-generation college student. I struggled hard. And my struggles made me resentful toward my friends and other students who appeared, in my mind anyway, to have it made. Who appeared to have their finances squared away while I calculated how $5 would feed me for a weekend. Who appeared to have their degree plans set while I weighed the pros and cons of skipping a semester so I could work full-time and save some money. I landed on academic probation as a freshman. I took a few six-hour semesters. I transferred schools. Twice. I changed majors. A line from the movie “Tommy Boy” has always stuck with me: “A lot of people go to college for seven years.” “I know. They’re called doctors.” In the Winter 2018 edition of Campbell Magazine, we devoted our cover story to the struggles (and triumphs) of first-generation college students at Campbell University. Our goal was to show that first-generation students — defined as those whose parents did not attend or graduate from a four-year university — have an uphill battle that not everybody fully understands. According to the nonprofit organization I’m First, a group dedicated to helping these

young men and women, first-gen students drop out of college at four times the rate of their peers whose parents have a degree. Nearly 90 percent of these students will not earn a degree within six years of high school. And the reasons are many — finances, lack of support, the inability to lean on experience when faced with problems in school or more responsibilities back home. We featured four underclassmen for this story, as well as Campbell’s assistant vice president for student success (also a first-gen student) and a fourth-year PharmD student. Their stories, we hope, were inspiring to our readers. They inspired me. And throughout the interviews, I empathized with these students as they talked about the difficulties of being the first in their families to go through this. They talked about big struggles like having to go through financial aid by themselves and little things like how to use their meal swipe plans or reserve study rooms without having parents or older siblings show them the way. Their stories took me back 20 years as I crawled and clawed to make it and longed for a group that could understand my plight. Campbell University has that today with freshman seminar programs and a recently launched mentor program where former first-generation students can take current first-gen students under their wing. Important for me, writing this story took away my resentment. I now see I wasn’t alone. And while I never blamed my parents for my struggles, I have a better understanding now of how difficult it was for them to send me away and trust that I would find my way. There’s one thing each of the students I interviewed for our story has going for them — incredible support from parents who want to be involved in their education. I credit Campbell University for helping foster that support and being there for these families. Through this story, I’ve gained a greater respect for any student or any parents brave enough to take this journey for the first time. And I hope future first-generation students come away with one important lesson from it — they are not alone. ____________ Billy Liggett is Director of News & Publications at Campbell and editor of Campbell Magazine. C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 5


Campbell’s baseball squad celebrated big after winning its first Big South Conference regular season title in five years at Jim Perry Stadium in May. The program took it a step further by winning the Big South Tournament at Liberty University and advancing to the NCAA Regional Tournament in Athens, Georgia, for the first time since 2014. Big South Coach of the Year Justin Haire led Campbell to a 35-24 regular season record, racking up a program-record 21 wins in conference play. | Photo by Bennett Scarborough

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Brain, mouth and spine

Campbell's first class of 44 Bachelor of Science in Nursing graduates enter a world needing their skills in rural, underserved areas


ancy Duffy will likely see hundreds and hundreds of students earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees before her career is over. But this first class will always hold a special place in her heart. “I know them by name, by face and I can probably tell you a story or something interesting about every single one of them,” says the director of Campbell’s nursing program. “That will certainly be difficult to do in the future — to maintain that level of familiarity every year. But I’m going to try.”

The Catherine W. Wood School of Nursing graduated 44 students on May 11 during the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences graduation ceremony. The School’s first commencement came nearly two years after the program accepted its first group of juniors at the new Tracey F. Smith Hall of Nursing & Health Sciences in fall 2016. Unlike most majors within a university system, Campbell Nursing does not enroll students until they are juniors or have met all the program requirements and fulfilled all program prerequisites. Getting the

general curriculum out of the way allows the students to focus on the rigorous nursing curriculum that involves patient care and clinical experiences during their junior and senior years. According to Duffy, 46 students started the program back in 2016 — only one student left the program and another will graduate at a later date. She called Campbell Nursing’s first retention rate “remarkable.” “It’s a testament to our faculty working with the students continually,” she says.



It was such a pleasure working in a team-based environment. We became a family — we all had the same challenges to overcome. It wasn’t easy, but it was all worth it.

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— Brittany Hudson, member of the School of Nursing's first graduating class in May

BY THE NUMBERS The 44 graduates joined hundreds of their health sciences peers at the spring commencement, and in honor of the first class, Campbell chose Crystal Tillman, director of education and practice for the state’s Board of Nursing, as commencement speaker. But Tillman’s address was valuable to all of the college’s graduates, stressing collaboration among all health care professions as the first of her three “keys to success” (the other two: growth and gratitude). “Collaboration is the future of health care,” said Tillman, whose own clinical practice assists clients with addiction and opioid use disorders. “It’s about joint decision making among teams and taking ownership of those decisions and a collective responsibility for the outcomes. In essence, it’s working across all boundaries in a complex health care environment. The industry is no longer about working in silos. It’s no longer us versus them. It’s ‘we.’ We as a team to deliver the safest and best care possible, charged with being advocates to those in our care and speaking up for those who do not have a voice.” According to Duffy, 100 percent of her graduates who actively sought nursing positions right after graduation have landed a job. Hospitals and agencies have worked with the school over the past two years to recruit students and promote their programs. Seniors this year also performed a 120-hour capstone practicum, where a number of them proved themselves worthy and were offered positions as a student. Most valuable in their education, Duffy said, was learning the three things all nurses need: a brain, a mouth and a spine. The brain to figure out what is happening to a patient, the mouth to speak for that patient and the spine to advocate for that patient and see to it that their needs are always met. “They didn’t know what this meant on the first day, but they get it now,” Duffy says. “We’re all about patient advocacy and clinical reasoning. And I’m satisfied that they understand this and are ready to integrate it into their practices.” BILLY LIGGETT



Unfortunately, the gender wage gap experienced in most professions is also a factor in nursing — where men report, on average, a higher hourly wage than their female counterparts.



According to’s 201617 “The State of Nursing” report, a third of active nurses — roughly 33 percent — are at or near retirement. The average age of a registered nurse in the United States is 53 years old.

According to the Institute of Medicine, approximately 60 percent of the nation’s nurses hold a BSN or higher degree. The IOM has made a strong recommendation that 80 percent of the nursing workforce have a BSN by 2020.


NURSES WORKING IN THE UNITED STATES TODAY With more than 3 million members, nurses represent the largest segment of the U.S. workforce.


NURSES FOR EVERY 10,000 RESIDENTS The true nursing shortage in North Carolina is in its rural counties, where there are 80 registered nurses for every 10,000 residents. This number is below the national average of 90 nurses per 10,000 residents and well below the number of nurses per capita in North Carolina’s urban areas, 105.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates a need for 525,000 nurses and projects another 526,800 jobs in the United States by 2022. The combination of a large population of Baby Boomers living longer and the large number of nurses expected to retire has led to the expected shortfall in qualified nurses.



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For three years, she was your ‘first impression’


For many current underclassmen, Barrow (first name pronounced “JAYla”) was the first smiling face they saw during orientation or visitation days. An orientation leader and admissions ambassador for the past three years, the Morehead City native relished the opportunity to share her enthusiasm for the school she fell in love with during her first visitation back in 2014. Barrow walked the stage as a member of the Class of 2018 on May 12, leaving behind a legacy of students whose final decision to call Campbell “home” was at least partially influenced by her. “I’ve really enjoyed showing them Campbell through my eyes,” she says. “In fact, I saw a student this last Visitation Day who was someone I had previously given a tour of campus. Hopefully, I made a good first impression, and hopefully, you’ll see her in orange this fall.” The first person Barrow met on campus before choosing Campbell was Jason Hall, assistant vice president for admissions and a 1998 graduate. She remembers Hall’s demeanor and attitude and found Campbell to be “very welcoming.” “I remember him telling my family that I’ll be taken care of here,” she recalls. “For the head of admissions to assure that, my parents really felt like I was going to a place that cared. That was the biggest thing we took away from that trip. The tour itself was just icing on the cake.” Not a bad first impression. Barrow graduated with a degree in biology, pre-medicine. The upcoming year will be a “gap year” as she has three internships lined up — one with an orthopedic surgeon, another in pediatrics and a third with a spinal doctor. BILLY LIGGETT



ou’d be hard-pressed to find another student who represents a better first impression of Campbell University than Jsaela Barrow.


Advice from those who've lived it


ore than 100 female Campbell University students heard professional women — Campbell graduates and professors — share their stories of struggle and success in their careers at the first Women’s Leadership Conference on March 21. Coordinated by Title IX Coordinator Kellie Nothstine and Campbell Athletics, the Summit not only provided the students valuable lessons in climbing the career ladder, but also one-onone meetings with mentors eager to answer questions and offer sage advice. “When I look back at my college days, there are so many things I wish a woman in the middle of her career could have shared with me,” said Nothstine. “I had this idea for a women’s leadership luncheon, in the very least, to take female students and match them up with a mentor in their fields. But then I wanted to broaden the conversation — this event became bigger as we got faculty, staff and alumni on board willing to not only talk about their careers, but also what it’s like to be a woman in the workforce today. From the #MeToo movement to harassment, balancing work and a family and approaching salary negotiations, how do you empower those women?” The five-woman panel featured the Rev. Faithe Beam, dean of Spiritual Life and campus minister; Allison Sikes (’87), president

and CEO of Rocky Mount-based Strategy Performance Business Solutions; Joy Henderson, director of postbaccalaureate studies at Campbell’s School of Osteopathic Medicine; Tara Wilson (’89), a former assistant district attorney and founder and owner of Lulu Max Jewelry; and Sue Ann Forrest (’16), lobbyist and assistant director of legislative and political action for the North Carolina Medical Society. Nancy Duffy, professor and director of the School of Nursing’s BSN program, served as keynote speaker. Wilson shared her experience in the early 1990s working in the corporate offices of Home Depot. She said she was told by colleagues during her first week as a manager that she needed to “be a b—–, toughen up, don’t be nice, don’t smile and show some cleavage.” In her first meeting, three male managers made audible comments about her breasts. “I was hired intentionally to change the culture of that company,” Wilson revealed. “I had the full backing of the president, the CEO and the board. And when I dealt with issues like that, they supported whatever I needed to do. I fired a lot of people that first year, a few of them my peers. We were equals, but they said the wrong things and didn’t work there anymore. Tough.” BILLY LIGGETT

Rhymes With Orange: Kellie Nothstine joined Campbell's Rhymes With Orange podcast back in April to talk about the first Women's Leadership Conference and Title IX issues affecting Campbell and all universities today. Download on iTunes C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 11


campbelledu Vice President Jim Roberts to the crowd gathered at the April 25 groundbreaking: "Open your programs. In 19 months, this is the view you’ll see from where you sit now.” #CampbellLeads

Start of the Union catrmoretz What. A. Day. Seeing familiar faces, having perfect weather, and breaking ground on our much-needed and HIGHLY anticipated Student Union! A special memory that will be carried by all who were a part of today.

Groundbreaking for 115,000-square-foot student center sparks excitement on campus like no building before it


hen it was his turn to take the podium at the April 25 groundbreaking ceremony for Campbell University’s new student union, Vice President for Business Jim Roberts asked the crowd of 200-plus to take out their programs and turn to the centerfold. The image before them — a computer rendering of the two-story, 115,000-square-foot facility and its large glass windows, the inside lit up against a darkened evening sky — provided a view of what this building will look like from the very spot the crowd sat in the center of the Academic Circle. “In 19 months, this is what you’ll see,” Roberts beamed. “In [late] 2019, we’ll drop this tent, and you’ll be able to walk through the front door.”

nolanrayperry When I was a student at Campbell, we really needed a student union and I worked hard to push the idea during my time here. Now that’s it is finally coming to fruition, I had to be present at the groundbreaking ceremony. #CampbellLeads 12 SPRING 2018

Once completed, the student union will become a “transformative” addition to the campus, providing a much-needed center of activity for the Campbell community. The building’s many possibilities and uses proved to be the theme of the April 25 ceremony.

During his time at the podium, Roberts led his audience on a mental walk-through of the building, starting with the new cafeteria on the first floor (Gaylord’s Kitchen, as named by the students) as well as other dining options, a new Campbell apparel and spirit shop, student offices and the first floor of a new two-story fitness center. He then led them up the stairs — an LED-lit stairwell that will change colors for special events — and into the large conference and ballroom, more areas where students can meet or study and a 200-seat movie theater. The student union will be larger than the convocation center, which turns 10 this year. This has become a selling point for Assistant Vice President of Admissions Jason Hall. “When I talk to prospective students about this building, it’s hard to relay to them the massiveness of this building — something you don’t see by looking at dirt or a few renderings in a magazine,” said Hall. “That’s why this is so very special. It marks a beginning. Soon, a foundation will form, and a skeleton will rise


The student union's second-floor banquet hall will seat up to 800 people for formal events, conferences and other academic gatherings.


The buzz of saws and the beeps of forklifts in the distance served as an audio backdrop for the ceremony, as construction nears completion on the student union’s neighbor, the Bernard F. McLeod Sr. Admissions & Financial Aid Center, set to open this summer. Vice President of Student Life Dennis Bazemore said the student union is not only vital for improving student life on campus, but vital if Campbell University is to attract top students in a competitive field. “We join the good company of many universities across this country who have recently completed a student union, are currently constructing a student union or have made plans to build one in the near future,” Bazemore said. “These universities all over the country are seeing the need and the importance of having a modern state-of-theart facility for students, faculty and staff. I’m convinced by what I read about other student unions that our students will spend time in this facility and will grow intellectually, develop leadership skills, clarify important values for life, develop meaningful interpersonal relationships and learn the art of collaboration M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU

The single most important thing that we can do for our students is to build this student union. The social aspect is here — but the place for students to convene has been missing. — Will Franklin ('96)

to outline the progress. When I tell them this will be larger than the convocation center, I’m usually met with raised eyebrows, a smile and maybe the occasional ‘whoa.’”

with other students. It will help students become more involved and more engaged by providing an opportunity for personal and academic development through integrative services and programs.” The student union will be roughly 10 times the size of Campbell’s existing Wallace Student Center, built in 1978. The facility is the focal point of the Campbell Leads fundraising campaign, which allotted $35 million for its construction. Raising funds for the student union has been a priority for President J. Bradley Creed since his first day at Campbell.

The two-story fitness center will greatly improve Campbell's wellness offerings, providing much-needed space for students, faculty and staff.


A lot of buzz has surrounded the addition of a movie theater, which will double as an arena classroom setting or room for large-scale presentations.

“When I left [my first job interview with Campbell in 2014], I wasn’t sure I’d be the next president, but I was certain the next president of Campbell would be charged with the process of constructing a new student union,” said Creed, who then thanked the hiring committee who chose him. “The only credit I can claim here is that they handed me the baton and the hat and made me the drum major. My job has been to look good as I’ve marched this down the street.” “This building,” he added, “will make a huge difference in the life and history of this campus.” C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 13


Marching band will bring new life to halftimes and the music department



The Fayetteville ... Fatbacks? The Buies Creek Astros will culminate two seasons at Campbell University's Jim Perry Stadium in September before moving 45 minutes south to its permanent home in Downtown Fayetteville next year. The team announced in April that it has dwindled its future mascot to two finalists — the Woodpeckers and the Fatbacks. The team says a final decision will be announced in August during a celebration for the city's new Carolina League squad.

campbelledu These @CampbellCPHS students have been officially "hoodied" and are ready for their hooding ceremony. #Campbell18

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Today, the president and Smith are approving the final designs for the marching band uniforms (“No shako plumes” was President Creed’s only stipulation). The Sound of the Sandhills announced their plans to march in fall 2018 last summer and have spent the last two semesters laying the groundwork for the new program. A marching band means the familiar crowd-pleasing tunes on game nights won’t be limited to the pep band’s corner of Barker-Lane Stadium. But the program’s reach will extend far beyond the football field. The marching band is a huge draw for incoming high school students. Feedback from prospective students has been overwhelmingly positive, but Smith clarifies that comparing college marching bands and high school programs is like comparing apples to oranges. “It can’t be any more different,” he says. “Primarily because college marching bands don’t compete. We’re in this to entertain crowds at halftime, grow the footprint of the University and support Campbell — it’s not about forwarding the marching arts like high school programs and professional drum corps.” University marching bands may not have the intensity of competitive programs, but their role on campus is a valuable one. Marching bands have the unique power to turn a stadium crowd into a family of dedicated fans, and the Sound of the Sandhills plans to get a head start on setting the tone each week. They’ll preface every game by playing a set of new music in Academic Circle before marching down to the field for kickoff.


Because their fundamental purpose is to create atmosphere at university events, college marching bands have a much wider repertoire than bands that spend an entire season perfecting one performance for competition. Some college bands perform a new show every week, practicing long and hard to bring fresh drill formations and music to each game. But Smith has set a goal of one halftime show this fall for the band’s first year on the field. “It’s a baby step towards producing three different shows per season,” says Smith, “and once we have the foundation down when it comes to rehearsals and show design, we’ll roll out more.” The Sound of the Sandhills is expecting 135 students in its first year, many of whom are already counted among the band department’s 160 students. Smith says students have been enthusiastic about the new program, even those who have never marched in a band before. It helps that students who participate in both athletic and concert bands will be eligible for a scholarship, encouraging them to learn and perform on the stage as well as in the stadium. KATE STONEBURNER

We want to play music that's familiar to students and alumni. Music that everyone can appreciate. — Andy Smith, director of athletic bands

campbelledu Proud coach John Crooks with freshman Pontus Nyholm after the Big South freshman of the year rolled in a long putt in a playoff hole at regionals to become Campbell's first NCAA finals individual qualifier since Vaita Guillaume in 2012. #GoCamels

he first time Director of Athletic Bands Andy Smith met President J. Bradley Creed, he made casual mention of his surprise that a school with a football team was without a marching band. Three months later, Smith received an email from the president that would change his job description drastically.

“Campbell’s ROTC program purposely aligns upperclassmen with younger students — Campbell is full of Special Forces veterans, Rangers and others who have a wealth of experience. To be surrounded by adults who’d been through the stresses of the Army and who were able to break down that experience into a level of understanding for people like me, it played a huge part in my maturing process.” — ROTC cadet and 2018 graduate Caleb Mann | Photo by Lissa Gotwals




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Campbell's first black SGA president advocates diversity, positive change


he very idea didn’t occur to Brendi Bluitt until well after she decided to run for Student Government Association president toward the end of her junior year. Not until a friend who was campaigning for her half-jokingly suggested they tell voters and supporters to “be a part of history.”

campbelledu In the "hug heard 'round the Creek,' Adrian Dorsey lifted President J. Bradley Creed off the commencement stage after receiving his diploma. The video went viral following the ceremony. #Campbell18

Then Bluitt wondered. Had there been a black student body president in the past 50 years since Campbell enrolled its first black student in 1968? If elected, would Bluitt, indeed, make history? She was, and she did. It’s a turn of events that has instilled a new sense of responsibility and appreciation in the Greensboro communications studies major. She believes her win was an important step forward for Campbell, a school she says has become more noticeably diverse in just her short time here. She wrote a paper recently for qualitative research on how black students perceive the racial climate at Campbell, and the majority of her subjects agreed with her assessment. “Especially the seniors I talked to. They’ve seen positive change in just four years,” she says. “One guy from the football team admitted there wasn’t a ton of diversity when he first started playing. He says even in football, we’re more diverse. And that’s important.” Asked to elaborate on why it’s important, Bluitt is blunt. “It’s 2018,” she says. “And there are still a lot of problems in our country right now [racially]. But when you can see marked improvement in diversity in rural areas like Harnett County, you can hope that people who might be a little more close-minded will benefit from being exposed to people of other races and cultures. It makes you more wellrounded.” If the campus has changed in her time here, Bluitt herself has changed even more. She admits to being shy and more of an introvert as a freshman and only got involved in SGA as a sophomore because a close friend suggested she’d be “good at it” (Bluitt was once part of a



protest in high school over a dress code they believed was unfair to women). So she joined, and she liked it. Her time in the organization has led her to change her major from biology and possibly pursue a career in government or public policy. “SGA has given me confidence,” she says. “I can actually get up and talk in front of people now.” She talked to a lot of students as she campaigned with running mate Erin Scott. A lot of students have requested they work toward more dining options (like a Panera Bread) and getting more small tables or seating areas in the Academic Circle for gorgeous days in late April as finals approach. She ran on a campaign to help make the transition from high school to college and the transition for transfer students easier. Campus WiFi also gets brought up a lot. “We all just want to see Campbell change for the better,” she says. “I’m going to do what I can to make that happen.” BILLY LIGGETT

Rhymes With Orange: Brendi Bluitt joined members of Campbell's administration to talk about the upcoming student union on Campbell's Rhymes With Orange podcast. Download on iTunes


Assistant dean helps pull drowning man from freezing creek Presented with a matter of life and death before him, Scott Asbill turned to the principle of Occam’s razor — the simple solution is always the answer. And with that, Asbill — the associate dean of academic affairs and professor at the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences — waded into near-freezing, chest-deep water near Benson on a cold March morning to help save the life of a young man whose car had overturned into a creek. The “simple solution” meant reaching down and pulling the door open, freeing a 20-year-old man who’d fallen asleep at the wheel on his way home from an overnight shift. Assisted by a State Highway Patrol trooper and between seven and 10 others who formed a “human chain” to pull them from the creek, Asbill carried the man to dry land until paramedics could arrive to treat him for his injuries and likely hypothermia. “It was just me being in the right place at the right time," he says. "And it wasn’t just me. There’s no doubt in my mind, for that young man to survive that accident, the good Lord had to be watching over him. We were just there to assist in the process.” C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 17

'Dogfather' honored among the best in social media


hether you’re a dog owner, a dog lover or just a social media aficionado, there’s a good chance you’re one of the 6.8 million-plus followers of Matt Nelson’s WeRateDogs Twitter account. What you might not know is that Nelson started his world-famous account as a first-year Campbell student back in 2015. In the fall of his freshman year, Nelson noticed that dog-related Tweets always earned more impressions than the average post on his Twitter account. He sent out a poll to gauge interest in an account with the sole purpose of rating the dogs of the internet. The answer was a resounding “yes.” Nelson’s account picked up 3000 followers overnight, and has done nothing but gain momentum ever since. In April, the viral account won “Best Animal” at the Shorty Awards, which honor the best of social media by recognizing top influencers, brands and organizations across the web, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat. On any given day, you’ll find plenty of fansubmitted pics on the @dog_rates feed that are off the cuteness charts, usually garnering solid 13/10 ratings — Nelson is a firm believer that every dog deserves at least a 9/10. His slightly skewed rating system has only bolstered the account’s popularity; Nelson’s defense of the high scores to one particular follower became a catchphrase that can now be found on t-shirts at the WeRateDogs online store. Running the account and store has become Nelson’s full-time career since the former golf management major left Campbell in 2017. He has since started a spin-off account called Thoughts of Dog, a branded game and a book featuring the best of @WeRateDog published last year. We’d give this former Camel a 13/10. KATE STONEBURNER

18 SPRING 2018

Matt Nelson of WeRateDogs poses with the award for Best Animal during the 10th Annual Shorty Awards at PlayStation Theater on April 15, in New York City. | Photo by Craig Barritt/ Getty Images for Shorty Awards


The number of followers Matt Nelson's Twitter feed, @dog_ rates, has amassed since launching in 2015. Among his most famous followers: J.K. Rowling and LinManuel Miranda.

Our Favorite @Dog_Rates Matt Nelson has rated thousdands of puppers since launching WeRateDogs as a Campbell University freshman back in 2015. We don't like picking favorites — they're good dogs, Brent — but we can't fit all 6,000-plus in our magazine. So here's a few we like a whole h*ckin lot:

Meet Max. He’s taking his first swim lesson. Bit of a language barrier between teacher and student, otherwise it’s going well. Both 13/10

This is downright absurd. Another picture without a dog in it? The disrespect is overwhelming. Please send dogs. Thank you... 12/10


Nelson's most popular @dog_rates post came on Jan. 21, 2017, rating a dog taking part in the Women's March in Toronto. The tweet has 49,000-plus retweets.


The number of dog photos sent to Nelson and his company on a given day. Nelson officially rates one to three dogs a day.


In a recent interview with Time, Nelson said it takes him about 20 minutes to perfect a caption for a photo. Once the tweet goes up, he is "glued to it like a TV network executive in a control room, watching the number of favorites and retweets climb into the thousands."

This is Finn. He goes door to door asking if anybody has seen the good boy. They have now, of course. 13/10 would hug softly

This is Carly. She's actually 2 dogs fused together. Very innovative. Probably has superpowers. 12/10 for double dog

This is Sophie. She can see through time itself. Also responds awkwardly to human contact (relatable). 13/10 hypnotic as h*ck

This is Canela. She attempted some fancy porch pics. They were unsuccessful. 13/10 someone help her

This is Kenneth. He's stuck in a bubble. 10/10 hang in there Kenneth


The highest rating, on a scale of 1-10, that a dog on WeRateDogs can receive. Four extraspecial dogs have been awarded a 15-rating, reserved only for those dogs with disabilities and important jobs.


This is Jeffrey. He’s debuting his holiday pajamas this evening. Anxious to know your thoughts on them. 13/10 they’re wonderful Jeffrey C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 19



THAT'S A WRAP The 2017-18 academic year ended with six commencement ceremonies (plus a seventh ceremony for a handful of athletes the following week). In all, 1,258 Camels earned their degrees this spring and 1,629 this academic year, including the first class of 44 Bachelor of Science in Nursing students and the second group of 150 doctors of osteopathic medicine.

armadilloterror My reaction after I took my last final and when I realized I'm done with college and officially an adult. #Campbell18 20 SPRING 2018

melanieeejeannn It always seems impossible until it's done. #Campbell18

justperks Thank you, Campbell! #Campbell18

victoriaann097 This was for you, dad. Chemistry major. Biology minor. Walked out with a 3.93 GPA. Thanks for the memories, Campbell. I'm out. #Campbell18

brittiyana It's time!!! #Classof2018 #GraduationDay #CampbellUniversity #Campbell18


its_tarachann She may be Campbell’s 1,573rd commissioned 2nd Lieutenant but she’s #1 in my book! #ArmyStrong #Campbell18

onlyonesterling Came to Campbell on a journey by myself ... definitely gained more than I could ever imagine. #Campbell18

thelifeofadad Doctor in the house! #twin #drmay #campbelluniversity #Campbell18


POWER o 22 SPRING 2018


Advocates and innovators in rural public health



24 SPRING 2018



The green tarps that cover the hog waste lagoons on Tom Butler’s Harnett County farm are doing more than hiding the odor. They’re harnessing energy that will power local homes for years to come. BY BILLY LIGGETT | PHOTOGRAPHY BY LISSA GOTWALS It’s like walking across a tight water bed. A tight, acre-sized water bed. Only here, the two-inch-thick plastic beneath your feet is all that separates you from a lagoon filled with 6 million gallons of pig waste.

few words behind the podium as he held the 13-inch glass award that now sits on a filing cabinet in his small shack/office just steps away from the much larger pig houses on his farm. But those few words were hopeful.

But that waste is why we’re here. It’s why National Geographic has been here. Rolling Stone Magazine and the Sierra Club. U.S. senators, governors and dozens of elected officials. Even an American Idol runner-up.

“We are hoping to build an organization that is industry-changing to rural areas,” Butler said before thanking the crowd and returning to his seat.

Tom Butler takes great pride in the power of his pig poop. More specifically, the 77-year-old Lillington native and lifelong farmer takes pride in that poop’s potential. His covered lagoons are trapping methane gas, which in turn is powering his farm and will soon provide energy to its own grid of homes in Harnett County. Those giant green plastic tarps are also keeping the smells at bay — much to the appreciation of his neighbors in the rural, southwestern portion of the county — and plans are in the works to recycle the leftover sludge and produce nitrogen-based fertilizer. Last November, Butler received Campbell University’s first Rural Health Advocacy Award for his innovations and his efforts. Introduced during the awards ceremony in the Alumni Room at Marshbanks Hall as the “high-tech redneck,” Butler was a man of M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU

Six months later, in front of a much, much smaller crowd (a few writers and a photographer), he’s more comfortable accepting the accolades. But, of course, that’s not why he’s doing it. “I just want to do the right thing,” he says. “If we don’t do the right thing — as an industry — people are going to suffer. I’d rather do the right thing than profit while people suffer.”


Like most Harnett County farmboys in his day, Butler grew up with tobacco. He also grew up with Campbell — in the 50s and 60s still a junior college where several cousins, aunts, uncles and others in his family attended. Butler was also a Campbell student for a short time, though out of necessity more than choice. His high school algebra teacher died before his senior year,

and he was forced to take it at Campbell to earn credits to attend the closest four-year school, East Carolina University. Butler and his brother inherited their father’s 130-acre farm, but bailed from the tobacco industry in the early 90s to become contract hog farmers. The Butlers built six hog houses (they would add four more a year later), and their first pigs arrived on June 25, 1995. “I joke that for the first part of my life, we killed people with nicotine, and for the second part, we’re killing people with pathogens, odors and polluted groundwater,” Butler says, though his tone is far from jokelike. “And we really are, as an industry. The only difference was with tobacco, we did it voluntarily.” Not long after those first pigs arrived, Butler was introduced to the smell. THE smell. He recalled to National Geographic the first time he ever flushed the waste from his hog house: “I pulled that plug, and I smelled that smell, and I wondered, ‘What have I gotten myself into?’” The stench hit him hard, but the desire to do something about it didn’t hit him until a few months later. A phone call came one night from his brother’s wife’s sister, who lived within two miles of the farm, informing Butler that “we can smell the s--- in my house.” C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 25

“This was serious,” Butler says. “This really concerned me. We don’t have the right to make anyone suffer while we profit. If we can do something to lessen the impact on our neighbors, then we should be doing something.” The first step was covering the lagoons. Butler Farms produces 10,000 gallons of waste a day — the floors of the hog houses are elevated, and the waste from the pens falls through inch-wide slits throughout the the building. That waste is then flushed into the nearby lagoons and on many hog farms in North Carolina, treated with chemicals. Left alone on a ripe, hot summer day, the odor from these lagoons is nauseating. Headacheand vomit-inducing. “Everything we’ve done in the past eight years — the research, the development and the work — that’s been expensive. Putting energy back into the grid will help pay for it and will help us continue to do more research and find better ways to improve this industry.” — Harnett County hog farmer Tom Butler

The tarps — a high-density plastic that keeps everything in the lagoon — worked immediately for Butler. There’s still an odor on the farm, most of it emanating from the buildings. But even standing on those green tarps — your feet wobbling beneath you — the smell is tolerable. At times, when the wind is light or blowing away, the odor is gone completely. Another benefit: the tarps keep out millions of gallons of rainwater, preventing it from mixing with the waste and creating millions of gallons of wastewater. Butler is also a vocal opponent of the widely used practice of spraying crops with lagoon water, which he called a “black eye for the industry” in a recent IndyWeek article because of the respiratory and health problems the mist can cause for those who live nearby. And finally, the smell isn’t the the only thing trapped under the tarps. Pig waste, like most forms of animal waste, releases methane as it decays. Butler’s farm emits 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide and methane each year, potential energy that was going unused. Butler has invested more than $1 million into a giant yacht motor, pipes and other technology to capture that methane and convert it into energy. That motor — twice as tall as Butler and about 10 feet long, housed in a small shed behind his hog houses — is powered by a small row of nearby solar panels, making his farm more than just energy self-sufficient. In fact, he’s producing enough energy to put about $8,000 to $10,000 worth monthly back into the grid. “Everything we’ve done in the past eight years — the research, the development and

26 SPRING 2018

Butler Farms produces 10,000 gallons of waste a day — the floors of the hog houses are elevated, and the waste from the pens falls through inch-wide slits throughout the building. It is then flushed into nearby lagoons, which are covered to trap the odors and methane gasses. the work — that’s been expensive,” Butler says, standing next to the motor that he’s visibly proud of. “Putting energy back into the grid will help pay for it and will help us continue to do more research and find better ways to improve this industry.”

THE ADVOCATE David Tillman was skeptical. The chair of Campbell University’s Public Health program and an assistant professor on the subject, Tillman is an advocate for rural health in the highest sense, and he has been critical of North Carolina’s pork industry and the negative environmental impact of the state’s 2,300 farms housing more than 9 million hogs (most of them in the eastern part of the state). But it didn’t take long for Tillman to see something different in Tom Butler. The two met through the various boards they serve on in Harnett County, and Tillman says within five minutes of that first handshake, he knew he had to get him in front of his students. Within two weeks, Butler agreed to participate in a talk Tillman was giving titled, “Toxic Hogs: Ethical considerations and environmental health impacts of industrial farming,” where he shared his


innovations and talked about the problems with the industry. Not long after that, Tillman’s rural health students were spending class time on Butler’s farm. “For most of us, the day-to-day realities of hog farming are pretty far removed from our pig pickins,” Tillman says. “The truth is that over the last 30 years, as advances in industrial agriculture achieved production levels that weren’t dreamt possible before, there has come a colossal environmental burden of waste and a new threat to the health of our communities.” Rolling Stone went into great detail about the negative environmental impact and health impact of the industry in its March 19 magazine article, “Why Is China Treating North Carolina Like the Developing World?” The article pointed to Duplin County, where “future hams outnumber humans about 30 to 1” and where “hogs generate about 15,700 tons of waste daily — twice as much poop as the human population of New York City.” The lagoons that house this waste are the crux of the article. Hog farmers typically prevent their overflowing by using the waste as a fertilizer and spraying it on crops and in the fields. This technique can create a mist —

The hogs on Tom Butler’s Lillington farm produce 10,000 gallons of waste a day. The farm is equipped to recycle that waste (rather than use it as an odor-producing, environmentally unfriendly fertilizer spray) to provide energy for his farm and up to 150 homes in Harnett County. • According to Rolling Stone, a recent analysis by the Environmental Working Group found 160,000 people living in and around North Carolina’s top five hog-producing counties may be harmed by pig waste. And those victims are “disproportionately” minorities. • Butler was recipient of Campbell University’s first Rural Culture of Health Award in 2017 for his efforts in bettering the environment and the health of his community through his innovations over the past 20 years. • “I just want to do the right thing. If we don’t do the right thing — as an industry — people are going to suffer. I’d rather do the right thing than profit while people suffer.” — Tom Butler


North Carolina is the second-largest producer of hogs in the United States (it ranked seventh nationally in 1985). The top producer is Iowa, which now has nearly three times more pigs than the Tarheel State (22.6 million to 8.9 million). There are currently about 72.9 million pigs in the United States. • According to a 2017 article by The Guardian, satellite data by the Environmental Working Group found that about 160,000 North Carolinians lived within a half-mile of a pig or poultry farm. In Duplin County, with a population of 12,500 people, more than 20 percent of its residents lived within that range. If you extend the radius to three miles, nearly 1 million people in North Carolina fall into that category, or roughly 10 percent of the state’s population. • A 2016 report by the Duke University Medical Center found that living near concentrated animal feeding operations causes upper-respiratory problems, high blood pressure, fatigue, depression and exposure to a number of carcinogens. The health effects caused by pollutants from North Carolina’s pig waste pools are more widespread due to a lack of environmental regulation and frequent pollution to nearby water sources. Out of 2,246 hog operations in North Carolina, only 12 have been required to obtain permits under the Clean Water Act. (source: Earth Island Journal) • “In 1995, I began to meet neighbors of industrial hog operations. I saw how close some neighborhoods are to hog operations. People told me about contaminated wells, the stench from hog operations that woke them at night, and children who were mocked at school for smelling like hog waste. I studied the medical literature and learned about the allergens, gases, bacteria and viruses released by these facilities — all of them capable of making people sick.” — the late Steven Wing, former professor of epidemiology at UNC, in a 2013 TED Talk. (source: The Guardian)

28 SPRING 2018

a repugnant, overpowering odor — that stays in the air and can be inhaled by neighbors, “causing all manner of respiratory and health problems.” Recent hurricanes have also revealed setbacks in an open-air lagoon system. In 1999, Hurricane Floyd flooded much of the eastern part of the state, flushing out the lagoons into local water systems.

“Relatively” is a key word. Butler Farms will never be mistaken for a rose garden. There is the occasional waft of odor when you’re down-wind from the hog house or if the breeze hits just right. But you can also stand in the middle of his lagoon, millions of gallons of pig waste two inches beneath your feet, and smell nothing.

Rolling Stone reported that an analysis by the Environmental Working Group found 160,000 people living in and around North Carolina’s top five hog-producing counties may be harmed by pig waste. And those victims are “disproportionately” minorities, according to a study by UNC-Chapel Hill.

The industry needs to work toward this across the board, Butler says. He feels bad for farmers like him — he says that $50 million lawsuit was never about the farmer — and says too many have taken on debt or increased work demands to worry about becoming environmentally compliant. He told Rolling Stone that contract farmers like him are paid “just enough to make their payments, but never enough to get out of debt.”

In May of this year, a North Carolina jury awarded $50 million to 10 neighbors of a 15,000-hog farm in the White Oak area of Bladen County who filed the first in a series of federal lawsuits against MurphyBrown/Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer. The plaintiffs argued that the odors from their nearby farm were so “noxious, sickening and overwhelming,” it was impossible to get it out of their clothes. A second lawsuit was scheduled for late May. Butler was a witness in that trial — not for the hog industry, but for the plaintiffs. He explained his covered lagoon system and energy production in court and talked about how his investments have led to a relatively odor-free operation.

“If the industry continues to disregard the health impact of these farms, it will eventually reach the consumer. And the consumer has the power,” Butler says. “If the consumer is bullied or ignored, they’ll eat something else. Heck, I’ve tried some of those vegan or vegetarian diets. They’re actually pretty good.” That’s not something you’d expect to hear from a man who’s raised hogs for nearly 25 years. But that’s part of the charm of Tom Butler, according to Tillman, a man who fully expected to be at odds with the farmer until he actually met him.

“The most incredible thing about Tom Butler is his vision and heart,” Tillman says. “Tom is out in front of the industry … simply out of a desire to be the best neighbor that he can be to the rural residents that surround his farm. Having covered lagoons is an incredible testament to his heart. The investment into the technology to turn waste into energy is evidence of his vision.”


Phil Stokes earned his degree in accounting from Campbell last December and wanted to stick around in the area until he took his Certified Public Accountant exams. In Stokes’ mind, there was only one place to work between diploma and certification: a hog farm. “My grandfather owned a farm, and I appreciated the land and agriculture, so I wanted to try it out myself,” says Stokes, who’d never driven a tractor before until Butler put him in a big John Deere on his first day. “I also wanted to be on my feet, outdoors and appreciating farm work and labor before I start my career. Plus, I love pigs.” He does. Stokes has two pet pigs at home — Darlene and Belle — and admits he can’t get too attached on the farm, as these future hams are shipped off to Smithfield after only seven months in Lillington. “We tell them they’re being shipped off to the fair,” Stokes says and Butler confirms. “It makes us feel a little better about it.” Another reason Stokes wanted to join Butler’s operation was because he liked what he read about his farm — the energy conservation, the environmental stewardship and the desire to do more for the community around them. Stokes and Tillman represent an important Campbell connection for Butler Farms, but the relationship goes far beyond a Rural Health Award and some lectures. In 2017, Campbell University made a big commitment to rural health in the form of the Rural Philanthropic Analysis, a project launched to better understand rural places and funding practices that are leading the way toward health improvement in these areas. The University recently opened a student-run health clinic for the uninsured (many of its patients are migrant farm workers in the area or men and women below the poverty line). The School of Medicine opened a health clinic in Dunn in M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU

Phil Stokes (above) put off starting his career in accounting to work a year for Tom Butler, partly because he admired Butler's innovative approach to the industry. 2017 and plans to open a second off-campus clinic in Lillington in the near future. The decision to present Butler with Campbell’s inaugural Rural Culture of Health Award last year was a no-brainer, according to Tillman, because his farm and the University have the same goal in mind — better health in underserved communities and a desire to fund projects that will lead to this. “Tom’s innovative efforts to protect the health of the community and to create sustainable energy are perfect examples of the kind of work that is done every day by folks who don’t think of themselves as public health [advocates], but who help create healthier communities,” Tillman says. “The notion of a ‘culture of health’ challenges us to consider health in all policies and all practices.” Tillman was at the farm on May 4 for a Harnett County-sponsored dedication ceremony for a new electric microgrid that can run up to 150 homes using energy produced solely by pig waste and solar panels. This project represents the first time that a North Carolina Electric Cooperatives member’s existing energy resources have been integrated into a microgrid.

Asked why covered lagoons, microgrids and odorless farms are so important to him, Butler goes back to the impetus of his innovative approach. “It was that neighbor’s phone call,” he says. “Our dream right now is that all of this technology will do away with all the odor and the waste, and this farm will one day have zero impact on the environment. Zero. That sounds like a dream, and it probably is. But we think it’s doable.”




STUDENT DOCTORS Student-run clinic reaches the underserved and uninsured while also educating future physicians BY BILLY LIGGETT The waits are often long, and the process can be slow. But you won’t hear complaints from the men and women who visit the Campbell University Health Center on Tuesday nights. In fact, they’ve come to depend on this fourhour window of service known as the Student Clinic — overseen by licensed physicians and School of Medicine faculty but otherwise run by medical, physician assistant, pharmacy, social work and other health sciences students, the clinic has become a godsend for Harnett County’s low-income and medically uninsured population (which is larger, percentage-wise, than the average county). From 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. every Tuesday, the students see more than a dozen patients (there are currently 200 active patients in their system) seeking treatment and care for chronic pain, hypertension, diabetes and a slew of other conditions that would otherwise go untreated. For second-year medical student Justyne Murphy and first-year student Shaina Gordon — the outgoing and incoming directors of the Student Clinic — Tuesday nights have become more than a valuable learning experience working with real people with real conditions. They’ve become a passion for these future doctors — a sentiment shared by many of


their classmates who have taken pride in the clinic and the good it’s done since opening in 2015. In three years, the program has saved residents nearly a half-million dollars in medical costs in a county that ranks 72nd out of 100 in the state when it comes to proper diet and exercise and avoiding negative behaviors like tobacco and alcohol use and 86th in the state in access to clinical care. “We reach a population that other clinics don’t,” says Murphy, a graduate of N.C. State and native of Dahlonega, Georgia. “A lot of people with no health insurance simply don’t know where to go. Campbell has done an exceptional job — when you consider the Health Center and the new clinic in Dunn — reaching these people.” The clinic comes to life at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, 30 minutes after the Health Center closes its doors for the day. Undergraduate members of the Pre-SOMA Club are the first students these patients see, there to take vital signs and begin the paperwork process. Two medical students, a physician assistant student and a pharmacy student work as a team (a typical night has about five of these foursomes) to see the patient, gather his or her history and do a physical exam. (continued on page 40)

Harnett County ranks 72nd out of 100 counties in North Carolina when it comes to proper diet and exercise and avoiding negative behaviors like tobacco and alcohol use. (Source: Wisconsin Population Health Institute program) • Obesity is a major issue for many of the patients at the student clinic. As are diabetes and hypertension. Lack of medical education is a big part of the problem, which is why the students spend so much time promoting a healthier lifestyle. • Campbell’s Department of Social Work also works with the free clinic patients to help with disability benefits, alcohol and other drug disorders, mental health referrals, food pantry referrals, domestic violence services, housing assistance and even burial assistance. • “I can now take a complete patient history, correctly write out prescriptions and present the case to the attending physician. It’s exciting when I make a correct diagnosis without prompting from the physician.” — Claire Unruh, second-year med student





THE PUBLIC EYE From lack of bike paths to the color of your truck, David Tillman says many factors go into the overall health of a rural community BY KATE STONEBURNER David Tillman’s journey to the public health field took a winding path, but his love for Harnett County and rural North Carolina has never wavered. After graduating from Campbell with an English degree, he spent nearly 10 years working with public schools to improve outcomes and programming for students with disabilities. Tillman soon discovered a passion for improving health in rural communities, where the best in programming and care is often miles away. Three more degrees later, Tillman was the first faculty member brought onboard when Campbell began its Public Health program. He now serves as the chair of the department. Campbell’s Public Health program is unique in that it is specifically tailored to focus on rural health. It’s one of six schools in the nation with a rural focus, only two of which are located east of the Mississippi river, and it is the only Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health-accredited program in the country that both focuses on rural health and is actually located in a rural area. Tillman’s goal for the program is to help people understand that location is a key factor in the rural health conversation that is often overlooked.


“If a doctor tells me that I need to lose weight and I should go running to lose it, it’d sound pretty reasonable,” he says. “On the Cary Greenway, I’d run on a paved path in the shade with scenery and dogs on leashes. But if I run in Harnett County, there’s no shoulder on the road, dogs are chasing me because there are no leash laws in rural places, and there are tractor trailers whizzing by my head. “My health then isn’t dependent upon the doctors available to me, but whether or not there are paved streets.” Tillman’s research shows that social and economic factors play a larger role in the health of a community than we recognize. Problems such as poor dental care, higher rates of suicide and increased risk of motor vehicle accident deaths are usually attributed to a lack of care facilities in rural communities. But the number of providers per capita in a given area is usually only a small part of the issue. He uses motor vehicle traffic deaths as an example. The risk of death may be higher in rural areas because it takes longer to get to a hospital from the scene of a crash. But in most cases, the risk is simply increased because we drive faster on rural roads than in town, and (continued on page 40)

Campbell's public health program is one of six in the nation with a rural focus, only two of which are located east of the Mississippi river. It's the only accredited program in the country that both focuses on rural health and is actually located in a rural area. • The number of health care providers per capita in a given area is only a small part of the rural health issue. Cultural norms, environmental factors and lack of internet service contribute more to health than regular clinic visits. • As a historically Christian institution, Campbell is uniquely positioned to impact the health of faith communities. With the help of theologians on campus, students can work with rural leaders to de-stigmatize healthy practices. • “The fact is that most of what makes us healthy happens outside of clinics and the hospital. The care that we’re providing has to be culturally relevant and geographically relevant and have policy backing it up.” — David Tillman




SACRED SILENCE Divinity alumna serves her rural community through clinical pastoral care BY BILLY LIGGETT AND ELIZABETH EDWARDS Danita Perkins plays a vital role in the care and outcomes of patients and their families at Nash General Hospital in rural Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Her gift: Sacred silence. As hospital chaplain at Nash Health Care, Perkins has found her calling being present with people during some of the most emotional and often most devastating moments in their lives. Whether they’re coping with the death of a loved one, dealing with their own diagnosis or simply needing somebody to help guide them through a crisis; Perkins has become an open ear for her community ... a shoulder to cry on. “Most people just need someone to bear witness to their struggles,” she says, “without judging them or without telling them how to struggle. It’s about listening with your heart; not trying to fix it, but instead walking alongside them. What most people really want when they come to me is sacred silence. Just being present with people. Being in the fire with them. Letting them know they’re not alone and they will not be abandoned. “It’s a sacred dance, and my job as chaplain is to follow as the patient leads.”

She found her way to rural health care through Campbell’s Divinity School, earning her Master of Divinity degree in 2001 as a member of the charter class and as the school’s first African-American female graduate. Prior to that, she served six years in the U.S. Army and the Colorado National Guard, served a year in AmeriCorps as a volunteer and was employed for 14 years as a software engineer and computer program analyst. Following Campbell, after a short time in ministry, Perkins took a position as a Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) supervisor with Martin County Community Action in Williamston. In 2011, she opened a community-based CPE training program for the Ray of Hope Community Development Corporation in Greenville. She joined Nash Health Care in 2014, developing the hospital’s first CPE training program alongside her colleague, the Rev. Richard Joyner. The program and Perkins’ presence are sorely needed in the community, which ranks 65th out of 100 counties in North Carolina in health outcomes — 74th for social and economic factors like education, unemployment, poverty and crime; 70th for lifespan and 63rd for overall quality of life. (continued on page 40)


Danita Perkins found her way to rural health care through Campbell’s Divinity School, earning her Master of Divinity degree in 2001 as a member of the charter class. She was also the school’s first African-American female graduate. • Perkins runs the Clinical Pastoral Education program in Nash County with Richard Joyner, who was named one of 10 CNN Heroes in 2015 for starting a community garden in the small town of Conetoe that produced up to 50,000 pounds of vegetables and fruits a year for a community that lacks healthy foods. • Nash County ranks 65th out of 100 counties in North Carolina in health outcomes — 74th for social and economic factors like education, unemployment, poverty and crime; 70th for lifespan and 63rd for overall quality of life. • “When times are tough, you have to be the one willing to run into the fire and then staying in that fire with them. They need to know they are not alone, and not only are they not alone, they will not be abandoned.” — Danita Perkins





Campbell’s Rural Philanthropic Analysis wants to improve the connection between funders and the communities they’re supporting BY BILLY LIGGETT It’s almost like somebody was reading Britt Davis’ mind. As Campbell’s vice president for institutional advancement was working on ideas to further promote the University’s standing as a leader in rural health advocacy, he received a call from Allen Smart, who he previously worked with while raising money for the School of Osteopathic Medicine. Smart was working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — the nation’s largest public health philanthropy — on ways to make rural philanthropy “more impactful and more strategic” to the intended communities. The idea was to conduct a study and form models that would give future funders the most “bang for their buck.” The Foundation and Smart agreed that they needed a home for this study — an organization that shared the goal and mission to serve the underserved and an organization that wouldn’t be mired in government bureaucracy and red tape. Enter Campbell University. And one vice president eager to make this happen. “I think the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation saw in us a growing university

in rural Harnett County producing professionals in all sorts of fields — from health care to law, business to the ministry — and sending these professionals all across this state and this nation to the small towns and rural communities that need them most,” Davis says. “Campbell was just a very good fit for what they were looking for. We just fit the profile.” Last summer, the Foundation awarded Campbell a $730,248 grant to fund an 18-month national exploration — the Rural Philanthropic Analysis — designed to create, identify and enhance new ideas and insights to improve the practice and impact of charitable organizations when it comes to supporting healthy, equitable rural communities. Smart was tabbed as the lead project director, and the RPA had an office and staff on Campbell’s campus in Buies Creek by the fall. Smart and his team — program coordinator Johnathan Rine and graduate assistant James Hampson — have spent the past year surveying and interviewing national rural associations, drilling them on how they would benefit best from working with philanthropic groups and talking about (continued on page 42)


Only 7 percent of private philanthropic investments in the U.S. are directed towards rural communities. The Rural Philanthropic Analysis was created to identify and enhance new ideas and insights to improve the practice and impact of charitable organizations when it comes to supporting healthy, equitable rural communities. • The head of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, former ABC News medical editor Dr. Richard Besser, gave the commencement address at Campbell’s spring commencement in May. • Rural philanthropy has been a part of the Campbell’s mission since Day 1, back when founder J.A. Campbell started Buies Creek Academy 131 years ago with the idea that everybody deserved an education, regardless of finances or social standing. • “The best funders use skill, creativity and respect and they bring other voices to the table. The best rural philanthropists provide a comfortable way for old and emerging leadership to work together and lead real change.” — Allen Smart




MIGRANT MEDICINE Families that fuel North Carolina’s $78 billion agriculture industry are being cared for through mobile efforts; new and future clinics BY BILLY LIGGETT Farm workers have the eighth-most dangerous job in America; behind loggers, pilots, roofers and truckers, to name a few.

I’m treating is here legally or illegally,” she says. “I’m here to provide care and support, whether that’s medical or spiritual.”

And of the 150,000 farm workers in North Carolina, a whopping 80 percent do not receive health care. Eighty percent also lack transportation to get to and from hospitals or health clinics. And 94 percent are Spanish speaking, with too few health delivery services offering adequate Spanish-speaking resources. Documented or undocumented, insured or uninsured — the men, women and (yes) children whose work fuels the state’s $78 billion agriculture industry deserve proper health care.

Campbell’s medical school is part of the North Carolina Farmworker Health Program, whose function is to improve the health of migrant and seasonal workers and their families through funding, training and other assistance to a network of outreach and health care providers.

Economists or elected officials may argue this point with statistics of missed work days having a large negative impact on North Carolina’s bottom line. But for Dr. Charlotte Paolini, chair and associate professor of family medicine at Campbell’s Jerry M. Wallace School of Osteopathic Medicine, providing care to these families — many of them migrant workers — is all about following the example of Jesus Christ by providing unbiased healing to the underserved. “It’s not any of my business if the person

Farm workers face several occupational risks, from operating heavy equipment to extreme conditions in unshaded fields. They are more prone to toxic chemical injuries and skin disorders (often caused by pesticides) and are at an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Their households are more likely to be food insecure, and more than half of the children in migrant farm families have an unmet medical need. It gets worse for tobacco workers — they are highly susceptible to nicotine poisoning through the skin (in one day, a worker can absorb the amount of nicotine found in 36 cigarettes). Paolini says the mobile units are far from “fully equipped battleships” that can meet the workers’ every need. But those who (continued on page 42)


Of the 150,000 farm workers in North Carolina, 80 percent do not receive health care. Eighty percent also lack transportation to get to and from hospitals or health clinics. And 94 percent are Spanish speaking. • Farm workers face several occupational risks, from operating heavy equipment to extreme conditions in unshaded fields. They are more prone to toxic chemical injuries and skin disorders (often caused by pesticides) and are at an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. • Campbell’s Community and Global Medicine program oversees its migrant worker clinics in rural towns like Newton Grove and Goldsboro and the health screenings the school hosts at the annual Episcopal Farmworkers Festival and Southeastern Health’s “Compassion for U.” • “It’s not any of my business if the person I’m treating is here legally or illegally. I’m here to provide care and support, whether that’s medical or spiritual.” — Dr. Charlotte Paolini


POWER of RURAL (continued from page 31) . . . The students then meet with that night’s attending physician to talk about the patient’s condition, double check their process and formulate a care plan.




The physician ends the visit with a one-onone with the patient as the students observe. All prescriptions are made or signed off by the physician, as — even though they’re putting in the hours and gaining valuable real-time experience — the students running the clinic are still only students.

take so much time with each patient to promote a healthier lifestyle and to talk through the symptoms. The work they’re doing goes far beyond the “examine-andprescribe” approach one might find at other busy free clinics. “We talk to our patients about healthy recipes and diet coaching,” says Gordon. “We’ve had to have talks about not having soda for breakfast, or why lemonade or sweet tea shouldn’t be considered health drinks.”

Obesity is a major issue for many of their patients. As are diabetes and hypertension. Lack of medical education is a big part of the problem, which is why Campbell students

“For many of these families, the problem is access to food,” adds Murphy. “Fast food is cheaper than going to a grocery store and buying fresh produce. I understand a lot of it has to do with our environment. We are in

(continued from page 33) . . . consequences are deadlier at 55 miles per hour than 30.

considered when finding solutions to low engagement with clinics.

“The fact is that most of what makes us healthy happens outside of clinics and the hospital,” says Tillman. “The care that we’re providing has to be culturally relevant and geographically relevant and have policy backing it up.”

The lack of anonymity in small town and rural America make it difficult to seek help for matters patients would rather keep private. Tillman uses his own vehicle as an example — in Raleigh, driving a red truck isn’t noteworthy. But driving a red truck in Buies Creek means that everyone will know who drives it. When his truck pulls up to a mental health clinic, everyone will know he’s seeking help.

Cultural relevance is a huge part of what Tillman is working to create in rural health programs. A language barrier is far easier to overcome in clinics in urban cities than in rural ones, so making sure that everyone who visits a clinic can be understood could help solve the rural health problem. Economics impact how clinics are used as well — a rural town could have a dentist on every corner, but if no one has coverage for its services, no one will go anywhere but the emergency room. Tillman also wants to combat the myths and stigmas about health care that are not

(continued from page 35) . . . She and Joyner — who was named one of 10 CNN Heroes in 2015 for starting a community garden in the small town of Conetoe that produced up to 50,000 pounds of vegetables and fruits a year for a community that lacks healthy foods — are building bridges between the hospital and overall community care in Nash County. Joyner’s vision, she says, is to explore how chaplains can have larger roles in discharge planning, transitional care, preventing

Working in communities to improve the acceptability of seeking care is the mission of Tillman’s students at Campbell. During a presentation of their capstone project, a team of students who spent their semester offering free long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) to Scotland County residents reported that only two women decided to utilize the LARCs. Students found that common myths — the contraceptives would prevent them from

hospital readmissions, overall health education and discouraging ER visits as a means of primary care. Nash’s CPE training program involves 100 hours of instructional time and 300 hours of clinical ministry, much of which consists of community service. Ministers and clergymen and women have gone through the program, as well as local nurses and other health care professionals.

POWER of RURAL the South. Fried foods are a dime a dozen. And when these people get older, those unhealthy lifestyles take their toll. Chronic diseases become more prevalent and start taking over.” The good news is that the patients are listening. Gordon recalls one patient who quit smoking “on the spot” during a visit. Another woman gave a recent testimonial at a gala hosted by the med school and shared how the clinic got her on her feet and saved not only her life, but her adult son’s life as well. The woman was able to get a job with health insurance, allowing her son, who has multiple sclerosis, to see a specialist. “They’re listening to us,” Murphy says. “Because they know they’re being cared

ever having families in the future, or that other methods of birth control were more reliable — were the primary cause of the low numbers. Tillman feels that Campbell has a unique opportunity to change stigmas associated with a variety of preventative healthcare measures, from counseling and birth control to needle exchange programs that help fight the opioid crisis. In his classes, students are encouraged to work with the close-knit faith communities to bring better quality of life to rural areas. “At Campbell, we’re working on how to translate to faith communities what science tells us and to ask hard questions like, ‘Does God require you to be against syringe service, and why?’ We have great theologians on campus that can collaborate with us on this, and we’re inviting local faith leaders to meetings to talk about how they can destigmatize healthy practices. We are so wellpositioned because of our focus on health

“It’s just having a heart for people and their well-being,” Perkins says. “My mom and my grandparents instilled this in me at an early age … a heart for service. Unconditional love.” A former professor once told her that it was “through us, with us, by us and even in spite of us that God can draw near to persons. To know this is an inspiration, to feel it is a great joy and to act upon it is our calling.” Perkins says she has taken this quote with her throughout her


for. And it’s great for us, because we learn all this stuff in a classroom, but to be challenged to break it all down to someone who’s not medically educated in a way that will eventually better their lives, it’s just so beneficial for us.” Experience isn’t the only thing the students get from the clinic. Murphy says there’s a personal lift from helping the community. The weight of homework, studying and exams is lifted on Tuesday nights. “This is where I’m supposed to be,” she says. “We work with people who are appreciative of what we’re doing, and that’s all you can ask for,” adds Gordon. “It’s a reminder of what being in this profession is all about.”

sciences and our history and identity in faith.” In the near future, Tillman hopes to see public health improved with technology. He recently met with the National Rural Health Association in Washington, D.C., and talked to representatives about medical coverage, socioeconomic factors and internet access in rural communities. Broadband could change the rural health landscape by providing a means of diagnosing and treating patients remotely. But for Tillman, the true benefit of internet access is economic development. “Rural places could be communities of choice if people could work remotely,” he said. “If we don’t do something to make sure that there is equitable access to high-speed internet, we’re missing something crucial — if you can grow an economy, you can grow a healthy community.”

ministry, and it continues to inspire her today. “When times are tough, you have to be the one willing to run into the fire and then staying in that fire with them,” she says. “They need to know they are not alone, and not only are they not alone, they will not be abandoned.”

Approximately 40 percent of North Carolinians — roughly 4 million people — live in one of the state’s 80 rural counties (defined as counties with a population density of 25 people per square mile or fewer), according to the N.C. Dept. of Commerce. Rural areas have higher rates of drug and alcohol use, suicide, years in productive life lost, injury, teen births, uninsured patients and preventable hospitalizations. These parts of the state also have fewer places to exercise, such as parks, greenways and gyms. (Source: N.C. Health News) • Rural areas typically have far fewer doctors than urban areas. In Wake County there were 23.7 physicians for every 10,000 people in 2010; next door in rural Johnston County, there were only 7.6. (Source: NCCFH) • The N.C. Public School Forum’s annual Roadmap of Need ranks each county based on 10 indicators related to afterschool programs, health care, job programs and other key initiatives for youth success. Four of the Top 5 counties (Orange, Union, Wake, Cabarrus, Watauga) are considered “urban,” with the exception being Watauga, which is classified as 55-percent “rural.” The Bottom 5 (Edgecombe, Robeson, Halifax, Warren and Northampton) are all rural. • Nine rural hospitals have closed in North Carolina since 2000, according to the N.C. Rural Health Research Program. One of those hospital closures — Good Hope in Erwin — occurred in Harnett County in 2006 after operating for nearly 100 years. The closure put nearly 200 people out of work. • Only eight North Carolina counties are considered to have “no shortages” in primary care, dental care and mental health/behavior care — Wake, Orange, Person, Moore, Iredell, Davie, Davidson and Union. Harnett County is one of 30 counties to have shortages in dental and primary care, according to N.C. Health and Human Services. Thirty-three counties (all rural) have shortages in all three.




(continued from page 37) . . . innovative ways to make their funding more impactful. Smart has maintained a national blog on rural health topics and has written for a handful of national websites dedicated to rural philanthropy. He’s also working with “funder affinity groups” (linked by a specific interest) to make sure those groups have rural content during their annual meetings and have a direct line of communication with their rural constituents. “There’s also a side of rural philanthropy that some may feel uncomfortable hearing when it comes to funders and communities, but I’ll say it without hesitation,” Smart says. “The best rural philanthropies recognize and understand the historic patterns of leadership in these communities — those who have been allowed to be the decision makers. They understand that many who have held these roles have not always had the best interests of others in mind. There’s a class element and, especially in the South, there’s a racial element. Funders have tripped over themselves in the past, giving grant money to people who maybe ultimately are trying to make sure things don’t change.

(continued from page 39) . . . do require follow ups or additional care are referred to Campbell’s free student-run clinic, which operates on campus on Tuesday nights.


42 SPRING 2018

“People get to be seen by students who care about them,” she says. “They’re put into our system, they’re monitored and they’re treated, free of charge.” Campbell’s Community and Global Medicine program oversees its migrant worker clinics in rural towns like Newton Grove and Goldsboro and the health screenings the school hosts at the annual Episcopal Farmworkers Festival and Southeastern Health’s “Compassion for U.” The program also takes students on yearly short-term medical mission trips to Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti and Jamaica.

“The best funders use skill, creativity and respect and they bring other voices to the table. The best rural philanthropists provide a comfortable way for old and emerging leadership to work together and lead real change.” While the RPA is new to Campbell, Davis says rural philanthropy has been a part of the University’s mission since Day 1, back when founder J.A. Campbell started Buies Creek Academy 131 years ago with the idea that everybody deserved an education, regardless of finances or social standing. “We were a rural health leader before we were ever conscious of it,” Davis says. “This is well documented.” The 1900 graduating class of Buies Creek Academy included at least 21 young men and women who went on to become teachers in rural Harnett County’s public school system. Their education begat the next generation of educated residents. When Campbell’s third president, Norman Adrian Wiggins, established Campbell Law School in 1976, his goal was to train lawyers to practice in smaller communities east of

Run by Dr. Joseph Cacioppo and Dr. Doug Short, the Community and Global Medicine program has already helped thousands of men and women, but equally important has been the training and practical skills students have received and learned by taking part in these trips. “One of my biggest pet peeves is the notion that doctors are cold and sterile … that it’s almost a painful event to go see your doctor,” says Short. “That’s why we want to impart on our students that you can be a doctor or you can be a physician. It’s your choice. There’s a bond that occurs between a physician and a patient. It’s a relationship, and it’s the most important thing. Working out in the community or out in the world gets students outside of their bubble. They see that these people aren’t just a number.” Adds Paolini: “Our students are eager to go


Raleigh — while he may have never used the term, “rural strategy,” Davis says that was exactly what he was getting at.

underserved parts of North Carolina and the United States, where there’s the greatest need for physicians.’”

“There was a need in rural North Carolina, and we created a law school to fill that need,” Davis says. “Have we done that since 1979? Absolutely. Eighty percent of our law graduates currently live in this state, and they’re working in 95 out of 100 counties today.”

The Rural Philanthropic Analysis takes Campbell’s 131 years of rural-based education and — through the partnership and support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation — puts it in a national spotlight.

The pharmacy school opened it doors to students 10 years later and has since graduated nearly 2,500 pharmacists, of which Davis says 80 percent still live in North Carolina serving in 90 of the state’s 100 counties. And when Campbell set out to establish a medical school in 2013, there was pressure from some in the state to build it in Raleigh, where it would have easier access to hospitals and residency programs. Davis says, “I’ll never forget, [former Campbell president and School of Osteopathic Medicine namesake] Jerry Wallace said at the time, ‘If we put this school in an urban area, we’ll never meet our goal to train doctors to practice in rural,

out and provide this care, and in doing so, it increases their perspective in terms of taking care of the poor and underserved. It gives them experience in learning how to provide care in ‘hard places.’” The importance placed on mission work and community care is what attracted Paolini to Campbell from all the way up in Maine in 2012, a year before the school launched. “I started doing mission work back in 1995, and back then, I did it on my own time, usually through faith-based groups,” she says. “When I met [founding med school Dean Dr.] John Kauffman, it was wonderful to learn how mission-minded he was and how he wanted to make mission work part of the curriculum. I told him, ‘I’m there.’” Paolini was also key in Campbell’s decision to open its first off-campus medical clinic


“Working with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is tremendously validating for Campbell University,” Davis says. “It brings all these things into view that we have consciously or unconsciously been practicing for over a century. Schools like Campbell don’t often receive these Foundation grants. Our peers in this state and in the nation now see that the largest private health care funder is putting some of its resources into us, and that’s significant for not only our University as a whole, but for our reputation in the marketplace. “It shows that we are, indeed, doing things to help make life better for our rural communities in this state and beyond.”

in Dunn in 2017. Her role has shifted from family medicine to geriatrics, and when she’s not teaching on campus, Paolini is training students at a nursing home in Lillington or at the clinic in Dunn, the city she now calls home. She says the clinic — which offers services in geriatric medicine, osteopathic manipulative medicine, sports medicine and spine and back treatment — has been “huge” for Campbell’s neighbor to the east. “Campbell is being very true to its mission,” she says. “We know from statistics that 62 percent of residents end up practicing medicine within 20 miles of their residency program. We are educating students who will go on to live in the communities they are currently serving. Many of our students are staying in North Carolina, and many are training in family medicine. They’re fully committed to what we’re trying to do here.”

Family physicians comprise only 15 percent of the U.S. outpatient physician workforce nationwide, but they provide 42 percent of the care in rural areas, according to the National Rural Health Association. Campbell’s School of Osteopathic Medicine had the highest percentage of graduates match into family medicine residencies in North Carolina in 2017, according to the North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians. • Ease of access to a physician is greater in urban areas. The patient-to-primary care physician ratio in rural areas is only 39.8 physicians per 100,000 people, compared to 53.3 physicians per 100,000 in urban areas. This uneven distribution of physicians has an impact on the health of the population. Also, there are 30 generalist dentists per 100,000 residents in urban areas versus 22 per 100,000 in rural areas. • Fifty-three percent of rural Americans lack access to 25 Mbps/3 Mbps of bandwidth, the benchmark for internet speed according to the Federal Communications Commission. Lack of high-speed internet access can be a hindrance to accessing information, representing another challenge rural Americans face. • Tobacco use is a significant problem among young people in rural areas. Those over the age of 12 are more likely to smoke cigarettes (26.6 percent versus 19 percent in large metro areas). They are also far more likely to use smokeless tobacco, with usage rates of 6.7 percent in rural areas and 2.1 percent in metropolitan areas. • More than 50 percent of vehicle crash-related fatalities happen in rural areas, even though less than one-third of miles traveled in a vehicle occur there. In rural areas there is an additional 22 percent risk of injury-related death.


Photo by Karl DeBlaker 44 SPRING 2018

Making the Break

Campbell Law’s advocacy program has five national championships since 2012. This one is the first to be won by an all-female team.


lexandra Puszczynski never thought of her all-female team of student advocates as ‘all-female’ until her friends started congratulating her on the team’s historic mock trial win. “I think it's because we get so comfortable working together as students,” said Puszczynski. “I never notice in the advocacy program if the best teams are made of guys or girls. All I think about is ‘Wow, he or she's really good.’" “Really good” just about sums up Campbell Law’s competitive advocacy program. Student advocates have collected five national championships, six national runners up, seven national semifinalists, four regional championships and 14 national individual best advocate awards since 2012. But this is the first to be won by a team of female students. At the Capitol City Challenge National Invitational Mock Trial Competition in Washington, D.C., the Campbell team worked its way through the opening rounds to beat the University of Denver School of Law for a place in the semifinals. They then topped Stetson School of Law in the finals to bring home a championship. One of only two all-female teams at the competition last March, they were the only all-female team to pass the preliminary rounds, let alone top 23 other teams for the title. Director of Advocacy & Assistant Professor Dan Tilly assembled the winning team of three third-year law students Meredith Kittrell, Latasia Fields and Dale Stephenson



(now graduates) and one second-year student, Alexandra Puszczynski. “I have made a concerted effort in the years I’ve been here to simply pick the most outstanding, qualified individuals for the program, and we have some phenomenally talented female advocates who have repeatedly scored very high and won competitions,” said Tilly. “There are a number of things that female lawyers have to overcome in the courtroom, and I could not be more proud of this group because they’re just great lawyers.” Kittrell and Fields have been contributing to those high scores since their second year, trying cases together as co-council. The pair has met with success over and over again. But in her years of competition Kittrell has observed that two-woman teams are rare. She attributes this to the fact that all co-counselors need a good dynamic to appeal to a jury. In some regions, women who are particularly strong or direct in the courtroom can come off as spiteful rather than commanding. “Latasia is very blunt and straightforward,” said Kittrell, “so sometimes people perceive her as being too aggressive. Men can take the same approach in the courtroom and get no notice.” Kittrell herself tends to veer toward the passive. “I often hear the critique ‘you don't sound like you believe in what you're saying,’ but timid guys get comments like ‘just be a little more confident next time, you've almost got it.’”

Stephenson agreed that she occasionally perceives biases in mock trial judges’ feedback. “I once had a male partner who brought humor to his presentation and received no comments on it,” she said. “But personally I've felt that I have to watch out for humor in court. I’ve gotten feedback suggesting that if I use humor, people will think of me as an ‘airhead’ that isn’t taking the case seriously.” The team was quick to point out that mock trial competition feedback varies greatly from region to region. In larger cities with more diversity, they feel that differences in style between men and women are noted less frequently. But all agreed that there are certain courtroom norms that women should assume will be in effect all over the country. For instance, wardrobe. Women are expected to wear a skirt or a dress in the courtroom — pants or pantsuits aren’t proper “etiquette.” “I think it would be nice if a girl could walk into a courtroom with pants on and no-one would care, but at the same time, this is a profession where looking your best and adapting to that courtroom etiquette is important,” said Kittrell. “A lot of people complain that they can't wear pants to competition or have to have their hair pulled back, but the fact of the matter is, even in a real scenario I wouldn't go into a courtroom with pants on or hair down. For me there is a certain etiquette that you follow to put on your best. “ ____________


of approximately 50 local professionals, including experienced federal and state prosecutors, public defenders, and private practice attorneys. Comments are given after each round, and can either psych you out or teach you how to up your game. Kittrell has a strategy for staying positive through a critique.


“When a judge tells us they didn't like something, I smile as graciously as I can,” she said. “And if it’s something out of my hands, usually I'll just write ‘oh well’ in my notes and move on.”

Campbell Law’s current student body is 64 percent female, and as all students gain courtroom experience during their time there, they graduate with a good understanding of the wardrobe and rhetoric of the courtroom. But a report by the legal publication Law360 found that while women make up 50.3 percent of current law school graduates, only 35 percent of lawyers at law firms are female. Gender aside, a national mock trial competition naturally poses great challenges to any team, especially those facing a deadline. Campbell’s entire trial advocacy program was busy planning and hosting their own mock trial competition until the national championship was only two weeks away, giving the students and their coaches limited time to practice. On top of assignments for other classes and personal responsibilities, the preparation for a case competition can be overwhelming. Teams are given all of the facts and are expected to know the depositions, exhibits, witnesses like the back of their hand in order to be ready to represent either side of the case at the drop of a hat. For Puszczynski, the youngest of the group, the speed of the competition was the most nerve-wracking part. During the four-day event, the team competed in the morning, found out the results during lunch, immediately grabbed their materials and set

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up the room for their next challenge, with no more than a few minutes to settle in. The third-year students were mostly concerned about being adaptable and quick on their feet. Mock trial teams must be prepared to flip sides with each round, but they also may need to make changes based on the judges’ feedback on their case materials, which varies with region just like expectations for wardrobe and speaking style. As Stephenson put it, “you don't know the feel of the competition until you're there.” “The feel” of a competition can make a huge difference for lawyers, who depend on being able to appeal to an audience that might change from region to region. “Certain schools don't compete in certain places,” said Fields, “because some regions are more diverse in terms of gender and have different preferences about how you present your case. Where you’re from can be a disadvantage.” The team pointed to Kittrell as an example because of her distinct southern accent. While she tones it down to the best of her ability, judges have commented on it in competitions north of Tennessee, including the nationals in Washington. At mock trial competitions, evaluation and critique is given by the jury, which at Capitol City Challenge was made up

Sometimes a note and a smile is the best way to respond to feedback. After weeks of preparation for a case, there’s only so much a team can change in crunch time. The Campbell team came thoroughly prepared, but still had to make a last minute PowerPoint to appeal to the judges, who wanted to see technology in use in the courtroom rather than the printed exhibit boards the team had created. “If you make a beautiful chart that you think helps your case, but you hear in three different rounds that judges don't like the chart, you do have to adjust and remove some of what you've worked on in order to be successful,” said Fields. The preference for screen-based presentations at the competition might have thrown the Campbell team off guard at first, but their technological savvy helped them as they began to advance through the preliminary rounds. “One of our biggest advantages was that we were one of few teams that knew how to use the hardware they provided,” said Kittrell. “Campbell has three courtrooms that we practiced in, and all three have iPads. It really helped that we were able to highlight and navigate our materials well on the iPad.” Student lawyers who weren't iPad users struggled to cast their documents to the big screen and display sections of text to the audience from the tablets gracefully. Other teams handed out their exhibits in paper hard copies, which cost them points with the jury. ____________ Even without the advantage of home turf technology, the Campbell students’ individual knowledge of the case helped them present a cohesive front as a team.

As witnesses, Stephenson and Puszczynski were responsible for knowing their depositions backward and forward. Kittrell recognized the value of having teammates who worked hard to comprehend every aspect of the case. “A lot of people don't place as much value on the witness role,” said Kittrell, “but they are your second set of advocates. It just looked good on the whole team that everyone knew the case so well.” The Campbell team was coached by assistant professor Anthony Ghiotto, whose hands-off approach challenged them to use one another as a soundboard and work independently. Stephenson appreciated the laid-back faculty guidance. “He told us ‘this is your case; I have a different personality and what works for me may not work for you.’” Stephenson said. “He knew that telling us to do anything that wasn’t us would show to the jury and judges. It really gave me confidence in my own abilities.” Ghiotto was assisted by 2016 graduate and former Wallace Fellow Brittany Stiltner, who gave more direct coaching at the team’s evening practices. Even with Stiltner’s feedback, the third-year students felt uneasy entering the competition. “I did not think that we were going to win,” said Fields. “But when we got there it really came together, and I realized that the material we had was very good. I honestly thought, ‘Sure, I'd love to win but I just want

to make the break.’ We had to make the break.” “Making the break” is making it past the preliminary rounds for a place in the top eight teams. Once they had secured their spot in the semifinals, Fields and her team started to feel optimistic. The third-year students can remember the exact moment they knew they had a shot. “There was a short break in the final round where we were allowed to leave the room,” said Fields. “We walked out, looked at each other and just realized, wow — we could win.” “I think I realized it when I gave closing,” said Kittrell. “As plaintiff I gave my closing first, and during the other team's I remember looking at Latasia at the counsel's table and thinking ‘we definitely have it.’” Stephenson added, “I had a moment when I was being crossed as a witness. I had read my deposition 10 minutes before, and I could see every word so clearly in my head. I sat there so confidently while the other team flipped through pages and pages trying to impeach me. That was my ‘we got it’ moment.” While Puszczynski finishes up her last year at Campbell, Stephenson, Kittrell and Fields will start careers in personal injury defense, real estate law, and workers’ comp law, respectively. They begin the bar exam on July 24. If their time at Campbell Law is any indication, they will pass with flying colors.

CampbellLawSchool Campbell Law student advocates stole the show during the school’s first ever appearance at the Capitol City Challenge National Invitational Mock Trial Competition this past weekend, bringing home a national title and the award for best advocate in the finals. The group marks the first all-female group of student advocates to win a national title at Campbell Law.

Thank You!

... for helping make this year's #CampbellGivingDay our biggest giving day yet! More than 1,000 people gave to Campbell University on Feb. 8, and because of you, the Office of Annual Giving far exceeded that day’s goal of 250 donors. Those gifts unlocked an additional $127,000 in contributions to the Campbell Leads campaign for a total of $200,000 that day. Together we increased support for student scholarships and the construction of a much-needed student union. For more information on how to support the University through the Campbell Leads campaign, visit M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU


48 SPRING 2018


Campbell health science students provide care where it's needed most.


n interprofessional team of 20 Campbell faculty, staff and students spent their Spring Break providing medical care to the people of Honduras.

Two first-year medical students, two second-year physical therapy students, 11 pharmacy students, three faculty and staff and two additional support staff traveled to a small village outside of Choluteca. Led by Col. Bill Pickard, chair of clinical research in the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, the team worked in partnership with the North Carolina Baptists on Mission and were hosted by Mike and Ginger Greene at the NCBM Mount Horeb Baptist Camp, a 36-acre campus north of the village. Over the course of the week, the team provided care to more than 450 patients. The clinic was housed in a cinderblock church building that consisted of three classrooms and served as the pharmacy, a doctor’s office space and a room for the physical therapy. The three health care professions worked together to perform physical examinations of the patients and then develop a treatment plan for each patient. The main worship space of the church served as the area where patients were triaged and seen by Dr. Terrance O’Malia, assistant professor of family medicine, and other members of the medical team. “The Honduras medical mission trip gave me a greater appreciation for interprofessional collaboration,” said firstyear student pharmacist Megan Day. “I was able to work with the medical students to diagnose and recommend medications for a patient and then take the patient to the pharmacy area to fill their prescriptions and counsel the patient on them. Experiencing the continuity of care for a patient at this level is an opportunity that we don’t have in the United States.”



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A Place at the Table


Urban minister at home in Raleigh's first pay-it-forward diner


indy Bolden’s community ministry journey began in 2013 when she approached a coffee shop owner and asked if he had a backroom where she could meet with friends and strangers alike and simply “talk about life.”

several pay options — pay what they can afford, pay the suggested menu price, pay the suggested price, plus an extra pay-it-forward donation, pay specifically for someone else’s full meal or volunteer at the restaurant to pay for a meal.

“Mine is a ministry of presence,” says the 2011 Master of Divinity and 2016 Doctor of Ministry Campbell graduate. “Spend 15 or 20 minutes with someone in a shared space and you’re truly present with that person. Their fears, desires and stories start coming out, and in that space, I listen, love and encourage.”

On a given day, the cafe attracts between 80 and 300 diners, according to Bolden, and between 15 and 25 men and women volunteer to prepare meals, bus tables or clean the cafe, which employs full- and part-time chefs, waiters and waitresses as well.

“When you engage with someone, the possibility of a new life is born,” Bolden says. “Love is shared. It sounds simple, but it’s what I’m all about.” She was approached by Maggie Kane, director of the nonprofit group A Place at the Table in 2016 to help form and lead a community advisory board for a “pay-what-you-can cafe” the group was eyeing for Downtown Raleigh. Cain sought somebody who “loved people and loved her community,” and Bolden’s reputation preceded her. Bolden went to work immediately, putting together a team of people who’ve both experienced and worked with people who have experienced homelessness, poverty or food insecurity (or all three). The cafe, she believed, needed input from people who would benefit most from it if it was going to be successful. “If we truly desired having the food insecure coming into our cafe, we had to look at everything,” Bolden says. “How to pay, what the menu looked like, the look and feel of the cafe. How do we offer something that is welcoming to all people?” A Place at the Table, located at 300 W. Hargett St. near Nash Square in Raleigh, opened last January to rave reviews and big crowds. Customers have

She’s become a mainstay at the cafe, bringing with her knitting kits, coloring books, chocolates (she’s known to always have chocolates on her) and other activities or conversation starters to help connect with the patrons. “I have no agenda, other than to seek to love all,” she says. “What comes with sitting down with a man, a new friend, and connecting through coloring or knitting? They start talking. Sharing memories. A lot of difficult, painful stuff comes out, too. They’re often wrestling with things like faith and hope, who they are and what they believe in. One man recently looked at me after a long talk and said, ‘I don’t know you, but I know you love me.’ “Sometimes they just need somebody who will listen. So many don’t have someone who will simply sit with them. When I can do that and help someone, it helps me, too. I leave feeling lighter.” Bolden says she brings the love of Christ with her at all times. An “authentic and genuine” presence. Someone who listens and cares. “You can always offer someone a true, genuine listening presence,” she says. “And a good word. And when you don’t have that, there’s always a hug. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.” BILLY LIGGETT

Bolden’s ministry moved from coffee shops to pubs and other “community wells,” a term lifted from John 4:4-42, where Jesus’ conversation with a Samaritan woman at a well is his longest one-onone conversation in the Bible.

After helping launch A Place at the Table, Bolden returned to her community ministry roots and literally took a place at the table.

Sometimes they just need somebody who will listen. When I can do that and help someone, it helps me, too. I leave feeling lighter.

one of six inducted into the 2018 class of the Sampson County Sports Hall of Fame in February. Brigman was known for being the man who started the sports program at Hobbton High School in 1957. While there, he coached football, men’s and women basketball and baseball from 19571972. He won the 2A State Basketball Championship in 1960. Getting his humble beginnings from Campbell College, he received three letters in football. He was also All Conference and cocaptain in baseball, getting two letters in his time from 1945-49. In 1980, he received the Campbell University Distinguished Alumni Award and was inducted into the Campbell University Hall of Fame in 1989. He died in 2002 at the age of 77.


1960s Cherryville High School honored Campbell alumnus and former chairman of the Board of Trustees BOB BARKER (’65) by naming a hallway in its school after him this spring. Barker graduated from Cherryville High in 1953. Today, he is president and CEO of the Bob Barker Company, the nation’s largest supplier to corrections facilities with textile manufacturing plants in North Carolina, Idaho and Florida and metal manufacturing plants and distribution centers in Fuquay-Varina and California. The “Bob Barker Career and Technical Education Hallway” is located toward the left of the school’s entryway area and is a fitting tribute to Barker’s advocacy of career and technical education. Barker donated more than $100,000 in 2017 to the Cherryville High School Education Foundation.

— Cindy Bolden ('11 MDiv, '16 DDiv), urban minister MAGAZINE.CAMPBELL.EDU




‘My best half’

Couple that met at Campbell 50 years ago returns for the first time in decades


n a Friday night in 1967, Hugh and Dee McPherson met for the first time by accident — when Hugh’s date cancelled to celebrate Mother’s Day with her family, his friends set him up on a blind date. Fifty-one years later, the couple spent another fortuitous Mother’s Day weekend back on campus for the reunion of the Class of 1968.

to recognize D. Rich and the facade of Britt Hall, where Hugh lived for all four years of college. They were most impressed by the addition of Butler Chapel, although neither of them had to walk far to get to church each Sunday during their undergrad years; they attended chapel services at First Baptist Church right across the street from Britt Hall.

Hugh and Dee were juniors at Campbell when they met for their date. After a sensible meal of fried egg sandwiches and hot chocolate — the specialty at popular dining spot The Oasis — they saw the campus movie “Zebra in the Kitchen,” starring Jay North. As the night wound down, Hugh mentioned the chores he had to finish before a party the next day.

“At that time in our lives, a Christian school was really exactly what we needed to grow in our faith,” says Hugh. “It’s tough at that time in a young person’s life. We wanted to start our life together in the right way, and Campbell helped us do that.”

“I told her I’d have to spend Sunday washing the car,” he remembers, “and she said she loved to wash cars. So I knew I’d made an impression on the young lady.” With Dee’s help, the car was cleaned and a relationship that would last a lifetime had formed. Now, the McPhersons have two sons and a daughter and live in Wake County. Looking around at the campus they hadn’t visited in decades, Hugh and Dee were pleased 56 SPRING 2018

Campbell’s Baptist history is what brought Dee to campus in the first place, she recalls. Hugh grew up in the Baptist church as well, so nearby Campbell just made sense. He took just about every course offered at his small high school in Cameron — so small that the English teacher doubled as the French teacher — to be eligible for college. Not long after the fateful Mother’s Day weekend, Hugh and Dee got engaged during a summer visit to Hugh’s parents house. “To be honest, I wanted Dee to be able to flash her ring around a bit before graduation.”

During that final year at Campbell, Hugh and Dee remember meeting at Marshbanks every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The prospect of seeing Dee at breakfast every morning got Hugh back into the habit of eating the most important meal of the day — before they started dating, he’d skip breakfast for fear of being too full for his early morning wrestling practices. Hugh was also smoker before he met Dee, “but I didn’t know that” she says, “or I wouldn’t have dated him.” When the love bug bit, he stopped smoking altogether. The McPhersons are now retired and enjoying spending time with their family. Looking back on their marriage, they thank Campbell for providing a faith-centered place to start their relationship. “If I hadn’t been there, I would never have met this fine Christian lady.” says Hugh. “It hasn’t always been easy, but nothing’s pulled us under.” Dee couldn’t agree more. “Hugh is not my better half — he’s my best half,” she says. “Because there is no better than him.” KATE STONEBURNER

1970s BETTY LYNNE W. JOHNSON (’79, ’86 MEd)

was named director of Campbell University’s Physician Assistant program. Johnson has served as interim director of the program, and since 2014, she has been the assistant dean of interprofessional education. She joined the College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences in 2011, the same year the College launched its PA program. She has over 30 years of experience as a primary care physician assistant and has practiced in a variety of settings, including family medicine, women’s health and rural health. MARK SPENCE (’79 LAW)

SARA WRIGHT MEADOWS (’14) and husband ETHAN MEADOWS (’14, ’17 PHARMD) welcomed their daughter to the world on March 4. Bennett Elise

Meadows weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.

retired after 38 years of law trial practice in personal injury, wrongful death, criminal and family. During his career, he was the president, executive committee member and Indigent Representation Committee chairman of the First District Bar. He was president of the Dare County Bar, a member of the North Carolina Dispute Resolution Commission and president and sergeant at arms of the Manteo Rotary Club. He is also an active member of Mount Olivet United Methodist Church. ��������������������������


SHANNON CHAMBERS RUSSELL ('05) and Harrison Russell were united in marriage on Sept. 23. The wedding was held at Cook's Farm in Riegelwood, North Carolina. MAGAZINE.CAMPBELL.EDU

The N.C. Association of Teacher Assistants Legislative Committee announced in April that REP. BILLY RICHARDSON (’80 LAW), who represents District 44, was the organization’s Legislator of the Year. Richardson, who represents Cumberland County, served in the General Assembly from 1992-1997. He was nominated to finish the term of then-Rep. Rick Glazier in 2015 and was re-elected in 2016. Richardson is a founding partner of the Richardson Firm, which is based in Fayetteville.

Mid-Atlantic Restaurant Corp, the franchisor of Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar-B-Q and Cary Keisler Inc., announced

LUTHER D. (LEW) STARLING, JR. (’87) as president of both

corporations in April. Starling is the first non-family member to be appointed president. Starling also continues his fulltime law practice and is the managing partner of the law firm of Daughtry, Woodard, Lawrence & Starling. He has a general practice with a concentration in civil litigation. He also serves as mayor of the City of Clinton and is active in the community. He was appointed to the Campbell University Board of Trustees in 1998, and has served three four-year terms on the board. (2002-2005; 2008-2011; 20132016). He was re-appointed to another term from 2017-2021.


won Representative of the Year for Celgene Corporation. He has been an oncology sales representative for the company for seven years.

HADDON CLARK (’88 MBA) was honored with the Meritorious Public Service Medal from the North Carolina National Guard in March. The president of Sampson-Bladen Oil Company and Han Dee Hugo Stores, Clark was honored during a ceremony held in Raleigh at the NCNG’s Joint Force Headquarters.


1990s WALLACE BRADSHER (’90 LAW) is author of “Be Free:

A Strategy for Christians Struggling with Alcohol,” published by Christian Faith Publishing. Bradsher's book provides a simple, faith-based approach to life that helps people avoid being “enslaved to alcohol addiction.”


ALUMNI NOTES After serving three years as the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, JILL WESTMORELAND ROSE (’90 LAW), a career Department

of Justice employee, was appointed by the DOJ to be the resident legal advisor for Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. She is posted at the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait, where she will serve a minimum of 14 months on detail to the U.S. Department of State. Rose advises U.S. Ambassadors on justice sector matters and directs the Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development and Training for prosecutors and law enforcement in the Gulf Region. Her husband, JOHN ROSE (’88 LAW), maintains his practice in Asheville and frequently travels to Kuwait. MARK WILSON (’92 MBA) the

Rocky Mount Telegram’s publisher for the past five years, announced his retirement in February. The 67-year-old newspaperman guided his staff through a devastating hurricane, the creation of an offshoot weekly publication and the startup of a successful magazine. When asked what he planned to do next, Wilson said with a smile, “not a damn thing,” before amending his answer to say he will take some time with his wife, Becki, to visit family, mostly in North Carolina. His four-decade-long career in newspapers includes positions at The News & Observer in Raleigh; Zebulon; Florence, S.C.; and Suffolk, Va. DEWEY CLARK (’92 MBA),

president of N.C. Wesleyan College, was this year's recipient of the annual East Carolina Council of the Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award in March. Clark has been honored with a variety of awards for service to the community, and he and his family are active in Rocky Mount’s Englewood Baptist Church. He and his wife, Suzanne Clark, have a daughter, Blakely, and a son, Nicholas. 58 SPRING 2018


engaged to be married on Nov. 3 in Butler Chapel. The couple met during their sophomore years at Campbell University during worship class (though they shared a biology class during their freshman years as well). “During our time at Campbell, our love blossomed into something out of a fairy tale,” says Kelsey, who on Sept. 16, 2017, was asked to join Cameron for a trip to Campbell to visit friends on campus. Cameron surprised her in the middle of the Academic Circle by getting down on one knee and proposing to her. “He said he knew from the time he decided he was going to marry me, he would ask in the center of Academic Circle, where our story began.” The couple’s engagement photos were taken on campus (some of them with their favorite mascot, Gaylord). Photos by Megan Morales of Benson.

CRAIG LLOYD (’93) was named

director of the Harnett Health Foundation in March. In his new role, Lloyd is responsible developing and implementing the fundraising programs and activities. He brings to the Foundation a wide array of experience in fundraising, most recently as executive director of the North Carolina National Guard Association from 20142018, where he led the mission of promoting and supporting adequate state and national security. KATHRYN HARRELSON (’96) was

named editor of the ButnerCreedmoor News in Granville County. Harrelson gives back through tutoring throughout the Triangle and at Franklinton Elementary School in elementary and middle school grades. She also started her own hunger initiative nonprofit, Feeding Franklin. She is an independent options trader on NYSE and recipient of the 2017 North Carolina Governor's Volunteer Award.

CAROLINE WILSON CLABAUGH (’17), a marketing graduate and PAXTON CLABAUGH (’16), a professional golf management graduate, were

married in Key West, Florida, on Oct. 14. They met when Caroline was a freshman and Paxton was a sophomore. They started dating April of 2015 and quickly knew they were madly in love. Paxton asked Caroline to marry him in August of 2016, and graduated the following December. Caroline graduated in May of 2017 and moved to Louisiana to be with him. The couple is grateful for Campbell bringing them together and are two proud alumni.


joined the Michael Best Law Firm’s intellectual property practice group in Raleigh. Biller joined as partner in addition to being named managing partner of the office. Biller is a stalwart intellectual property litigator in North Carolina with more than two decades experience focusing on various issues of trial and appellate law. HARRY SIDERIS (’98 MBA) was

FRED WHITFIELD (’80) was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame at a ceremony on May 4 at the Raleigh Convention Center. The former Campbell basketball standout and current President and CEO of the Charlotte Hornets told the crowd of more than 12,000 that he never would have gotten far without teammates in his life. "One of the core principles my parents taught me was 'be a great teammate,'" he said. "I have always strived to be a great teammate in sports and in life. And I was selected because of the success of my teammates." MAGAZINE.CAMPBELL.EDU

appointed in April to serve as vice president and chief distribution officer overseeing Duke Energy’s six-state service area, based out of St. Petersburg, Florida. Sideris has 22 years of energy experience and became Florida’s leader in 2017 after serving as the company’s senior vice president of environmental health and safety. Before taking the helm at Duke, Sideris joined the utility’s predecessor, Progress Energy, in 1996.

2000s ROXANN GRANGER (’01) is a middle school teacher for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade English language arts in Arizona and loves her new career. DUANE MESZLER (’01) joined Preferred Mutual as a personal-lines underwriting manager. He is responsible for managing the firm’s New York and New Jersey underwriting teams. Meszler brings more than 17 years of experience in the insurance industry, having previously worked as a manager of MBP underwriting and administration for a Midwestern insurance carrier. Prior to that, Meszler was a licensed independent insurance agent after having gained experience on the carrier side as an underwriting assistant manager, underwriting supervisor and underwriter/senior underwriter. MICHELLE TURNER (’03, ’05) was

certified in literacy: readinglanguage arts in December by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

SHANNON CHAMBERS RUSSELL ('05) and Harrison Russell were

united in marriage on Sept. 23. The wedding was held at Cook's Farm in Riegelwood, North Carolina.


earned two Grand awards at the 2018 Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District III annual conference awards ceremony held at the College Football Hall of Fame in February, and six other awards for his design work for Campbell’s Office of Communications and Marketing. Bronsink, director of visual identity at Campbell, earned top honors for his editorial design work on the Spring 2017 edition of Campbell Magazine and the cover story on North Carolina’s opioid epidemic and Campbell University’s role in fighting the epidemic; and for the cover illustration in that edition. C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 59

ALUMNI NOTES JUSTINE MIKALOFF (’06, ’13 LAW) married Jeff Vealey on

March 17.

was named deputy county manager for Onslow County Government in September. Prior to this, Russell was a civil litigator representing businesses, counties and cities that had been sued. She also previously served as executive general counsel to the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners and worked for the National Association of Counties in Washington, D.C., where she managed national programs for counties and acted as a NACo liaison to the National League of Cities, the International Association of School Business Officials and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

2010s RYAN “CHILI” DAVIS (’12)

was named tight ends coach for New Mexico State University’s football team in April. Davis was elevated to a full-time assistant coaching position after serving as the offensive graduate assistant last season during the team’s historic run that culminated with the Aggies breaking a 57-year bowl drought and capturing the 2017 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. Davis got his start in the coaching ranks in 2012 as an assistant to the head coach at Campbell right after graduation.

Save the date Homecoming 2018 Join fellow Campbell University alumni at Homecoming 2018 on Oct. 27. The Office of Alumni Engagement’s third annual Alumni Village will be set up at the main stadium gates prior to the Homecoming football game. Join them for music, food trucks, tailgating games, kids activities, local alumni chapter information booths and more. No registration is necessary. The Classes of 1978, 1993 and 2008 and the Golden Club are invited to celebrate 40, 25, 10 and 50 years at the reunion celebration located inside Alumni Village. Stay up-to-date with the Homecoming schedule of events at

MARY CATHERINE STOKES (’12 LAW) and Taylor Justin

Whitford were married on April 21, at First United Methodist Church in Morehead City. The bride practices criminal law as an assistant public defender in Beaufort, Hyde, Martin, Tyrell and Washington counties. The couple resides on the Trent River in New Bern.

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Reunion Class of 1968 On May 11 and 12, the Office of Alumni Engagement welcomed 18 members of the Class of 1968 for a 50-year reunion celebration. The two-day event included an organ concert in Butler Chapel, bus tour of Campbell's campus, a Golden Club celebration dinner as well as the opportunity to join the 2018 class at the commencement ceremony. Keep up with alumni events at






named a partner at Murchison, Taylor & Gibson PLLC. Miars joined the firm in 2012 as an associate after graduating cum laude from Campbell Law School. Her practice areas include business law and taxation, mergers and acquisitions, wills, trusts, estate planning and estate administration, and estate and trust litigation.

Michelle Dolan (right) and Yurie Matsuzaki in Japan in 1997. Submitted photo

Classmates who bonded during mission trip in Japan reconnect 20 years later


n 1997, Michelle Dolan was a busy sophomore at Campbell, leading worship each week at a Monday night Bible study. It was there that she met Yurie Matsuzaki, a native of Fukuyama, Japan.

Many of the profiles she messaged didn’t share their profile pictures publically, so Dolan says she didn’t have much to go on. But she prayed specifically that day that God would reconnect her to her old friend.

Ministry initially united the two when Matsuzaki became a Christian during her college years. She asked Dolan if there were any missionaries in Japan, to which Dolan replied there must be. But Matsuzaki maintained she had never heard about Jesus until she arrived in the U.S. and asked her friend to come to Japan with her to help tell her friends and family about God. The generosity of their college friends miraculously provided enough money for Dolan’s plane ticket and some gifts for the Matsuzaki family. Not only did Dolan get the chance to explore Japan, but their evangelism yielded fruit; on the last night of the 14-day trip, Matsuzaki’s mother decided to become a Christian. One year later, her father and aunt made the same decision after seeing the change in her life.

The next morning, Dolan woke up to a message from her Yurie Matsuzaki. Within moments, the old friends were video-calling on Facebook, seeing each other for the first time in 17 years. Matsuzaki had been searching for her old friend, too. What’s more, she told Dolan that on the day she received her message, she had been praying, too — for God to provide her with a friend who follows Him.

When the two friends lost touch after college, Dolan took to the internet, looking for Matsuzaki off and on for more than 17 years with no success. One day in March, she felt a strong urge to search for her friend in earnest again. She sat down at her computer and messaged every single Yurie Matsuzaki she could find on Facebook. “I just thought, what do I have to lose, right?” said Dolan. “No doubt, I scared a bunch of Yuries in Japan.”

The two have talked every day since and made plans to meet again. Matsuzaki asked Dolan to come back to Japan with her to continue the work they started in college. There are very few Christians in her city — in fact, less than 1 percent of the population of Japan are Christian. Matsuzaki rides a bus two hours one way to attend church in Hiroshima because there is nowhere to worship in Fukuyama. With Dolan’s help, she plans to bring the gospel closer to home this August. Dolan has created a GoFundMe page to cover a roundtrip plane ticket, transportation in the city, lodging and food expenses, as well as donations to Matsuzuki’s church. “I am floored by this story God is writing,” Dolan says. “He knows that this of all years is the one I would never be able to travel on my funds alone, but he’s shown me that with his help, I can go.” KATE STONEBURNER

You Can Help: Support Michelle Dolan's efforts to return to Japan to reconnect with Yurie Matsuzaki by visiting her GoFundMe page:


The Chicago Red Stars of the National Women's Soccer League called up RYANN TORRERO (’13) as a goalkeeper in May. Torrero was an all-conference goalie for Campbell University, saving 84 percent of her shots during her career. STEPHANIE JOHNSON (’13) was

named health department director for Clay County in Western North Carolina. Johnson is a 2016 Public Health Associate Program graduate for the Office of the Director, Office for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She holds an undergraduate degree in biology and pre-med from Campbell University, a master of public health from St. George’s University School of Medicine and an MBA from the University of St. Mary.


the PGA Tour Latinoamerica’s season-opening event, the Guatemala Stella Artois Open, in March by a comfortable four shots. The victory was worth $31,500 and gave Polland the early lead on the Order of Merit and in the Bupa Challenge. The overall leader at the end of the season earns $10,000 and a 2019 Tour membership.


welcomed their daughter to the world on March 4. Bennett Elise Meadows weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.


ALUMNI NOTES KELSEY MAFFETT (’15) and CAMERON GIBSON (’15, D’18 PHARMD) are engaged to be

married on Nov. 3 in Butler Chapel.

her first international LPGA Tour card, winning in Hainan Island, China, in February. The 24-year-old led the Chinese LPGA Q-School almost from start to finish to land her full playing rights in the China LPGA Tour. Ravnjak is one of just 12 players in Big South Conference women's golf history to earn all-conference honors four times. During her career, Campbell won two Big South titles (2014, 2016), placed second twice (2013, 2015), made four-straight NCAA regional appearances and twice qualified for the NCAA Championship (2014, 2015). CAROLINE WILSON CLABAUGH (’17), a marketing graduate and PAXTON CLABAUGH (’16), a

professional golf management graduate, were married in Key West, Florida, on Oct. 14. They met when Caroline was a freshman and Paxton was a sophomore. They started dating April of 2015 and quickly knew they were madly in love. Paxton asked Caroline to marry him in August of 2016, and graduated the following December. Caroline graduated in May of 2017 and moved to Louisiana to be with him. The couple is grateful for Campbell bringing them together and are two proud alumni. MALIA BURLEY (’18) was

selected as a member of the Carolina Panthers’ cheerleading squad, the TopCats, in May. Burley was a communications studies major at Campbell and a member of the Campbell University Dance Team.

62 SPRING 2018


TAHNIA RAVNJAK (’16) earned

Giving back

Alumni share what motivates them to volunteer for their alma mater


ach year, hundreds of Campbell alumni give back to their alma mater through volunteering their time and talents. We thank all of our volunteers who graciously give their time and resources. During 2017, alumni volunteers helped to support the Offices of Alumni Engagement and Annual Giving through their involvement with the Campbell University Alumni Association Board of Directors, Regional Alumni Chapters, social media ambassadors and Campbell Giving Day — all while being champions for Campbell in their individual communities.


is an integral member of the Cape Fear Alumni Chapter leadership team and enjoys staying connected and giving back to her alma mater. On volunteering: “I want to make sure every student who walks onto campus has what they need to attend and stay at Campbell. There are a lot of people who invested in me even before Campbell, and I will never be able to repay them. Without Campbell, I would not be in a career that I love and enjoy right out of college.”

REV. JOSH OWENS (’11, ’14 MDIV) is a two-


time Campbell graduate who was a member of Campbell’s first football team in 2007.

active member of the Campbell Alumni Association Board of Directors.

On volunteering: “I recognize all the ways that [Campbell] prepared me for a successful transition into my career and community life. Campbell is a place where students matter and faith matters, and I fully believe that is a combination that should be supported in any way that I can.”

On volunteering: “It always uplifts my soul and spirit to volunteer and meet new people. I thoroughly enjoy helping candidates and all students who need my help and support. Campbell paved the career paths for so many, and remembering the bridge that brought us over troubled and calm waters is a vital part of the way to success.”


currently serves as president of the Campbell Alumni Association Board of Directors and is a member of the Student Union Founders Board. On volunteering: “I’m extremely thankful for the opportunities that I’ve had, and being involved allows me to share and help others have that same experience. [Volunteering at Campbell] has allowed me to stay connected and see the continued transformation of the school.”




Susan Crooks with her husband, John Crooks, during a luncheon in February.

Jan. B. Johnson ('66) Feb. 5 Clyde V. Vaughan ('88) Feb. 5 Mildred Thomas Feb. 6 Leonard "Curtis" Pergerson Feb. 6 Louise Mae Griffith Alcorn ('51) Feb. 6 Dr. Roy De Brand Feb. 6 Rev. Donal L. Ballenger ('98, '99 MDiv) Feb. 7 John E. Wooten III ('71) March 5 Dr. John Lynch ('83) March 7 Sue T. Johnson ('63) March 16 Beatrice C. Fields ('44) March 18 Jennifer McInnis Jenkins March 26 Jane M. Whitaker ('75) March 29 Wanda T. Barefoot ('90, '95 MEd) April 1 Rebecca B. Hall ('10 MDiv) April 4 George R. Hughes ('58) April 6 Rev. Clarence M. Crumpler ('52) April 7 Jo Ann G. Smith ('58) April 11 John J. Larew Jr. ('71) April 12 Dr. Tiffany Eldridge ('06, '10 PharmD) April 12 Marguerite Flynn Blanchard ('43) April 17 Dr. Josiah R. Whitehead ('08) April 20 Susan Crooks ('87 Law) April 25 Carolyn Groce Barber ('06 MDiv) May 9


Golf programs lose their matriarch


s one of the winningest collegiate golf coaches in NCAA history, John Crooks is used to the accolades and banquets that come with leading a winning program for 28 years. But the patriarch of Campbell’s men’s and women’s golf success was brought to tears on a weekday afternoon in February when the banquet focused on the hard work and generosity of his wife, Susan. The two were honored that day for establishing the John and Susan Crooks Golf Endowed Scholarship Fund, a gift that will benefit generations of students to come. “She makes so many sacrifices so I can do what I love,” the coach said. “She works tirelessly. She’s frugal. She’s there for me. And she deserves everything we can do or say for her.” John Crooks lost his wife of 48 years just two months later. Susan Crooks, a 1987 graduate of Campbell Law School (she graduated first in her class that year), died on April 25 after a lengthy illness. She was 67. The former Susan Davis grew up in Zebulon, where early on she developed a lifelong love of dancing. She was a high school honor student, student council officer, member of the National Honor Society and head cheerleader. She attended Wake Forest University, where she met her husband, and attended the University of Salamanca in Spain, North Carolina State University and Rex Hospital School of Nursing,


where she also graduated first in her class. Following law school, she practiced law with Womble Bond and Dickinson, becoming a partner in 1995. Her medical knowledge was put to use in her defense of cases involving complex medical issues. She also provided pro bono legal services to Hospice of Wake and Harnett County. During that banquet in February, John Crooks shared a story of his induction into the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2006 in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. That event came five weeks after a major surgery Susan endured while battling kidney cancer. Her doctors said she could travel again six weeks after the surgery, but for this event, she made an exception. While in the elevator heading down toward the banquet that evening, she told her husband that the speech he had prepared was boring and full of names people in this audience wouldn’t know. So she suggested he instead talk about his time at Campbell and win his audience over with personality. “Evidently, the speech was a hit,” Crooks recalled. “She saved the day for me.” The Crooks have two children — Beth Milton (’92) and John Thomas Crooks Jr. — and four grandchildren. From her obituary: “Throughout her illness, Susan maintained a positive attitude and was filled with awe at the myriad of folks who stepped up to show their love for her.”


Racing industry loses big local personality, friend of Campbell Dunn-Benson Ford owner Carlton Lamm died on April 16, at the age of 77. Lamm and his son, Kemp, started Dunn-Benson Ford in Benson 27 years ago and in 2017 partnered with Campbell University as a race and car sponsor. “There is a big void in Harnett County with Carlton Lamm’s death. He has been a good friend to Campbell University and so many others through his benevolence and influence as a successful businessman. My sadness over his death is tempered by my gratitude for the opportunity of knowing him and of memories that I will cherish,” Campbell President J. Bradley Creed told the Dunn Daily Record. The Dunn-Benson Motorsports car, complete with distinctive coloring of Campbell University, is now participating in the Lucas Oil Late Model Series. Lamm had a passion for racing throughout his life and was a member of the National Late Model Hall of Fame because of a long career supporting race teams. C A MP B E L L M AG AZ I N E 63


The Office of Alumni Engagement held its newest alumni event, #CampbellReunion0 on May 12 following the spring commencement ceremony. The event was executed by alumni volunteers with the purpose of celebrating — and officially welcoming — the newest Campbell alumni. Graduates were given the opportunity to take a photo with Gaylord, mark where they are headed next on the alumni map and take home a Campbell alumni frame to hold a graduation memory. Campbell's newest graduates were also greeted with donuts, beverages and words of advice as they prepared for their big day. | Photos by Lynsey Trembly

64 SPRING 2018


1978: Forty years ago, members of the Creek Pebbles student newspaper staff gathered for a photo shoot in Campbell College's other studentrun publication, the Pine Burr Yearbook. The yearbook opted for a group shot on a firetruck, but we liked this never-published photo better. M AG AZIN E .CAMP BE LL.EDU


Post Office Box 567 Buies Creek, NC 27506

Photo by Bennett Scarborough 66 SPRING 2018

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID PPCO

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