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Posts from the ‘2018-2019’ Category


One Teacher’s Journey of Finding Her Niche

Jeannie Pfautz, alumna of our Reading, Literacy, & Learning graduate program, credits Longwood University for helping her find her niche as a reading instructor.

She started her journey teaching English in Uzbekistan with the Peace Corps. After this experience, she realized that she didn’t know much about how to teach students to read.  Then, in 2006, Pfautz started her first job in the United States as a 9th grade English teacher at Powhatan High School.  At the same time, she also started her first class at Longwood University, “Reading in the Content Area.”

Pfautz explains that it was in this first semester at Longwood she learned that she knew how to analyze English literature, but didn’t have a strong idea of how to help students access difficult text.  The class “Reading in the Content Area” was the perfect opportunity to help her learn more techniques to help support her students.  “I remember using nearly everything I learned in that course in my English classes immediately,” Pfautz says. “I quickly learned that students needed to be able to understand the text first before they were able to do more critical thinking, and my Longwood classes helped me to support students in that access of text.”

As a graduate student who was also working full-time at a high school, Pfautz claims that the classes were great both for their usefulness and because they were structured for teachers to take while already teaching.  The structure of Longwood’s masters program made it possible for her to pursue her masters, while also giving her the theoretical knowledge that she needed to implement better practice.  “I can’t imagine having gotten my masters without teaching or teaching without getting my masters.  It worked so well together,” she goes on to explain.

Pfautz graduated from Longwood in 2009 from the Reading, Literacy, & Learning masters program. After she graduated, she immediately headed to the Philippines for two more years in the Peace Corps.  While in the Philippines, she worked with a fantastic co-teacher, Thelma Presbitero.  Presbitero and Pfautz started a reading intervention program at the high school where they worked and later went on to build a reading center that is still operating today.

As a teacher who consistently is striving to better herself for her students, Pfautz recently finished her Ed.D from the University of Virginia. “Starting the program with my masters definitely helped me with foundational knowledge.  At this point I had been a reading specialist for several years, so I had seen a lot of the practical side of things.  Without my masters from Longwood as well as my practical experience, I don’t think I would have been nearly as strong of a candidate.  I was also able to count some of my masters credits towards my Ed.D. coursework.”

Pfautz is often asked her favorite part about teaching reading. What she loves most about this job is the ability to see the progress her students make in reading development every year and to know that this literacy growth will make a positive impact on their lives well after she has had the pleasure of working with them.


School Librarianship Program: A Shining Star

Judy Deichman, an alumna of our School Librarianship Master of Education program, is truly a shining star.

Deichman is a librarian at Nottoway Middle School who has recently been recognized with the Longwood University Thomas Jefferson Professional Achievement Alumni Award and the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) James Regional Librarian of the Year Award.

“As the James Region Librarian of the Year, she was one of seven regional librarians chosen to represent the Virginia Association of School Librarians,” stated Audrey Church, Professor and Program Director for School Librarianship. “From these seven, a state winner, Virginia’s School Librarian of the Year, will be chosen and named at the November 2019 Annual VAASL Conference in Roanoke, Virginia.”

On top of the high honor of being named the VAASL James Regional Librarian of the Year, Deichman was recognized by Longwood for her achievements and her leadership roles in her profession. The Thomas Jefferson Professional Achievement Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves as significant contributors to their profession and stand above their peers as leaders and role models. Deichman’s proactive approach in her profession has contributed greatly towards her strong leadership role among her peers.

In 2015, Deichman realized that although the library stayed open over summers, some of her students were not able to utilize it due to lack of transportation. Wanting to assure all students had the same opportunity and access to the books, she decided to bring the library to the students. With a donated small bus and a grant to purchase books, Deichman was able to make the Nottoway Book-A-Way Summer Bookmobile. This innovation and proactivity is just one example of the leadership role that Deichman has taken in her profession to improve the local community.


CSD ‘Brings Home The Gold’ at the 2019 SHAV Conference

At SHAV, first-year graduate students present their research projects and compete against other graduate students from CSD programs throughout the state of Virginia. Longwood students, Shannon Graham, Courtney Kaczmarek, Lizzie Llewellyn, and Payton Yates were awarded first place during the research poster presentations. Their award winning research was titled, “Effects of Instruction Method on Competency and Perception of Proloquo2Go.”

In addition to winning first place in research, another Longwood CGPS student received an award. Lucy Wallace, a senior in the Communication Sciences and Disorders program, was recognized with the SHAV Outstanding Student Leader Award. “As a Longwood student of the CSD program, I had an array of opportunities and experiences available to me…highlights include serving as an executive officer in the Longwood National Student Speech Language Hearing Associates (NSSLHA) chapter for four years, collaborating with the Farmville Lions Club and Longwood Student Government Association to establish a Longwood Lions chapter, and working with the Infant and Toddler Connection of the Heartland’s annual Christmas Giving Tree program,” Wallace stated. Wallace attributes a large part of her success to the faculty and staff in the Longwood CSD program, stating, “They are committed, passionate, and genuinely interested in preparing students to succeed.”

Dr. Mani Aguilar, Clinical Audiologist at Longwood’s Speech, Hearing, and Learning Services, received the State Clinical Achievement Award at the 2019 SHAV Conference. She was recognized for her partnership with the Virginia Department for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, offering a Technology Assistant Program at Longwood. Longwood now serves as a demonstration site for assistive listening devices for persons with hearing loss. This partnership has generated over 200 patient visits, with the dispensing of such devices as personal amplifiers, visual alert systems, and captioned telephones. “Mani created a support group for persons with hearing loss that has a regular participation of 25 members in each monthly meeting,” stated Dr. Lissa Power-deFur. “The persons with hearing loss in Southside Virginia are so fortunate that she is here.” In response to her recent achievement, Aguilar recognized the amazing support she has received from her department at Longwood. “The award I recently received from SHAV was possible because of our wonderful leader, Dr. Lissa Power-deFur, as well as the efforts of our entire team of faculty, staff, and students!”


VAASL Conference 2018 – Gearing Up for the Future

I had an amazing time at the VAASL conference in Williamsburg. This was the first conference I have been able to attend. There were so many great sessions over the two days I was there. A lot of the sessions focused on makerspaces and creating a culture of reading in the school. I enjoyed the makerspace area to enjoy creating and trying new ideas.  I was very inspired by the other librarians and their experiences. The final speaker was Alan Gratz. He was a great speaker and I can’t wait to read all of his books. The best part was being there with the other Longwood students and alumni.


Virginia Counselors Association 2018 Annual Convention

My name is JilliAn Moreland and I am a second year graduate student at Longwood University in the Counselor Education program, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Track. Last month, I attended the VCA Annual Convention in Norfolk, Virginia. It was an unforgettable experience that I got to share with my professors and fellow students in my cohort.

It was encouraging to be surrounded by counselors from all over the Commonwealth of Virginia learning and growing in the profession, together. There were various sessions, covering a handful of diverse topics. Topics covered the importance of trauma-informed care, self-care, ethical issues, and other various important topics. My favorite session focused on the importance of collaboration and advocacy for K-12 students in crisis. I also appreciated the session that discussed the importance of self-care as a professional counselor.

I am very grateful for the opportunity to have received a travel grant from Longwood for this event. Without it, I would not have been able to grow professionally at this level. Additionally, it helped create a closer bond between the individuals in my cohort. For future students, I highly recommend attending conferences and stepping out of your comfort zone to become a better counselor. Attending this conference helped solidify my identity as a counselor, and I am looking forward to attending future conferences to represent Longwood University’s Counselor Education program.


School Librarianship faculty, students, and alumni “gear up” at state conference

School Librarianship graduate students, faculty, and alumni recently attended the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VAASL) Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia from November 29-December 1, 2018.  The theme was “Gearing Up for the Future.”

All of the Longwood University School Librarianship faculty — Dr. Karla Collins, Dr. Jen Spisak, Professor Carl Harvey, and Dr. Audrey Church — attended the conference and presented sessions. During the conference, Dr. Collins was installed as VAASL James Region Director-Elect at Friday’s general session and coordinated the Saturday morning author breakfast. As Chair of the VAASL Scholarships and Awards Committee, Dr. Spisak announced scholarship and award winners at the Friday evening banquet.

Below are the current Longwood students and alumni who received awards:

  • Dickinson Scholarship: Shereen Bagherzedah (current student)
  • Rutherford Memorial Award: Michelle Sears (current student)
  • VAASL School Librarian of the Year: Lara Ivey (alumna)
  • VAASL Library Educator of the Year: Krista Hartenbach (alumna)

Along with Longwood faculty, numerous alumni presented concurrent sessions.

Congratulations to all who received awards and presented at VAASL!


VAASL 2018 Conference

I was so excited to attend my second VAASL conference.  My first session was with the author April Henry.  Her presentation was excellent, and I was able to take away the information about her writing and resources she would use with students.  I am going to have my student enter into the contest for mystery writing on her website.  At the end of the session, I was able to meet April Henry.  Her quote, “You can edit bad stuff, but you can’t edit nothing” resonated with me because I currently teach a writing class.

My next session was Keva Planks.  I love Keva Planks.  The presenter was awesome and shared that on the Keva Planks website there are ideas for using the planks in any classroom.  The activity I liked the most was creating an “image” that represents a book and explaining how it does.

I also attended the sessions on collaborating with secondary math teachers and graphic novels in the classroom and library.  Overall, these two sessions also provided me with resources to use in my future library.

In the future, I plan on attending all the days of the conference.



Cormier Honors College

Part-Time, Fall & Spring

• Organize diverse regular WHIM events that engage students in key topics related to college success and provide for personal and community enrichment
• Assist with the coordination of one Eddie Carey Day of Service at Hull Springs each semester
• Coordinate other service activities with HSA and help them to implement their plans to have students in the community
• Explore a local service opportunity that relates to your field of study
• Collaborate with the REC and her RA staff in the Wheeler-Cox community for programs
• Lead efforts in developing new outreach and communication approaches for prospective students, currents students, faculty/staff, and alumni.
• Participate in all Honors events, including Admissions open houses, preview day, etc.
• Attend HSA meetings and serve as the CHC staff representative to the organization
• Assist with other projects as needed and as time permits
• Seek professional development opportunities

If you have any questions, contact Alix Fink,, 434.395.2576

Standard Part-Time Academic Assistant Position
Cormier Honors College
Funding Source: Cormier Honors College
Status: FILLED


College of Graduate Studies – Graduate Dean’s Assistant

Full-Time, Fall & Spring

The Graduate Dean is looking for an independent, energetic, self-motivated Graduate Assistant to help with a variety of programs and tasks that support the Graduate College, Professional Studies, Academic Affairs, and our graduate programs and students in general. Tasks include:

  • front desk coverage
  • data mining
  • surveys
  • research on adult learners
  • writing spotlights about graduate faculty, students and alumni
  • other duties to be determined as the year progresses

This is a full-time assistantship requiring availability during the day, when possible.

For additional information, contact Dr. Jeannine R. Perry,, 434.395.2069

Standard Full-Time Academic Assistant Position
College of Graduate Studies
Funding Source:  College of Graduate Studies
Status:  FILLED


Project JumpStart Assistant

Part-Time, Fall & Spring

This GA will support Project JumpStart, a preschool early literacy program, and will provide support to the Director in preparing materials for the preschool activities, newsletters for parents, and marketing materials.

This position is open to students in the CSD master’s program.

If you have questions, contact Dr. Lissa Power-deFur,, 434.395.2369

Standard Part-Time Academic Assistant Position
College of Education & Human Services – Communication Sciences & Disorders
Funding Source: Project JumpStart Foundation funds
Status:  FILLED