Q&A with the Dean
Dr. Mark McCallum has been at the helm of the School of Natural Sciences since 2003. A Pfeiffer faculty member since 1994, McCallum has served as chair of the Departments of Health Sciences and Biology. His research interests include how bacteria become resistant to different antibiotics and how antibiotic resistance can spread within populations of bacteria. McCallum earned a Ph.D. in biology from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Q: What makes the School of Natural Sciences at Pfeiffer distinctive?
A: The faculty members traditionally have provided a challenging academic experience for our students. The individual faculty members take the necessary time to serve as mentors both in research and career development for our students. In both science and math, there is a great deal of collaboration and cooperation in shaping the curriculum.
Q: How do programs and services prepare students for careers in math/science?
A: As part of the university’s strategic plan, the School developed a Steeple of Excellence to integrate an undergraduate research/learning model for science education into our curriculum. We want to challenge our students to engage in research inside and outside of the classrooms. Because of our small class sizes, we can spend more time mentoring students and utilizing activities that model math and science research to engage students. Our goal is to make students active participants in our classrooms and not just passive listeners.
Q: An impressive percentage number of Pfeiffer science graduates pursue advanced degrees. How do you foster this?
A: Approximately two-thirds of our students continue in graduate and/or professional programs after Pfeiffer. The success can be partially attributed to having science/math faculty who provide challenging experiences in the classroom. However, these individuals also put forth the extra energy to engage students in research outside of the classroom and to work with students in shaping career plans—the science/math faculty work hard to appropriately advise students and take pride in being knowledgeable advisors and mentors. We are very proud of our students’ successes.