A friend of a friend-Ryan Anderson-Kristen Anderson-December 16

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for December 16, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

A university has a lot of moving parts. It takes a lot of hard working leaders who can see the big picture to allow the organization to evolve, grow, and be successful. The most important asset a university has in its possession is its people. I have worked at universities with larger budgets, nicer facilities, and sometimes nicer amenities. In some cases those universities were dysfunctional because they lost focus on what really matters is the people. I am glad that UNC Pembroke realizes that they have leaders in a lot of different areas.

I mentioned in a previous post that UNC Pembroke is fortunate to have a number husband/wife teams that both work there. They often housed in completely different divisions of the university but more often than not both of them make exceptional contributions. One of those partnerships is Kristen and Ryan Anderson. I get to collaborate with Kristen much more often Ryan.

(L-R) Ryan and Kristen Anderson

kristen and ryan

Kristen is the Director of Advancement Services at UNC Pembroke. She performs a lot of critical functions for the university and is always someone that is responsive, accurate, and extremely professional when I need to call on her for assistance.

I may not be politically correct but I do label people that I work with. Kristen is a leader that I call an “A” Leader. She gets big picture thinking, she gets the power of collaboration, she can think and analyze a problem, and most importantly she has integrity.


For a person to get the “A” label I need to see a demonstrated track record of them keeping their word. When Kristen says she is going to do something take it to the bank it is going to get done and it will exceed your expectations.

When you see the detailed reports she produces, her ability to interact with people, and most importantly her vision for what professional work should look like I think you would label her an “A” also.

Kristen is married to Dr. Ryan Anderson a history professor at UNC Pembroke. They have two children that are lucky to have such great parents.

Kristen and her family.

kristen anderson family


Kristen Anderson, Director of Advancement Services
Email: kristen.anderson@uncp.edu
Phone: 910.775.4379

The Friend of the Friend-RYAN ANDERSON


The Professor that encourages research

Dr. Ryan Anderson teaches U.S. History at UNC Pembroke and specializes in cultural history. He has written a book that focus on some of that cultural history called, Frank Merriwell and the Fiction of All-American Boyhood: The Progressive Era …

Photo below of Ryan at a conference with his book.

Frank Merriwell Book

Ryan like his wife has an important leadership position at UNC Pembroke. He is the director for the Pembroke Undergraduate Research and Creativity Center (PURC). The center’s mission is to promote high-impact, faculty-guided research.

PURC is a clearinghouse for student research at UNC Pembroke. The center’s has a great event in April where student research of all kinds is displayed for the entire campus.

The center annually distributes approximately $40,000 in three types of grants, ranging from $500 – 1,700 for students to get exposed to research. The grants are for students to: 1) travel to do research and to attend conferences and events; 2) research materials; and 3) research assistantships.

Ryan like his wife Kristen is what separates UNC Pembroke from other universities that might have bigger and better but they don’t have “A” leaders that refuse to engage in dysfunctional behaviors. When you get to work with great leaders your are blessed.





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