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The College of Southern Maryland (CSM) announces that Chief of Staff Larisa Pfeiffer has been elected the Northeast Region Representative and Member-at-large for the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT) Professional Board Staff Network (PBSN). In this capacity, Pfeiffer will provide leadership, facilitate communication, and develop programs for the annual ACCT Congress.

ACCT is a non-profit educational organization of governing boards, representing more than 6,500 elected and appointed trustees who govern more than 1,200 community, technical and junior colleges in the United States and beyond. Located in Washington, D.C., ACCT is a major voice of community college trustees to the presidential administration, U.S. Congress, the Departments of Education and Labor, and more. The Northeast Region includes Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Quebec.

In her CSM position as the college’s first chief of staff, Pfeiffer relies on peers serving in similar roles in community colleges and four-year institutions to understand higher education and governance trends and policies; and to create a shared knowledge network.

In addition to being elected to the PBSN, Pfeiffer received a membership grant for the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education this July. This furthers Pfeiffer’s network and access to information resources that aid in her service to presidential leadership at CSM.

“Larisa’s support of CSM’s Board of Trustees and our senior leadership team is exceptional,” said CSM President Dr. Maureen Murphy. “Her new role with ACCT is an extension of her widely known commitment to the success of all community colleges as well as her passion for transforming lives through lifelong learning and service.”

Prior to serving as CSM’s chief of staff, Pfeiffer spent four years as the institution’s lead community engagement coordinator and five years as the college’s business and information technology coordinator for the CSM Workforce Development division. She has also served as an adjunct professor of Communication.

“CSM helped me enter the world of higher education as a student and then as a professional,” Pfeiffer said. “My family and I have all enjoyed personal enrichment, workforce development, and academic courses through CSM. The college is an extension of our family and our ability to contribute meaningfully to our community, is a direct result of our relationship with CSM”.

Pfeiffer holds an associate degree in Arts and Sciences from CSM; a bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Maryland, a master’s in Communication from Southern New Hampshire University and is currently a doctoral candidate of the Community College Leadership program at Ferris State University. She was recently published in the April 2020 Vol. 10 Issue 1 of AT ISSUE “Building the Community College Leadership Pipeline: Prioritizing Succession Planning”.  Pfeiffer’s dissertation research is focused on the onboarding and education practices of new trustees appointed to community college board governance.

“I consider myself a helper,” she shared. “My experience and educational attainment align deeply with my commitment to ensure the mission of the community college continues to serve the needs of our community and that CSM leadership is fully supported to ensure this important work gets done.”


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