About Center4ME

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Meet the Center4ME Staff

Melany A. Pearl
Director 

email mapearl@liberty.edu


Melany A. Pearl, originally from Kansas City, Missouri, began her service at Liberty University in 1996 as office coordinator for the Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME). In 1998, she was promoted to her current position, director.

Pearl is an alumnus of Liberty where she received a Bachelor of Science in Business and Master of Arts in Human Relations. She has served the campus community outside of her responsibilities in the Center4ME in several volunteer capacities including; administrative advisor of national honor society Alpha Lambda Delta, sub-committee chair on the NCAA self-study, SACSCOC committee member, mentor with the Campus Pastors' Office, and most recently a Wellness Champion with the Live Healthy Liberty initiative.

Her past civic volunteerism includes: Martin Luther King/Lynchburg Community Council board of directors and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Virginia board of directors and Lynchburg’s Community Dialogue on Race & Racism steering committee.  Pearl’s professional memberships include; National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and Association for Christians in Student Development.
 
In her personal life, Pearl enjoys competitive fitness and does CrossFit, Spartan Races and powerlifting competitions.  International travel is also one of her passions and been to Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, Israel, Palestine, France, Bermuda, Italy, Greece and Turkey.

 


Samantha Newton
Administrative Assistant
For Director Pearl

email snewton5@liberty.edu


 

Samantha Newton was born and raised in Lynchburg, VA and is excited to join the Center4ME team as the Administrative Assistant. She has a passion for planning events and has planned over 100 weddings and other events and aspires to own a wedding business in the future. Currently she is working on completing her Bachelors in Business Administration and plans to use her degree to pursue her entrepreneurial goals.

Samantha is ambitious and seeks God first in everything and for the strength to pursue his will (Philippians 4:13). In her spare time she stays busy pursuing hobbies such as: DIY projects, decorating, gardening, and planning her next big road trip.

 

Kerensa Huffman
Associate Director
Cultural Competency, Assessment

email khuffman@liberty.edu


 

Kerensa Huffman is our Associate Director of Cultural Competency and Assessment coming from the Washington DC area. Having grown up in the Midwest she moved several times having lived in seven states in total.

She spent six and a half years on staff at a multicultural church in DC as the Director of Communications & First Impressions as well as the Youth Ministry Director. As the oldest of five children, all of her siblings are adopted which fostered her passion for understanding diversity at an early age. She has lived in highly Hispanic area outside Chicago, Scandinavian Minnesota, the farm town mentality of Fargo, ND and the urban melting pot of the DC area.

Currently Kerensa lives in the Lynchburg area with her husband Chris and enjoys time off with friends and creative activities. Anything from cooking to cross-stitch to sewing or puzzles, they are good for her soul!

Her overarching desire and heart is for those who leave Liberty to be grounded in a clear understanding of cultures across the United States. Kerensa’s prayer is for those who walk through the doors of Center4ME would be able to use these learning experiences for the greater good of the Kingdom.


Jose Hernandez
Associate Director
LEAD Fellowship

email jghernandez@liberty.edu

 

Jose Hernandez is originally from a small town in Southern Texas. He has spent his life serving others in a variety of capacities. Jose graduated from Liberty University with a Bachelors of Religion and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies and has a passion for minority and first-generation college students. He aspires to attain a secondary Masters in Psychology culminating with a Ph.D. in Education Psychology.

Jose continues to serve the local Spanish community as a leader in Thomas Road Baptist Church Spanish Campus: Nuevo Amanecer officially serving as the Director of the Connection Ministry (Guest Services and New Membership Classes) and unofficially serving wherever he needs to serve.

He began public speaking at the age of 12 with a heart for seeing people broken before the Lord. He has served as a worship leader, youth director (both local and regional), and as anything that is needed to further God’s kingdom. 

 


Stephanie Smith
Associate Director
LEAD Fellowship

email sdefillo@liberty.edu

 

Stephanie Smith is one of our Associate Directors for the LEAD Fellowship program. She is originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico and currently resides in Lynchburg, Virginia.

In 2012, she graduated from Randolph College with her Bachelors in Political Science and Dance with a concentration in International Relations. Afterwards, she came to Liberty University and received her Masters in Public Policy. She is currently pursuing an Education Specialist degree in order to better serve the students within the classroom setting.  In the fall, her goal is to earn an EDD in Educational Leadership.

Stephanie enjoys serving in the children’s ministry at Blue Ridge Community Church and attending Bible studies. She also loves to travel, dance, hike, and the culinary arts. She has had the opportunity to travel across the United States as well as Costa Rica, Chile, and the Dominican Republic.

Stephanie’s education, knowledge, and cultural experiences will help her to carry out Center4ME’s mission of bringing unity within the diverse set of cultures on campus.

 

Allen Ancheril 
Associate Director
Campus Relations

email aancheril@liberty.edu

 

Allen Ancheril was born and raised in Danbury, CT. He moved to Virginia to attend Liberty University in 2006 and has stayed locally ever since. He earned his B.S in Graphic Design and his M.A in Management and Leadership. Allen was formerly a public relations student worker and a Graduate Assistant for the Center4ME from 2007-2011.

Allen grew up in an Asian-American family but was immersed in a diverse neighborhood and had early exposure to other cultures, primarily Hispanic and African American Cultures. 

He is ecstatic to return to the Center4ME as the Associate Director for Campus relations. His favorite verse is 1st Corinthians 9:22 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (ESV).  Allen’s desire is to be an asset to the Center4ME and its mission to encourage a commitment to the Christian life and to enhance sensitivity to the needs of others. 

In his free time Allen is an avid CrossFit Athlete and marksman, builds computers and enjoys superhero comic books and movies. Allen also loves international travel and has been to the following Countries; India, England, Bosnia, Australia, New Zealand and Jamaica.

 


David Shinkle
Marketing and Office Manager
Campus Relations

email dgshinkle@liberty.edu


 

David Grayson Shinkle was born and raised in Winchester, Virginia. He is of German, Jewish and Native American decent. Having been born with a cleft lip and palate facial deformity and twenty-four subsequent corrective surgeries, David has had the precious opportunity to face many trials and overcome them with God's strength.

David is a Liberty University alumni, having received his Bachelor of Visual Communication Arts. He is the former Executive Chief of staff of TrueLife.org ministries and works as both a Marketing and Office Manager for the Center for Multicultural Enrichment.

“As Christians, we must take seriously the responsibility to communicate Christ in the language of the people who need receive Him. Imagery as communication is, perhaps, the most universal of languages; and we are a part of the most media saturated generation who has ever lived. In order to be all things to all men, we must be skilled in the art of visual messaging. I’ve come to work at the Center for Multicultural Enrichment to design graphics to that same end.”
- David Shinkle (2 Peter 1:1-12)
 


Camelia Jefferson
Special Events Coordinator
Campus Relations

email cjeffferson1@liberty.edu


 

Camelia Jefferson was born and raised in Lynchburg, VA and is excited to join the Center4ME team as the special events coordinator. 

Her favorite bible verse is “God is within her; she will not fail (Psalm 46:5)”. Her future goals are to complete her Bachelors in Forensic Science and become a Crime Scene Investigator.

She seeks God first in everything she does and is very optimistic about her future. She enjoys taking road trips, hiking, working out and being with her family.

 


Nancy Whalen
Graduate Assistant
LEAD Fellowship

email ncwhalen@liberty.edu


 

Nancy Whalen is originally from Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania, right outside of Philadelphia. She graduated from Liberty University with her Bachelors in Worship and Music Studies, specializing in Inter-Cultural studies and is now working toward her Master’s degree in Theology with a cognate in Global Studies. In her time at Liberty as an undergraduate Nancy has served as a Prayer Leader, Spiritual Life Director, and Project manager for the Community Care Initiative and worked as a Peer Mentor for LEAD Fellowship. She continues to work at her church as the associate worship leader alongside her fiancée and helps a local family as a nanny to their five foster children and has her own business as a Mary Kay Consultant.

In the future Nancy plans to go to the Caribbean as a full-time missionary starting first in Haiti and eventually going to St. Lucia, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. In each place she hopes to disciple the Christians that are already there and teach them how to disciple other natives. Using her Worship degree, she plans on hosting open air worship services in the streets as well and focus on witnessing to the people in the streets, the deaf and those who practice animistic religions.

 


Bukky Adebayo
Graduate Assistant
Cultural Competency

email aadebayo4@liberty.edu


 

Bukky Adebayo was born in Nigeria to a Christian family. She grew up in the northern part of the country. Due to her interest in business and economic matters, she went for a B.Sc. degree in Economics after which she went for her MBA. After six years in the business and financial service sector, a near death experience brought her closer to God and she sought to learn more about Him in order to be equipped to teach others about Him. She is grateful that God led her to Liberty University and she is pursuing a Masters of Divinity degree in Evangelism and Church Planting. She intends upon completion of her program, to take the gospel to areas in her home country where Christ is not known as well as be a missionary in North Africa. She also intends to use her degree together with her business background, to empower African women for Christ. Bukky is zealous for God and strives for an intimate and ever growing relationship with Him. She prays to live a life worthy of glorifying God while serving at the Center for Multicultural Enrichment and throughout her life time. Psalm 39:5-6 is dear to her heart.

 

Sophia JeanPierre
Tracking and Retention Coordinator
LEAD Fellowship

email svalme1@liberty.edu


 

Sophia Jean-Pierre was born in Central Florida and lived there until she was thirteen, then moved with her family to Metro Atlanta. She comes from a diverse family with her parents being Haitian with roots from India, Africa, Cuba, France, and Italy. 

In 2012, Sophia graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelors in Psychology with a concentration in Industrial Organization. After graduation, she briefly completed an internship with the Walt Disney Company in Orlando, Fl, then worked full time before being lead to come to Liberty University.

Sophia is currently obtaining her Masters in Arts in Clinical and Mental Health Counseling. She hopes to one day gain her licensure as a professional counselor and open up her own consulting firm that integrates her knowledge of counseling and industrial organization.