news-category: Alumni

Celebrating Alumni—Dr. Lori Metcalf

Fall scene featuring Craig Hall

Alumna Named Dean of Health and Human Services at Gaston College

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C.—Students are the focus of Gardner-Webb University’s mission. Faculty members seek to engage students with unique, experiential learning opportunities to prepare them for their next steps. Whether they choose to begin a career or accept the academic challenges of graduate school, students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to lead and serve. Additionally, through GWU’s supportive and diverse Christian community, students are inspired to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others.

Dr. Lori Metcalf is the new Dean of Health and Human Services at Gaston College. She received her Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership in 2020 from Gardner-Webb. Metcalf’s dissertation project focused on program review and assessment.

Metcalf has been employed at Gaston College since 2000 in numerous roles including faculty member, department chair, and associate dean. During her time there, she has been active in program assessment and improvement processes, advising, accreditation, program development, course development, online education, honors coursework, faculty development, and committee work.

She has received numerous recognitions while working at Gaston, including National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development (NISOD) Excellence Award, Gaston College Faculty of the Year Award, Arts and Sciences Faculty of the Year Award, Arts and Sciences Outstanding Service Award, and the Gaston Has Heart Educator’s Award (first recipient and namesake).

Metcalf was also a semi-finalist for the North Carolina Excellence in Teaching Award (community college system faculty member of the year). She also worked with a fellow faculty member to publish a textbook. 

Prior to her time at Gaston College, Lori was a faculty member at Cleveland Community College and Haywood Community College. She also worked in mental health care centers, group homes, and in community-based programs for at-risk youth. Her expertise in the human services profession lies in developing daily living skills for adolescents, needs assessment, counseling, crisis management, case management, care coordination, and conflict resolution. She also provided fiscal management and grant development, implementation, and supervision in her former roles in human services. 

Metcalf has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and a Master of Arts in Psychology from East Carolina University.

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Gardner-Webb’s faculty and staff are eager to hear about and celebrate alumni news and success. There are three ways to share your story with us:

•          Contact a faculty member.

•          Touch base with Alumni Relations.

•          Share your story here.

Gardner-Webb University is North Carolina’s recognized leader in private, Christian higher education. A Carnegie-Classified Doctoral/Professional University, GWU is home to nine colleges and schools, more than 80 undergraduate and graduate majors, and a world-class faculty. Located on a beautiful 225-acre campus in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb prepares graduates to impact their chosen professions, equips them with the skills to advance the frontiers of knowledge, and inspires them to make a positive and lasting difference in the lives of others. Ignite your future at

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