Originally from Acworth, Ga., Pfahl earned her bachelor of arts in public relations from Lee in 2011. Pfahl was working in Texas before accepting the invitation to return to Lee’s administrative team.
“I’m happy to be back,” Pfahl said, “and ready to jump back in with both feet.”
As an alum, Pfahl is no stranger to Lee, but she is also no stranger to the office she is directing. She was previously an intern for Lee community relations.
“Ellie was a standout intern,” said Merica Stum, the former director. Stum remains in university relations at Lee, in the position of alumni fund director, a move that meant finding a successor. Pfahl’s track record made the search easy.
“There was not an aspect of community relations that Ellie did not participate in as an intern,” Stum said. “She was a natural choice to come in as director.”
Lee’s community relations office was created in 2003 and initially served as a place for community neighbors to connect with the school’s administration. More recently the office also took up popular programs such as Encore (an educational enrichment opportunity for learners 60 and up) and fosters other connections in the community, like through Lee’s BEST partnerships with Mayfield and Arnold elementary schools or working with Leadership Cleveland, Historic Neighborhood Association, or MainStreet Cleveland initiatives.
“I am getting back into the swing of Cleveland, seeing old friends and making new ones,” said Pfahl.