CES Advising Center

Meet the Staff

Karen Thompson, Academic Advisor & Transfer Coordinator

Karen Thompsonkt@clemson.edu


  • B.A. Psychology, B. A. Sociology, Wingate University
  • M.Ed. Counseling and Guidance Services, Clemson University

Professional Activities

  • Member, NACADA
  • CES Representative, Orientation Advisory Board
  • CES Representative, Academic Recovery Program
  • ASC workshop leader, Time Management

Ms. Thompson advises new freshmen and transfer students in the General Engineering program. She is also first contact for prospective transfers and engineering dual degree students.

Ms. Thompson has worked at Clemson University since 1996. She spent many hours working for and with students in the Student Affairs Division in the University Union and Littlejohn Coliseum. She also worked in Undergraduate Admissions as a freshman admissions counselor and a transfer credit evaluator.

Karen is married to Chad Thompson, and they have two sons, Reece and Kaylor. She enjoys her book club, hiking and camping, and spending time outdoors with her family.


Erica Harper, Academic Advisor & Developmental Programing Coordinator

Erica Harpereeharpe@clemson.edu


  • B.A. Communication Studies, Clemson University
  • M.Ed. Counselor Education (in progress), Clemson University 

Professional Activities

Ms. Harper advises new freshmen and transfers students in General Engineering. She will also be working with students on Academic Probation.

Prior to coming to the Advising Center, Ms. Harper worked in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions both as a full-time employee and an undergraduate student worker. She believes the transition from high school to college is critical, so she is eager to guide students through their academic programs, and help them experience Clemson to the fullest.

Ms. Harper is currently in graduate school, working towards her Master’s in Student Affairs. She is from the small town of Clover, SC and has loved Clemson since she was a little girl—attending every home football game! You can always find her with a cup of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in hand, and in her “free time” enjoys reading on her Kindle, playing golf, watching reality television, or taking a walk around Perimeter.

Meg Newton, Academic Advisor & Freshman Orientation Coordinator

Meg Newtonnewton8@clemson.edu


  • B. S. Computer Science, Clemson University
  • M. Ed. Educational Counseling/Student Affairs, Clemson University

Professional Activities

  • Member, NACADA
  • CES Representative, Orientation Advisory Board
  • NSAPP (New Student Academic Progress Program) Advisor
  • ASC workshop co-leader, Time Management

Ms. Newton advises new freshmen and transfer students in General Engineering and all freshmen chemistry students.  Also, she is the coordinator of Freshmen Orienation for General Engineering.

Ms. Newton has a wide variety of work experiences.  She was a software engineer for NCR Corporation, a stay at home mom, and an interior designer for Southern Homes of the Upstate.  She believes that academic advising in the College of Engineering and Science is the perfect fit for her varied interests and abilities.

She is married to Robby Newton and has three children.  Her daughter, Lauren works as an advisor in the Study Abroad Office at USC and is in graduate school there in Higher Education & Student Affairs.  Her son, Brandon, is a graduate of CLemson with a B.S. in Wildlife & Fisheries Biology; and her son, Trevor, is a freshman at Clemson in the General Engineering program. 


Jessica R. Pelfrey, Director of Academic Advising

Jessica Creelpelfrey@clemson.edu


  • B.S. Experimental Psychology, University of South Carolina – Spartanburg
  • M.Ed. Counselor Education, Clemson University
  • Ph.D. Educational Leadership (in progress), Clemson University

 Professional Activities

  • Member, NACADA
  • CES Representative, University Advising Committee
  • CES Representative, Council on Undergraduate Studies
  • CES Representative, New Student and Sophomore Programs
  • CES Representative, Enrollment Management Committee
  • NSAPP (New Student Academic Progress Program) Advisor
  • Academic Success Center Advisory Board
  • RiSE (Residents in Science & Engineering) Advisory Board

Ms. Pelfrey advises new freshmen and transfer students who wish to become engineers.

Ms. Pelfrey joined the Clemson staff in 2007, as a student services coordinator for the College of Engineering and Science. In May 2010, she took over the role of Director of the CES Advising Center. As someone who had a very intense experience as an undergraduate student, she is eager to help students learn how to manage their time, and stress levels.

Ms. Pelfrey enjoys spending time outdoors with her 3 dogs, trying out new recipes, and going to the movies when she isn’t studying.


Toni Hedden, Administrative Assistant

Toni Heddentbecker@clemson.edu


  • B.A. Natural Resource Management, Western Carolina University


Toni was a park ranger with the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (SCPRT) for nearly ten years before taking her position at Clemson University. She is originally from southeastern Kentucky, but is now proud to call South Carolina home. She is married to Glen Hedden, and together, they share love for one daughter, Ada. Toni loves camping, traveling, and spending time with family and friends, especially in the great outdoors.