Heidi Gailor: Talk About Dialogue

Aug 2, 2021

Heidi Gailor, Ph.D., has been at Peace on and off for about 11 years. Dr. Gailor completed an undergraduate degree in public relations at North Carolina State University and then pursued a master’s degree in communications at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During her time at UNCG she came across a pamphlet for the Center for Creative Leadership, and she knew immediately that she would one day work there. After graduation, she did just that: became a copywriter for the Center of Creative Leadership. 

Dr. Gailor loved every moment of her eight-year tenure at the Center for Creative Leadership. She pursued her passion for marketing and entrepreneurship but acquired a new love for leadership. “I fell in love with leadership, and after working for the Center for Creative Leadership nearly nine years, I decided it was time for me to move away from marketing and pursue leadership,” she said. 

During her doctoral studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute, she studied liberation psychology. In 2001, after her postgraduate studies, Dr. Gailor took a position at Peace College. “I came into a culture where my preference of collaborative leadership matched the culture at the institution; Peace is a wonderful collaborative space that the students help lead on their own,” said Gailor.

For the next five years at Peace, Dr. Gailor grew to understand the intricacies of the leadership studies program and its students. After five years, she moved to Washington, D.C. However, Peace was still on her mind and in 2005, Dr. Gailor returned as an associate professor of business administration and later became the Honors Program director at Peace. Dr. Gailor teaches two Honors Program courses, one introductory and one advanced, both with a strong foundation in liberation psychology. “HON-100 and HON-300 is all my doctoral work put into two courses, and it’s my sweet spot. It’s my unusual passion,” she laughed.

This past year, Dr. Gailor began teaching the HON-100 course for all incoming honors students. HON-100, Exploring Critical Issues, is taught in both fall and spring to students new to WPU’s Honors Program. The course focuses on critical thinking as it relates to social issues that impact the campus, the local community, and the world. In this course, students learn methods for addressing social problems, including moderation, dialogue, and restorative justice. With 2020’s global pandemic and the continuing social injustice Black and Brown people, Dr. Gailor felt an appropriate theme for the course would be peace and social injustice. 

During the summer of 2020, Dr. Gailor was awarded a mini-grant through the North Carolina Campus Compact funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. The grant is a component of N.C. Collegiate Citizenship Project (NC-CCP) of N.C. Campus Compact. As part of the grant agreement, the HON-100 students participated in Ask Big Questions. The Ask Big Questions model was perfect for the vision Dr. Gailor had for the course because it provided precise methods to engage students in dialogue about challenging topics. 

Jeni Myers ’21 communications major, was a project lead for the HON-100 course as a part of her direct study for her honors capstone project. She found that after students complete the course, their perspective changes for the better. “In today’s society, we are so wired to be right all the time. We want to be right so much, to the point where we forget to learn from one another. We forget what it’s like to see things through someone else’s eyes, but doing these dialogues and collaborating with Ask Big Questions, it has, for sure, changed the classroom culture. I’ve seen fellow students create a cultural shift on campus and it’s for the better,” said Myers.

“Working with people in authentic ways is so important right now; dialogue and peacebuilding are needed more than ever,” said Dr. Gailor. For Dr. Gailor, the best part about incorporating Ask Big Questions is seeing the students naturally come into their own and lead this massive change. 

Digital Edition

PEACE Magazine, the award-winning publication of William Peace University, published annually.

View the 2021 edition. 

Give Courageously to Peace

Thanks to the generosity of William Peace University supporters, current and future WPU students have access to the resources needed to learn through immersive experiences, build upon their courage and develop the confidence needed to turn passion into purpose.
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
a student uses a laptop on a green bench at William Peace University

Give Now

Support future Pacer success. 


Become a Corporate Partner

Find out how your organization can collaborate with Peace.


Whether you’re hoping to attend WPU or hosting an event, you’re welcome to visit WPU! 

Wedding at WPU
Phantom in downtown Raleigh

Conferences and Events

Host your conference, event, or wedding at WPU.

Location and Directions

Get directions, our address, a campus map, and hotel discount information.


Learn about WPU and all it has to offer so you can guide your students to the best fit for their next step. 

Admissions Info

Meet and connect with our Admissions team.

Schedule a Visit

Learn about our processes and schedule a visit.


Our success as an institution has always been rooted in the strength of our community. As an integral part of that community, we invite alumni to stay informed and connected. 

Alumni outside at WPU
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
Building at WPU

Get Involved

Stay connected to Peace.


Contribute to the success of future Pacers.

General Info

Read about alumni benefits.


Families are an integral part of a student’s path to WPU. Find answers to your questions here. 

Two WPU students work together on a project during class

Student Success: Why Choose WPU?

Learn about the value of an education at WPU.

Billing and Due Dates

Questions about your student’s enrollment or billing? Start here.

Current Students

Already a Pacer? Here’s your quick path to information, links, and other useful stuff.

Group of students talking
Students high-fiving each other

Current Students

Missing something? Can’t find a link? Start here.

Current Parents and Families

Is your student a Pacer? Here’s where to get information and contacts.

Future Students

Welcome to William Peace University! We offer programs for both traditional undergraduate students and online/hybrid classes through our School of Professional Studies. Find your path to WPU here.

Three WPU students walk through a brick archway on campus.
Three students discuss their work during class.
Older gentleman at a computer

First Time in College

Your WPU education will help you build practical skills for your future.

Transfer Students

Transfer up to 90 credit hours from any institution. 

Working Professionals

Enhance your existing career.

A WPU student works on a video game in the new esports and gaming lab on campus.
Woman in army green typing at computer
Two female international students


If you previously attended WPU and are ready to return, start here. 


Learn more about how to apply the GI bill.

International Students

Find out how to attend WPU.


WPU has a long history as one of the city’s oldest universities. Find out more about our institution in the heart of downtown Raleigh. 

2023 Student Showcase
Staff Pumpkin Painting


Through 160 years, William Peace University has evolved to meet the changing needs of the students we serve.


William Peace University is a small, private institution located in downtown Raleigh, NC.

Work at WPU

Join our team and see why William Peace University was voted one of the Triangle’s Best Places to Work!

DEI Staff
Design Rendering of WPU

Contact Us

Contact the University

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Learn about DEI at WPU.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Learn about WPU core tenets. 

Student Life

Whether you want to know more about on-campus events or see our residence halls, get a sense of what life is like as a student at WPU.

WPU Student on bouncy slide
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
WPU Safety Officer

Clubs, Activities and Events

Discover what’s fun at WPU.

Housing & Dining

When people say that WPU “feels like home,” we think that’s the ultimate compliment.

Safety & Security

The Office of Public Safety is committed to providing a community-friendly approach to enhancing campus safety for students, faculty and staff.

Dining room at Peace
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
Health and wellness at WPU


Cheer on your Pacers at their next home game.

Student Support Services

Find out how the WPU team supports the whole you.

Health and Wellness

Learn about physical and mental health services available to students.


WPU offers a mix of more than 30 degree programs and additional minors. Our courses are four credit hours each, and every course features immersive learning experiences.

A student in WPU's online School of Professional Studies works on her homework.
2023 Internship Showcase

Immersive Learning

Find out about WPU’s unique approach to learning.

Center for Student Success

Peer tutoring, a first-year success program, and an internship program are just part of why Pacers succeed. 


Start here to find out how to apply, visit, and learn more about WPU.

Before you apply:

Admissions team
students walking on campus
A student reviews scholarship and payment information in the financial aid office.

Connect with an Admission Couneslor

They’ll be your guide through the process.

Visit Campus

Get a feel for campus life.

Understand Costs

Find out about Financial aid and other options to pay for college.