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2019

Building infrastructure

Empowering human potential


Watauga Academy Bell — a symbol of resilience In September 2018, Appalachian celebrated Founders Day — a tribute to founding brothers B.B. and D.D. Dougherty and to D.D.’s wife, Lillie Shull Dougherty. In 1899, they opened a small academy that quickly evolved into a school preparing quality teachers and, ultimately, into the university it is today. This bell hung in the steeple of Watauga Academy, the first building of the school. Made of cast steel sometime between 1899 and 1902, the bell withstood a 1946 fire that consumed the building. The bell was put to use in occasional concerts as a percussion instrument but remained in relative obscurity for more than 50 years. In September 2018, the bell was installed in Appalachian’s B.B. Dougherty Administration Building. As we are building for our future — the theme of this magazine — this bell reminds us of our history, our roots as a teaching academy and our collective resilience in the face of challenge. — From research by University Archives and Dr. Gary R. Boye, music librarian 2 • 2019


Table of Contents 7 From the Chancellor

8 Building Infrastructure

10 The Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences — preparing tomorrow’s health care leaders.

13 The NPHC Plots and Garden celebrate tradition and provide meaningful gathering spaces.

15 Transforming game day to every day 19 Child Development Center Expansion

20 Empowering Human Potential

22 In fall 2018, the Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork welcomed 282 mini-Mountaineers. On the cover: Student scientists and instructors test the water quality in Boone Creek, a waterway that travels through Appalachian’s main campus. Plans to daylight the creek are part of a larger resiliency initiative. See page 34 for the story.

29 Appalachian Police Development Program — “the model for campus policing in the U.S.”

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Table of Contents 26 & 28 Alumni making a difference 38 International exchange Teaching, service and research

34 Developing a culture of resiliency.

39 Dr. Kurt Michael builds national model for teen mental health.

42 Mountain to Mountain

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44 Climate research in the heights of Peru.

Mountaineers take renewable solutions abroad.

47 Dr. Baker Perry A heritage of mountains, research and education

58 Student Success 59 Balancing academics, wellness and finances 64 A scholarship opens a door

68 Rachel Gallardo is Appalachian’s 2018 Top of the Rock. 4 • 2019


Table of Contents 69 Academic Excellence 70-89 News from Appalachian’s colleges and University Libraries

90 Arts & Athletics

94

90 A love of learning through the arts. 92 50 years in the game Women’s sports at Appalachian

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94 Sun Belt Conference Championship Game

Appalachian’s Mountaineers football team makes history.

99 Eliah Drinkwitz Appalachian welcomes new head coach

102 Alumni & Appalachian Voices

108 Celebrating the Mountaineer spirit during Homecoming 2018. 102 Alumni Award winners 110 Appalachian remembers 112 App State on the go

114 Alumna and chef Monica Smith brings her flavor to Appalachian. 116 The queen’s coffee A student’s personal narrative 118 A different point of view

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Chancellor

DR. SHERI EVERTS Vice Chancellor and Chief of Staff

HANK FOREMAN ’95 MA Editorial Director, Writer, Editor

MEGAN HAYES ’97 Managing Editor, Writer

ELISABETH WALL Director of Design and Production

TROY TUTTLE ’07 Graphic Designer

SARAH MCBRYDE ’97 ’09 MA Contributing Writers

EMILY BAUSCH DR. LINDA COUTANT ’01 ’17 DR. JAMES DOUTHIT CHRIS GRULKE ’18 AUDREY GURKIN ’16 LAUREN HEMPEN ALEX JANSEN ANNA KIMBRO ’17 MEGHAN MCCANDLESS DR. MIKE MCKENZIE ’99 LYNN PATTERSON ’89 DENISE RINGLER JAN TODD ’84 Copy Editor, Writer

JESSICA STUMP Photography Editor, Photographer

MARIE FREEMAN ’85 Photographer

CHASE REYNOLDS ’17 Director of Circulation and Operations

Appalachian Magazine is published once each year to showcase major university initiatives and stories. Keep up with and share daily App State news, events, full-length features, photo galleries, podcasts, videos and more — make today.appstate.edu your homepage. Join us today.

STEPHANIE NAOUM Illustrator

JIM FLERI Web Team

WES CRAIG ROSLYN HOWARD ’83 PETE MONTALDI ’89 ALEX WATERWORTH DEREK WYCOFF ’09 Research Assistant

HEATHER STEWART ’94 Send correspondence to: Appalachian Magazine University Communications Appalachian State University ASU Box 32153 Boone, NC 28608-2153 Address changes should be sent to: alumrec@appstate.edu Appalachian State University is committed to providing equal opportunity. policy.appstate.edu/Equal_Opportunity Appalachian Magazine is published by the Office of University Communications. ©2019 Appalachian State University

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From the

Chancellor

The stories that fill the pages of this magazine are proof positive: Appalachian is the premier, public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina. Herein you will find a collage of the innovation and inspiration that informs our vision for this university. We begin with the work we are doing to develop and expand our physical infrastructure. We are excited to showcase here the blueprint for our future — some of which is already evidenced in bricks and mortar. You will also read about the extraordinary faculty, staff and students who make up the fabric of our university — the architects of new programs, ideas and experiences. You will learn about our lab school and the inspired, empowered teachers who are steering our youngest Mountaineers toward a path to higher education; an innovative and diverse model for policing; a professor and alumnus who agree resiliency is key to our planet’s future; and alumni who, with the spirit they acquired at Appalachian, have gone on to lead in education, business, community and government service. The Mountain to Mountain section highlights a research trip to Peru taken by two student groups this past summer. Like all of our faculty, the professors leading these expeditions are dedicated to active learning and student mentorship and are invested in new strategies and technologies. The faculty’s research around high altitude precipitation and climate change impacts is recognized worldwide, and the students engaged in this area are already finding solutions. We close with our engagement with the arts, amazing athletic accomplishments — including our 50year support and endorsement of women’s sports pre-Title IX — an alumna’s Appalachian recipe and one student’s personal narrative about an Alternative Service Experience abroad. Like me, I think you will be proud and inspired by the stories Appalachian has to share. As North Carolina’s leading, rural-serving institution, we are doing important work — we are preparing future leaders who will address the critical workforce needs of our state and beyond. This is an important time of growth and human empowerment at our university. Your support and continued interest in our progress are valued and appreciated.

Sheri Everts Chancellor

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Building Infrastructure

Scholarship and service Cranes, cones and diverted traffic. These generally mean one thing on a university campus — growth and change. At Appalachian, signs of construction also represent our deep commitment to the institution’s academic mission, the quality of the Appalachian Experience, and service to students and the citizens of North Carolina. On the following pages, you’ll read about three completed brick-and-mortar projects — tributes to both tradition and tomorrow — and five more underway that are changing our landscape and molding our future.

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A view of Appalachian’s campus. In the background, shadows roll over the Blue Ridge Mountains that border the university. Durham Park is visible in the foreground. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

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New health sciences building facilitates collaborative study and research Compiled by Jessica Stump

The students are in the house! Appalachian’s largest and newest facility to date — the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences — opened for classes in August 2018. “This new facility enables Appalachian to graduate more professionals in health sciences, one of the identified critical workforce areas for North Carolina,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said. “It will expand our opportunities for education and outreach and, over the course of their careers as health professionals, our graduates will have immeasurable impact on the lives of others.” The state-of-the-art facility allows for interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary collaboration and research in a continued partnership with the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System. The building is the first completed project funded by the Connect NC Bond, and The Leon Levine Foundation made a $5 million donation for the building and furnishings.

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Levine hall

Photo by Marie Freeman ’85 today.appstate.edu • 11


Located at the campus entrance on Hardin Street, Founders Plaza provides a prominent home for the sculpture of B.B. Dougherty and features a stone sign that can be viewed from both sides of the plaza — making photograph-taking easier at the popular backdrop. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85 12 12 •• 2019 2019


Above, Chancellor Sheri Everts speaks at the university’s Founders Plaza dedication Sept. 5, 2018. At left, Everts, center, prepares to cut the ribbon for Appalachian’s NPHC Plots and Garden project during Homecoming 2018. Others pictured, from left to right in the front row, are James “J.K.” Reaves ’93, a member of the Appalachian Foundation Board of Directors; Chief Diversity Officer Dr. Willie Fleming ’80 ’84; Appalachian Board of Trustees Secretary Susan Branch ’99; and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs J.J. Brown. In the back row, from left to right, are Appalachian alumni Warren Posey ’89 and James “J.T.” Tolliver ’96, co-chair of the NPHC fundraising subcommittee. Photos by Marie Freeman ’85

New campus spaces celebrate tradition: Founders Plaza and NPHC Plots and Garden Compiled by Elisabeth Wall

Appalachian’s two most recently completed brick-and-mortar projects — the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Plots and Garden and Founders Plaza — both celebrate tradition and provide the Appalachian Community with meaningful gathering spaces. Sept. 5 marked Founders Day — a day commemorating the history of the university — and the dedication of the new Founders Plaza. Founders Day will be celebrated each fall to honor Appalachian’s founders — B.B. and D.D. Dougherty and Lillie Shull Dougherty — and the first day of classes at Appalachian in 1899. Nearly 10 years of advocating and fundraising by students, staff and NPHC alumni for a gathering space and tribute to the Greek-letter organizations that compose the NPHC became a reality over the 2018 homecoming weekend. “As an integral part of the Appalachian landscape, this location will provide a place for people to visit, to engage, to reminisce and to reflect,” Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts said. “Standing here today, I am especially pleased to be one of the many members of the Appalachian Community who shares a commitment to inclusive excellence and all that stands for.” today.appstate.edu • 13


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At left, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority members pose with their sorority’s plot after the NPHC Plots and Garden ribbon-cutting and unveiling ceremony held Sept. 29, 2018. The NPHC Plots and Garden, pictured in larger photo, are located beside I.G. Greer Hall on Appalachian’s main campus. Photos by Marie Freeman ’85


An architectural rendering of the north end zone facility at Appalachian’s Kidd Brewer Stadium. Image courtesy of CJMW Architecture

Transforming game day to every day Compiled by Jessica Stump

The Kidd Brewer Stadium North End Zone Project initiative will transform the north end zone of Kidd Brewer Stadium into a facility providing 80,000–100,000 square feet of space designed to accommodate various athletics and academic uses. In addition to providing an enhanced experience for student-athletes and fans, this facility will be available for use by the entire campus community. The new facility will replace the 34,500-square-foot Owens Field House which was built 45 years ago. It will include conference and continuing education space, dining facilities, a team store, hydrotherapy, strength/conditioning and training space, approximately 1,000 premium (club) seats, and offices for coaches and athletics staff. The $45 million project will be funded through donations to Appalachian Athletics, club seat revenue, Food Services revenue and debt through millennial campus designation, which will be repaid using tenant lease revenue. According to the state’s Millennial Campus Act enacted in 2000, the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors can designate property as “millennial campus” to enhance an institution’s research, teaching and service missions, as well as the economic development of the region served by the institution. today.appstate.edu • 15


New housing, more parking on the horizon Compiled by Jessica Stump

A $191 million residence halls project underway at Appalachian will benefit first-year and upper-division students who wish to stay on campus in an environment that promotes their academic and personal success. This major housing project will replace seven residence halls: Bowie, Coltrane, Eggers, Gardner, Winkler, Justice and East. All but East Hall are located near Kidd Brewer Stadium. Winkler Hall was demolished in 2014, and six others have been recommended for removal due to extensive deferred maintenance needs. The plan calls for replacing nearly 1,800 beds — and adding 300–400 more — while also adding better, more efficient parking.

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Architectural rendering of the finished residence halls and parking deck north of Boone Creek.

The project is funded through a public-private partnership, known as a P3, which was approved for Appalachian by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors in May 2018. Through the P3, Appalachian will save more than $73 million over the cost of developing the property on its own. In phase one of the project, two residence halls will be constructed on what is now Stadium Parking Lot, totaling approximately 900 beds. Both halls are expected to open to students in fall 2020. The development of the entire project is planned in three phases, with completion dates of fall 2020, fall 2021 and fall 2022.

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BOLD • OPTIMISTIC • PIONEERING Appalachian’s Innovation Campus — where physical space meets collaborative spirit In Appalachian’s Innovation Campus project, the term “campus” refers to both physical space and collaborative spirit. This initiative is expected to have a powerful impact on the region’s economic development by expanding and enhancing Appalachian’s curriculum to produce a workforce of critical thinkers who are capable of developing economically, environmentally and equitably sound communities. The Innovation Campus will be located at the site of the former Broyhill Inn and Conference Center on Bodenheimer Drive and the edge of the neighboring Nature Preserve. The property has been designated as millennial campus space since 2015. This designation gives Appalachian the flexibility to develop the property with private sector firms, issue bonds and/or lease the space. The Innovation Campus will embrace multiple disciplines and include collaborations both on campus and with the community. It will bring together expertise found in the Appalachian Energy Center, the Center for Appalachian Studies, the Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics, the Center for Entrepreneurship, and the Small Business Technology and Development Center. The full Innovation Campus may not be realized for 10 years. The university is in the planning stages for the proposed facilities, beginning with the botanical conservatory that can demonstrate, on a small scale, the envisioned interplay of the Innovation Campus. The Innovation Campus will benefit students who will become tomorrow’s solution makers, as well as the community, state, region and beyond, which are served by increased student engagement with research, creativity, innovation, design thinking and entrepreneurship. Among the new facilities being discussed: • A 15,000-square-foot Conservatory for Biodiversity Education and Research, partitioned into spaces for research, teaching and demonstration. • Research/lab/studio space for multidisciplinary projects. • Renewable energy labs. • Conference rooms. 18 • 2019 Illustration by Jim Fleri

Community and Economic Development Hub This hub provides a vital and dynamic space where community, region and industry partners work with students, faculty and staff to cross-pollinate work in specialized areas unique to Appalachian’s strengths and regional identity. Innovation and Collaboration Space — The Un-Silo Following the success of Appalachian’s solar vehicle and other design–build projects, the “Un-Silo” space will provide an academic and creative space in support of innovation projects involving faculty, staff and students from all colleges and areas across campus, educating students for tomorrow’s workforce. Conservatory and Greenhouse This botanical facility is for education, research, outreach and economic development. Combining the aesthetics of a public conservatory with the functionality of a research and teaching facility, the integration of indoor climatecontrolled spaces with themed garden spaces will create an inspired learning environment and event space. Learning Lab This applied research and creative practice facility will be a vibrant and dynamic teaching, learning and making space, where students, faculty, staff and community collaborators engage in applied research and creative practice as an engine for innovation and economic development.


Appalachian 105 Compiled by Jessica Stump

Located off of Highway 105, about a mile from Appalachian’s main campus, the university’s newest acquisition, the former Watauga High School property, consists of 75 acres and was appraised at $16.7 million. Appalachian has been exploring options for development, including student residence halls, a day care facility and student recreation fields. Conceptual designs for a portion of the project’s development — including competition and training facilities for the university’s track and field, tennis and softball programs — are expected to cost $11.8 million and will be funded by donations. Building plans will be phased in as fundraising progresses.

The former Watauga High School property, located off Highway 105 about a mile from Appalachian’s main campus. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

The existing Child Development Center, located on Poplar Grove Road near Appalachian’s main campus, is visible in the foreground. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Doubling the capacity for child care on campus By Jan Todd ’84

Plans are underway to more than double the capacity of Appalachian’s Child Development Center on Poplar Grove Road and to consider additional improvements for the center. Currently, the center serves 68 children and the expansion will bring the total to 168. The center is part of Appalachian’s Division of Student Affairs. A recent assessment by Appalachian’s Wellness and Prevention Services indicated an increasing number of students have dependents and need additional support, such as child care options, to thrive at

Appalachian and have a greater chance of finishing their degrees. In addition to federal funding, parents pay fees, based on a sliding scale by income, for their children to attend. At a meeting in December 2018, Appalachian’s Board of Trustees approved the selection of design firm Clark Nexsen, of Asheville, North Carolina, to conduct a project feasibility study to investigate and recommend the relocation, reconstruction, addition and/or renovation of the center. The study is expected to be complete by summer 2019.

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Empowering Human Potential

Resiliency and outreach Opening possibilities for our community, our state and the world is key to the mission of Appalachian. Since its beginnings as an academy 120 years ago, Appalachian has been an access point to higher education for the people of Western North Carolina. Today, the university’s reach and impact are broader, empowering human potential globally. In this section, you’ll meet alumni from across the state and beyond, visitors from around the world, and police and professors who are serving our community.

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This photo, taken in 1916, shows students of Appalachian Training School (1903–25) lining the walkway between Science Hall, built 1911, pictured at far right in background, and the first Administration Building, built 1905 (not pictured). Students can also be seen standing in front of Watauga Academy, built 1899, center, and the Science Hall. Photo courtesy of Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections

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The Academy at Middle Fork — opening a gateway to college

By Alex Jansen

In December 2018, 282 mini-Mountaineers completed their first semester at the Appalachian State University Academy at Middle Fork. The academy — a partnership between Appalachian’s Reich College of Education (RCOE) and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools — offers services for students in kindergarten through fifth grade and is one of nine University of North Carolina System laboratory schools. The UNC Board of Governors selected Appalachian to establish the academy because of the quality of its educator preparation program.

Melissa Boyd ’15, first-grade teacher: “Even though we are separated by a few miles or a mountain, (Appalachian has) made us a part of the university and the children feel that, too. They feel like they are a part of Appalachian. They are, even in first grade, talking about how that is where they are going to go to college.”

Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

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{ Empowering Human Potential }

At the Appalachian Academy at Middle Fork, Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts prepares to read a story with students in the thirdgrade classroom of teacher Heather Wham ’13. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Students in the academy are Appalachian students, making this incoming class the youngest in history. Middle Fork teachers are Appalachian employees. The faculty and staff, many of whom are graduates of the RCOE, are introducing new teaching techniques centered on enhanced reading skills at the former Middle Fork Elementary. “The academy is a center for innovation, research and teaching excellence for our student teachers, as well as for a body of students who are beginning what we hope will be a lifelong relationship with an institution of higher learning,” Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts said.

Kori Trainor ’10, second-grade teacher: “When I went through grad school with Appalachian, I really liked its philosophy of teaching reading. I started implementing it into my classroom and saw the difference it made. I wanted to do that here.”

Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

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Dr. Lee Barnes ’90, president of N.C.-based Family Fare convenience stores and member of Appalachian’s Board of Trustees, shakes the hand of a young Mountaineer at Appalachian’s Academy at Middle Fork while meeting with other students of the academy. Barnes’ company donated $12,000 to the academy. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

One goal of the academy is opening a pathway to a college education for all students. To keep with the academy’s commitments — learning together, developing the whole child, boosting academics and amplifying sustainability — the school is implementing three key innovations: a literacy workshop, a balanced curriculum and targeted professional development. “Literacy is a foundational piece for students and teachers,” said RCOE Dean Melba Spooner.

Allison Lam ’17 ’18, fourth-grade teacher: “I’ve always been passionate about education. I’m passionate about equipping students with the literacy skills they need to really access the world around them effectively and be able to communicate with others the ideas they have, because those are important and valid.”

Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

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{ Empowering Human Potential }

The UNC lab school initiative aims to provide enhanced educational programming to students and to plan demonstration sites for the preparation of future teachers and school administrators. The academy will operate for a minimum of five years. “Our goal is to make sure the whole school — students, parents and teachers — have what they need to succeed,” Spooner said. Large footprints in an academy hallway outline the feet of a young Mountaineer in the top photo. Directly above, members of Appalachian’s University Communications team apply the Appalachian block A decal to the academy’s gymnasium floor. Photos by Marie Freeman ’85

Tasha Hall-Powell ‘01 ‘09, principal: “Serving as principal of the academy and leading our staff to support students’ academic, social and emotional success has been a rewarding experience. Great things will continue to happen for our students and their families as we work together as the new academy community.”

Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

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{ Empowering Human Potential }

As a teacher, Ashley Carlton ’12 presents science, math and technology opportunities By Alex Jansen Ashley Carlton ’12, a fifth-grade science teacher at Lower Creek Elementary School in Lenoir, N.C., and a graduate of the Reich College of Education’s classroom-based distance learning elementary education program offered at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute. Photo by Chase Reynolds ’17

Ashley Carlton ’12 is an award-winning teacher in a predominantly rural North Carolina county, where she opens the eyes and minds of her fifth-graders through her science, technology, engineering and math-focused (STEM) classes and clubs, sustainable practices and examples of affection for her students. Her principal at Lower Creek Elementary in Lenoir, North Carolina, said of her, “Not only does (Carlton) teach science, but she lives and believes in conservation and being a good steward of our land. She is always willing to lend a hand and sponsors the largest club in our school: the STEM club.” Engaging students in tech and sustainable living Carlton co-wrote the grant for a recently installed solar panel at the school. She has taken over the garden at the school and shares how making poor food choices can harm the body. Carlton recently started the Girls Engineering Math and Science (GEMS) club to help “create a 26 • 2019

shift in that paradigm” of females in the STEM fields, she said. Her aim is to introduce girls to STEM in an unintimidating way in which they don’t fear failure or judgment. While at Appalachian, Carlton learned the expected skills — from lesson plans to creating a resume. She also had professors, she said, who “were genuine and forthcoming with the harsh reality of what the teaching career can hold.” Carlton mentioned the difficulties of teaching children who often are dealing with unstable or dramatic situations outside of school. “There are professors at Appalachian who will do their best to prepare you for these interactions. Most times the only requirement children have is to feel loved in a safe and nurturing environment,” she said. “The four walls of my classroom will always meet those requirements.” A six-year veteran teacher, Carlton has been voted by her school as Rookie of the Year two years in a row and was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2017.


TEAM

SUNERGY building tomorrow’s leaders

By Elisabeth Wall

Senior James Furr, a double major in sustainable technology and physics, prepares to race — complete with leopard printtrimmed shades — Team Sunergy’s second, Cruiser Class car, ROSE. The team tied for second place (Cruiser Class category) in the 2018 American Solar Challenge and placed third in the 2018 Formula Sun Grand Prix. Photo by Chase Reynolds ’17

It’s fact: Appalachian’s nascent Team Sunergy has performed extraordinarily well since entering the international solar vehicle racing world in 2016. The team’s two vehicles have placed well in two American Solar Challenges and three Formula Sun Grand Prix (FSGP). Less measurable is the tremendous impact Team Sunergy has on many of its members. Mechanical and dynamics team member and driver James Furr of Charlotte, North Carolina, is one success story of many, Chief Sustainability Officer Dr. Lee Ball said. “Who would have thought the shy, unobtrusive kid that joined us four years ago would turn out to be our Richard Petty,” Ball said of Furr’s expert maneuvering of ROSE — the Cruiser Class car the team built from the ground up — to take second place in a race fraught with electrical malfunctions, fading batteries and a heat index skywards of 115 degrees. When judging started at this year’s FSPG in Hastings, Nebraska, ROSE had never been driven, Ball said. “They were wiring the panels hours before. The drivers said it was like steering a boat and we were way behind the other teams. James took every corner like a pro, inching by for a nail-biting second place,” Ball said. Furr joined Team Sunergy in 2015, its inaugural year. The team has pushed him to be a better student, he said, and has taught him about what it means to troubleshoot and actively problem-solve. Furr, who is double majoring in sustainable technology and physics, said he always wanted to do something with renewable energy, and the team has been a gateway to opportunities he wouldn’t normally have had. “This project is proof that people from all walks of life can come together, solve problems and move toward a more sustainable future,” he said. “Team Sunergy is certainly about building tomorrow’s cars,” Ball said. “But more, it’s about building tomorrow’s leaders.” Illustration by Jim Fleri

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Adam Campbell ’18 — picking up good vibrations By Alex Jansen

Adam Campbell ’18, from Concord, North Carolina, graduated from Appalachian’s Hayes School of Music with a Bachelor of Science in music industry studies with a concentration in recording and production. As an audiovisual technician at Campbell University, he is responsible for recording concerts, providing sound support for events in the university’s chapel and running sound during sporting events. When not working events, Campbell focuses on improving the sound in the university’s halls and auditoriums. Campbell said the diversity of tasks gives him “the opportunity to learn the most efficient ways to provide audio and visual support,” making him an even better audiovisual technician. He honed the necessary skills for his work at Appalachian. “The (music industry studies) program really made me adept in working with a wide variety of gear and instilled strong fundamentals in me,” Campbell said. “I would feel very comfortable working anywhere thanks to the experience I got at Appalachian.” He said the instructors were fantastic, and the commercial gear in the Robert F. Gilley Recording Studio is the same used at major recording studios across the world. Campbell worked two summers at the Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) in Colorado, where he was part of a team charged with recording some 300 festival concerts over eight weeks. “When you’re working for the largest classical music festival in the country and you feel that your school has armed you with the knowledge you need to be successful there,” Campbell said, “ it puts things in perspective. Working at AMFS showed me Appalachian had given me the knowledge to be a professional in the recording world.”

Adam Campbell ’18, an audiovisual technician at Campbell University. He played trombone in various ensembles in the Hayes School of Music and also founded and directed the Appalachian Video Game Ensemble, which performs music from both classic and contemporary video games. Photo submitted


{ Sustainability Growth { Empowering and Development Human }Potential }

App State Police

— a model for the country Compiled by Elisabeth Wall

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{ Empowering Human Potential }

T

he year 2018 was one of strategic change for App State Police.

Director of public safety and chief of police at Appalachian, Andy Stephenson, who came to Appalachian in June of 2017, has set a high bar: Become the model for campus policing in the United States. “I came here to make a difference in policing,” he said. “Not only within our department but within this state.” His ideal force is original and creative in its thinking, intent on relationship building, inclusive, proactive and trustworthy. The department’s philosophy, Stephenson said, is one of proactive community engagement, collaboration and customer service, holding the safety and health of Appalachian’s community members as its top priorities. The chief sees the Appalachian Police Officer Development Program (APDP) and the newly created Appalachian Police Academy as the

The App State Police Ford Interceptor and other vehicles sport wraps that reflect the new badge design. The badge itself is repeated on the hood of the vehicle and the block A with center star is featured on the sides.

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tipping point for reform and the realization of his goals for the department. The academy began training student police cadets in summer 2018 and the first graduates


The App State Police badge,

left, was designed by University Communications Illustrator Jim

Fleri to represent the new model of policing envisioned by Chief Andy Stephenson, and, in Stephenson’s

words, “to make our force proud.” The design elements are art decoinspired and include architectural

detail, a star centered in an implied block A, and the iconic campus steam tower rising above the

Appalachian State University seal.

were certified in August 2018. It is the second program of its kind in the nation. Through the academy, Stephenson said he wants to “add to our force of outgoing people who are smart and innovative and think on their own. Policing needs leaders and thinkers.” The program enables Appalachian students to receive police training and gain employment as a part-time officer for App State Police. Participants spend one year training as cadets and must meet the age requirement to be official officers before going to the Appalachian Police Academy and being sworn in as officers in North Carolina. Both the cadet position and the part-time officer position are paid by the hour.

Photos by Chase Reynolds ’17 Illustrations by Jim Fleri

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{ Empowering Human Potential }

Some other initiatives include: • actively seeking opportunities to interface with students, faculty and staff where they are through Cop Connect sessions; • broadening relationships with other service personnel in the state; • hiring a communication specialist to help with crisis management, outreach and public relations; and Bryce Helms, a senior criminal justice major and full-time officer with App State Police, takes a pause from her duties for a photo in the university’s Plemmons Student Union. Photo by Chase Reynolds ’17

• improving student safety by installing cameras and keycard access across campus.

Officer Helms — reporting for duty By Emily Bausch

Bryce Helms, a senior criminal justice major from Monroe, North Carolina, with a minor in psychology, is the first Appalachian Police Officer Development Program (APDP) cadet and graduate of the 2018 Appalachian Police Academy to achieve full-time employment as a police officer. While working as a part-time officer in the APDP, she applied for and was offered a position as a full-time officer with App State Police. She began training for the role in early January and is partnered with a field training officer who evaluates her progress. “Helms has been doing great work with us as a part-time officer, and she really set herself apart as a strong candidate for a fulltime position,” said Capt. K.C. Mitchell, director of the APDP. “This is a great achievement.”

“Being able to graduate college with a degree and a Basic Law Enforcement Training certification is quite an honor and accomplishment. It is a journey that led me to my career, and one I will never forget.” — Bryce Helms, senior criminal justice major and fulltime Appalachian police officer 32 • 2019

As a part-time police officer in the APDP program, Anthony Gibbs, a junior criminal justice major, is on call for many campus events. Here, Gibbs pulls security duty for a concert at Appalachian’s Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Photo by Chase Reynolds ’17


Officer Madison Cook

Appalachian junior Madison Cook participates in physical training as part of the Appalachian State University Police Academy. Below, she provides security coverage at a Mountaineers football game. Photos by Chase Reynolds ’17 and Marie Freeman ’85, respectively

— a new beat By Alex Jansen

Junior Madison Cook — a part-time police officer with App State Police — has a deepseated desire to serve and help others, a feeling influenced by having a father and stepfather who were in the Marines and a grandfather who was in the Army.

A member of the inaugural 2018 academy, Cook said she had the benefit of instructors from different agencies, both local and state, willing to share their stories and experiences.

Cook, a criminal justice-international studies major from Apex, North Carolina, switched from a nursing major — “I’m not a big blood and guts kind of person,” she said — to the criminal justice program, staying on her path to service.

Cook admitted she struggled, primarily with the physical requirements of the Police Officer Physical Ability Test, which required Cook, who weighs in at little more than 100 pounds, to drag a 175-pound dummy.

The first class

Learning on the job

Cook described her experience as “a fantastic opportunity to get an early start to the career I want before graduating college. I believe it will give me an advantage when applying for other jobs.”

Now, as a part-time officer with App State Police, Cook continues to learn from co-workers, fulltime officers and private security hired to work on-campus events. She said they have helped her learn, and being a part-time officer has helped clarify law enforcement as the right path for her.

In August 2018, she and 20 other Appalachian students graduated from the academy.

Cook enjoys being able to talk to students on campus during her patrol shifts, and said she hopes fellow students see her as just another student despite her being an officer. What she might lack in size, Cook said, she makes up for in her ability to talk to people and defuse situations that way. Post-graduation, Cook hopes for a position in local law enforcement and would like to work her way up to a federal agency such as the Department of Homeland Security. today.appstate.edu • 33


resiliency The case for

From the national level to the borders of Appalachian’s campus, prioritizing resilience measures is critical, say former FEMA Administrator Brock Long ’97 ’99 and biology professor Dr. Shea Tuberty. By Megan Hayes ’97

34 34 •• 2019 2019


{ Empowering Human Potential }

Brock Long ’97 ’99 led the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from April 2017–March 2019, streamlining its mission and focusing its emphasis on resiliency. Photo provided by FEMA

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, each year, Americans manage the effects of 100,000 thunderstorms; 26,000 severe thunderstorms; 5,000 floods; 1,300 tornadoes; and two deadly hurricanes that make landfall, leading to 650 deaths per year and about $15 billion in damage. Approximately 98 percent of all presidentially declared disasters are weather-related. For many, the presence of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) during these events and their aftermath is a given. Their emblazoned jackets are a standard fixture in media imagery of disaster recovery scenes. A federal agency with a budget north of $16 billion, FEMA has a mission statement that simply reads “helping people before, during and after disasters.” Communities that face devastation seek to recover and rebuild, and the presence of FEMA, with its recovery and relief expertise — and its funding — is an expectation during and after disaster. Brock Long ’97 ’99 led the agency from April 2017 to March 2019, streamlining its mission and focusing its emphasis on resiliency.

Long reported that, since spring 2017, FEMA has rendered more individual and public assistance than in the previous 38 years combined. “That’s our entire history basically packed into a year and a half,” he said. The assistance, Long said, came in the form of “money to those who are uninsured, to (recover from) devastating losses, for public assistance and money that goes into fixing infrastructure.” “Unfortunately, we’re in a vicious cycle of communities being impacted by disasters and having to constantly rebuild,” Long said, “and it’s almost as if we’re not learning anything from what Mother Nature and history have taught us.” During his tenure leading the agency, Long focused heavily on the “before” aspect of FEMA’s mission. Experts at FEMA and in local governments and communities have determined planning and preparation can make the biggest impact on mitigating the costs associated with disaster. Long emphasized individual preparation — the kind that goes beyond buying a generator and stocking up on canned food and bottled water.

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“I think that we need to get people on board with being prepared for anything, but I think the bigger issue is that (as a society) we’re living beyond our means these days … You want more than your parents had. They expect more for you than they had, and that’s not sustainable,” he said. “It’s a holistic change in the way that we are asking people to prepare.” In 2018, the Federal Reserve Board reported that 40 percent of U.S. adults would not be able to cover a $400 emergency without borrowing money or selling assets. In Long’s experience, it is often not financially feasible for people, regardless of socioeconomic status, to evacuate — even when that is the best option to ensure their personal safety. Developing a culture of preparedness “When it comes to asking people to go buy a tank of gas, drive a couple hundred miles down the road and find a hotel to stay in … that’s an unrealistic financial ask for a majority of Americans,” said Long, noting that the lack of a preparation mindset also means many Americans are also underinsuring their homes and businesses. “So, we’re trying to develop a true culture of preparedness.” This emphasis on preparedness culture extends beyond individual preparation. Data show when

government, residential and commercial entities prepare for weather-related impacts, they can withstand the aftereffects and bounce back more effectively afterward. The National Institute of Building Sciences released a study in 2018 that found every $1 spent on federally funded mitigation grants saves the nation $6 in future disaster costs. At the local level, the same report indicated that building new construction to exceed standard hazard mitigation requirements can save taxpayers $4 for every $1 spent. Under the Disaster Recovery Reform Act of 2018, Long said 6 percent of recovery dollars spent by FEMA will now be allocated to pre-disaster mitigation. “For the first time in history, we have put a massive bulk of pre-disaster mitigation on the front end … to ultimately save lives and reduce the impact of disasters on infrastructure and property.” To create resilient communities, Long said, “it’s going to take different approaches.” Resiliency work is sustainabilty work Dr. Shea Tuberty, an Appalachian biology professor and the Department of Biology’s assistant chair for student affairs, is a water quality expert with a passion for sustainable management of water resources. His teaching, research and community outreach emphasize resiliency.

Appalachian’s Dr. Shea Tuberty is a water quality expert with a passion for sustainable management of water resources. His teaching, research and community outreach emphasize resiliency. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85 36 • 2019


{ Empowering Human Potential }

For Tuberty, resiliency work is sustainability work. “I use that term almost interchangeably with sustainability,” he said. “Building infrastructure to withstand a catastrophe and then respond quickly afterwards with continued capability requires an interplay of environmental, social and economic resiliency.”

perfect if only we did this or that,” Tuberty said. Through service-learning, he explained, students begin to understand how they can apply classroom knowledge to complex situations in a real-world environment.

create some wetlands that would be aesthetically pleasing and also functional.”

From Long’s perspective, changing the preparedness mindset at the federal level is starting to pay off. After more than a dozen Congressional testimonies related to pre-disaster mitigation, he sees a “sea change.”

Real people with real issues, Tuberty said, can teach students about the complex and Appalachian’s location in one of the highest devastating impacts of a natural disaster. By mountain communities in the Eastern United working to help stricken families in relief States offers Tuberty an shelters, “students might important location for his realize these people ... could “Students might realize these work studying water quality have been their neighbors. and teaching students to people ... could have been (They may) realize they’re measure and understand their neighbors. (They may) only one step away from the impact of reduced that; the difference might water quality at or near the realize they’re only one step have been that they didn’t source of water for away from that; the difference have insurance.” communities downstream. Tuberty said the number of might have been that they International travel, especially to communities in developing flooding events in the High didn’t have insurance. ” countries, Tuberty believes, Country in 2018 set a 40-year is also an important record. “These events impact — Dr. Shea Tuberty town and county operations, learning opportunity. folks that are living in the “Last year I was in Belize, the flood plain and even university operations are year before in Puerto Rico. My students were impacted significantly,” he explained. amazed that with such little resources, these folks Tuberty said past restoration projects on campus could live happy lives. In many ways you can and in the Boone, North Carolina, area have measure, they were happier than my students been focused on aesthetics rather than on who have, arguably, everything they need. Taking preventing future problems. “There are a them out of their comfort zones, letting them number of us in the natural sciences that look at witness this — it changes them forever.” these efforts as Band-Aids,” he said. “So, (resiliency) is something the chancellor has got her eye on.” Optimism for the future A philosophical change is taking place in the “Our students push us harder and harder,” said preparedness mindset on campus. “Our Tuberty, who noted his students regularly emergency management office on campus is challenge him to think differently about starting to plan for the future,” Tuberty said. “On practices “they think are normal for a sustainable the horizon, we’re talking about daylighting the world, although I’m the one teaching it. I love creek on campus and decreasing the footprint of that. I think there are good things coming in Peacock Parking Lot. We could park more cars in the future.” a smaller footprint, open up more grassland and

Beyond changes to the physical infrastructure of campus, Tuberty also cited service-learning and international travel as two approaches Appalachian takes to help students develop personal resiliency skills. “The classroom is part of that ivory tower culture where faculty explain how things could be

“We just have to, at some point … realize that we’ve all got to do a lot more to mitigate and become resilient,” he said. “Yeah, I’m excited. I think people are starting to work together.”

Listen to the full interview at today.appstate.edu

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Timothy Tang, of Hong Kong, left, with his local friends in the International Friendship Program. Among them is Appalachian’s Dr. Maria Anastasiou, far right, who is executive director of the university’s Office of International Education and Development. Photo submitted

TEA Fellow Peter Morris Zakher Tawadrous, who is from Egypt, uses virtual reality technology to show local students his home country. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

International exchange Worldwide impacts

Teaching fellows

• Twelve students and recent graduates will serve in the Peace Corps in 2019 in 10 countries located on four continents around the globe. In fall 2018, Appalachian’s Career Development Center launched a Peace Corps Prep Program designed to give students an edge during the application process by building on core competencies — training and experience in a work sector, foreign language skills, intercultural competence, and professional and leadership development.

schools in and around Watauga County. The fellows lived and worked in the region, teaching full time in an American classroom setting while paired with an experienced local teacher.

• Appalachian is a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, tying for first place with College of Charleston for the highest number of faculty and staff selected for the prestigious award during 2018–19 among master’s institutions.

In fall 2018, 19 Teaching Excellence and Achievement (TEA) Fellows spent six weeks in the High Country to further their expertise in the teaching of English as a foreign language or science. The fellows traveled to Appalachian from countries around the world, including Mali, • Four faculty and staff members at Appalachian have been selected to receive Mandela Washington Azerbaijan, the Ukraine and more. Fellowship Reciprocal Exchange Awards. The Of the six-week program, the fellows spent four Reciprocal Exchange provides funding for weeks engaged in teaching-related classes, American professionals to travel to sub-Saharan information and communication technology African countries in order to build upon strategic classes and discipline-specific workshops in science partnerships and professional connections or English teaching on Appalachian’s campus. developed during the Mandela Washington Additionally, the fellows participated in two weeks Fellowship in the United States. of field experience within one of six public

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The university’s TEA program — a program of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs — attracts future leaders from abroad to study, learn and exchange in experiences in the United States. More than 150 fellows have participated in the program since its inception in 2010.


{ Access and Inclusive Excellence }

ASC Centers operate through an interdisciplinary team of school personnel, Appalachian graduate students and Appalachian faculty who discuss each student’s issues and needs. Here, Dr. Kurt Michael, second from right, and Jennifer Wandler, Watauga High School social worker and ASC coordinator, look at a computer file as other ASC Center team members look on. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Building a national model for teen mental health By Dr. Linda Coutant ’01 ’17

In 2006, Appalachian psychology professor Dr. Kurt Michael started a school-based mental health treatment program for adolescents at Watauga High School. It later expanded to include three area counties. Today, the program — called Assessment, Support and Counseling (ASC) — has been associated with positive outcomes and significant reductions in distress among teens struggling with depression, suicidality, anxiety and the associated academic impairments. ASC also has become a national model for sustainable, school-based mental health treatment initiatives. According to Michael, treatment is needed in rural areas. Rates of suicide are two to three times the national average and access to licensed mental health professionals can be nonexistent. “At its foundation, ASC is designed to provide ready access to effective mental health care that is so hard to find in rural communities,” he said. Based on the program’s success, two area high schools now employ full-time ASC Center coordinators. The centers are sustained by renewed grants.

Reaching (students) in the schools seems to be what works long term ... The model has worked on multiple levels — for the youths I worked with, and for the overall school climate and culture. — Cameron Massey ’10 today.appstate.edu • 39


How ASC Centers work ASC Centers provide high-quality mental health intervention in schools, using graduate students who are supervised by universityaffiliated licensed mental health providers. Graduate students from the psychology, marriage and family therapy, and social work programs take on small caseloads of referred adolescents as part of the internships and practica required to complete their degrees. They provide mental health services during school hours and meet weekly with the schools’ social workers, counselors, administrators and Appalachian faculty to discuss the teens’ issues and progress. “We’ve shown not only an effect in improving mental health impairment, but also a positive impact on academic outcomes and attendance,” Michael said. ASC program co-founders • Dr. Lauren Renkert, Appalachian’s Department of Social Work.

A leader in his profession, Dr. Kurt Michael, assistant chair of Appalachian’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology and the Aeschleman Distinguished Professor of Psychology. With Appalachian psychology professor Dr. J.P. Jameson, Michael is leading two other grant-supported protocols to support the training of school professionals: • The Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) program, which trains educators how to ask teens and their families about access to guns, opioids or other means of carrying out a suicide attempt. • Prevention of Escalating Adolescent Crisis Events (PEACE), a comprehensive risk assessment designed for use by licensed clinicians working collaboratively with school personnel. Photo by Chase Reynolds ’17 40 • 2019

• Dr. Jon Winek, Appalachian’s Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling. • Angela Quick ’91, then-principal at Watauga High School.

As a member of The Appalachia Initiative: A Bipartisan Approach for the 21st Century — a task force co-chaired by senators from Virginia, West Virginia, Georgia and North Carolina who are dedicated to finding pragmatic, bipartisan solutions to the region’s challenges — Michael has spoken twice in Washington, D.C., impressing on others the need for greater attention to rural mental health.

Rural school mental health hasn’t been a top priority, and I think that is changing. — Dr. Kurt Michael


{ Empowering Human Potential }

Appalachian receives approval for doctoral program in clinical psychology

The goal is to provide more practitioners for rural communities By Dr. Linda Coutant ’01 ’17

In spring 2018, Appalachian received approval from the University of North Carolina Board of Governors to establish a Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program, with a primary goal of training students in clinical psychology to serve rural populations. Appalachian will begin admitting students in fall 2019. The program will help address the shortage of providers in North Carolina, where about one-quarter of the state’s 100 counties have no practicing psychologist, according to a 2016 report by the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research at UNC-Chapel Hill. “The foresight of the board of governors in sanctioning this doctoral program at Appalachian helps us address the ever-increasing demand for psychologists in North Carolina, especially in underserved, rural areas,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said. “This program also expands our capacity for outreach, research and collaboration with communities. In addition to the health and wellness benefits, the program will strengthen communities through the additional professional workforce.” This will be Appalachian’s second doctoral-level degree. The Doctor of Education program has been offered through Appalachian’s Reich College of Education since 1992. today.appstate.edu • 41


Mountain to Mountain Home and abroad

In summer 2018, two groups of students, led by Appalachian professors, trekked the highest peaks of Peru and explored the Amazon rainforest. The three-week expedition distilled the university experience: As Mountaineers, they were immersed in a different culture and endured physical and mental challenges. Their research was validated and put to real-life practice. They learned about survival — for themselves and their world. And they returned stronger, more globally aware and changed for their lifelong journey.

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{ Hands-on Research }

Mary Campbell Spencer, a sophomore geography major, sits atop a large rock with journal and pen in hand, writing about her Appalachian study abroad experience in Peru during summer 2018. The peak of Ausangate Mountain is visible in the background to the right of Spencer. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

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thin air

Into

With Ausangate Mountain looming large in the background, Dr. Baker Perry and his research group traverse a trail from the Jampa Pass, at an elevation of about 16,400 feet. Local Peruvians consider the mountain to be scared. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

for climate research

Dr. Baker Perry and his students gather in the group’s dining tent at the Ausangate mountain base camp during the evening to discuss their assignments. The Milky Way is visible in the sky above. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

By Jan Todd ’84

Education abroad takes Appalachian students all over the world to experience art, different cultures and fresh perspectives. They visit international business centers, renowned art museums and developing nations. Occasionally, these expeditions take students somewhere else entirely — to the edge of their physical and mental endurance levels. The summer 2018 study abroad in Peru was one such trip, providing Mountaineer students the opportunity to climb mountains and traverse glaciers, all while participating in critical climate research projects that may impact the world. Dr. Baker Perry, graduate program director and professor in Appalachian’s Department of Geography and Planning, led 11 students from 44 • 2019

the heart of the Inca Empire to the top of the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru. They gazed upon Machu Picchu, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, slept in tents at subfreezing temperatures, dined on guinea pig, hiked to elevations over 18,000 feet and took scientific measurements to better understand the effects of climate change. This was Perry’s 14th time taking students to the Andes Mountains, an Appalachian education abroad experience offered through the university’s Office of International Education and Development. Perry is one of a handful of researchers who have placed weather stations at high elevations worldwide to study the changes in climate and their impacts on populations. He is recognized as one of the top experts in his field.


{ Mountain to Mountain }

The trip not only gave students a chance to participate in research and studies in the field, it also introduced them to the harsh and rigorous conditions that are often a part of climate science careers. Perry said, “The fieldwork in high mountain environments is physically challenging, with strenuous hiking, camping and gathering data at high elevations and adapting to the cold.” Through the trip, undergraduates earned credits for two courses: Andean Mountain Geography and Climate and Tropical Glaciers. Most of the learning took place in the field, Perry said.

The ascent The trip began in Cusco, which was once the capital of the Inca Empire. With an elevation of about 11,500 feet, the travelers began acclimatizing to the high elevations in the Andes. The city amenities of Cusco also allowed them to ease into the culture.

Mary Campbell Spencer, a sophomore geography major from Charlottesville, Virginia, said, “The trip was a progression in acclimating. We had a lot of resources in Cusco, but as we continued, access to everything from electricity to drinking water to showers and general hygiene went downhill.” Strenuous hikes were introduced early in the trip, with an excursion to Machu Picchu, a 15thcentury Incan city and archaeological wonder.

“It’s one thing to sit in a lecture hall on campus and look at pictures or videos and talk about the atmosphere. But it’s a whole different thing to set foot on a glacier, experience the decrease in oxygen as we go up in altitude and discuss physical processes while in the field. The measurements the students were making just can’t be replicated in a classroom.” — Dr. Baker Perry

Members of the Crispin family, who live at an altitude of 13,500 feet in Pucarumi, Peru, serve as citizen scientists, gathering weather data to assist Dr. Baker Perry in research to understand climate change in their region. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

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{ Mountain to Mountain } The Quelccaya Ice Cap is the backdrop for the group’s base camp — located at an elevation of 16,000 feet — where workers prepare a meal while the horses enjoy some downtime. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

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The group climbed over 2,100 feet to the summit of Montaña (Mountain) Machu Picchu, navigating steep, narrow stairs and trails with sheer drop-offs along the mountain’s edge. “Preparation is key in a trip like this,” Perry said. Months prior to the trip, he provided students with a detailed fitness workout schedule: hill sprints, runs and strength routines that included squats, lunges and pushups. After all, the students would be hiking for eight straight days, crossing high mountain passes with steep ascents and descents. Alex O’Neill ‘18, a geography major from Cary, North Carolina, who has since graduated and started graduate school, said, “Dr. Perry did a good job of impressing upon us the climate would be cold and harsh.” Prior to the trip, O’Neill met with other participants to work out, running up and down the stairs at Kidd Brewer Stadium and hiking the steep and rigorous Profile Trail on Grandfather Mountain. O’Neill and other students took turns leading discussions during daily class time while traveling. Prior to the trip, the students had prepared with advance reading assignments on topics including climate and land management, sustainable tourism, environmental degradation in

“After just three class sessions, I was hooked on Dr. Perry’s research topics about the precipitation process in the cryosphere (those portions of Earth’s surface where water is in solid, frozen form). I asked if he had room for an undergrad researcher on his team, and he welcomed me aboard.” — Alex O’Neill ‘18

Dr. Baker Perry works at the weather station he installed on the Quelccaya Ice Cap. The station sends data directly to his lab in Boone, N.C. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Dr. Baker Perry: collecting critical data at 18K feet Dr. Baker Perry, graduate program director and professor in Appalachian’s Department of Geography and Planning, is the great-great-grandson of one of the Dougherty brothers — founders of Watauga Academy in 1899, now Appalachian State University. Mountains, research and education are part of his heritage, paving the path that led to his involvement and research interests in the tropical Andes and Appalachian Mountains. His work in studying precipitation, snow and ice, tropical glacier–climate interactions and climate change helps affected populations plan for the future. “Baker Perry is one of a handful of scientists working in the South American Andes who successfully conducts fieldwork in the extraordinarily difficult conditions found on mountaintops above 18,000 feet,” said Dr. Anton Seimon, research assistant professor at Appalachian and colleague of Perry. “He uses these twice-a-year expeditions to train and educate students, collect valuable data that would otherwise be unobtainable, and build strong and enduring partnerships with scientists and institutions both in the U.S. and abroad in Peru and Bolivia. His efforts have become the cornerstone of a growing program linking Appalachian to universities in the Andes.” Perry’s work has been published in dozens of scientific journals and conference proceedings, and has yielded grants totaling almost $2.5 million from the National Science Foundation, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and various other organizations. today.appstate.edu • 47


A grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for the Integrated Climate Research and Education: Central Andes Precipitation Project (ICECAP) enabled broad collaboration. Research participants included: • Members of Perry’s research team, including geography graduate student Elizabeth Bailey, of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Heather Guy ’18, of the United Kingdom, who has since completed her M.A. in geography at Appalachian. • Amy Renfranz, education specialist with Grandfather Mountain’s Department of Education and Natural Resources. • Perry’s research partner, Dr. Anton Seimon, who is a research assistant professor in Appalachian’s Department of Geography and Planning. • Collaborators from Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco (UNSAAC), a public university in Cusco, and citizen scientists from the Andes. • Patience Perry ’04, adjunct lecturer in Appalachian’s Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education and Department of Cultural, Gender and Global Studies.

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the Andes and climate research findings relative to the region. After a few days of touring, the group set up camp in Pucarumi, at an altitude of 13,500 feet. They pitched their tents in the yard of the Crispins, a host family that has been involved with Perry’s research projects for several years. Members of the Crispin family have served as citizen scientists, gathering weather data to assist Perry in research to understand climate change in their region. Perry’s group shared the campsite at the Crispins with another group of Appalachian students led by Dr. Jeremy Ferrell, director of Appalachian’s sustainable technology program and assistant professor in the university’s Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment. Tatiana Magee, a senior community and regional planning major from Rutherfordton, North Carolina, said interacting with the locals was her favorite part of the trip. “I’m able to speak Spanish, so I could communicate easily. I loved seeing their way of life (and) what is normal to them compared to what is normal to me.” Magee said talking with some of the locals connected her more closely to problems stemming from climate change. “We had a guide, Don Severino Crispin, who was 69 years old, and he was telling us about his childhood, how a particular mountain used to be covered by snow and isn’t anymore.” Crispin’s eyewitness account impressed upon Magee and the other students how much the climate has changed in just a few decades, and how people’s lives are impacted when retreating glaciers threaten their source of water. Perry’s graduate teaching assistant, Elizabeth Bailey, said, “The biggest


{ Mountain to Mountain }

Tania Katherine Itabargis, a Peruvian graduate student, takes reflectivity measurements at the foot of Ausangate Mountain while at the Jampa base camp. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

challenge of any long-distance trek is the mental component of keeping a positive attitude at the point when your body hurts, but you have to keep hiking. Often what is tested even more than your muscles is your mental ability to adapt outside your comfort zone.” The 10-mile trek across the Jampa Pass took the hikers up and down steep terrain, with a 2,500foot gain in elevation over the duration of the hike, peaking at 16,700 feet. “We hiked about seven hours that day,” Spencer said. “We were churning forwards, and I remember that’s when the joking stopped, and conversation stopped. We were feeling the burn of the mountains and being humbled by it.” The day after crossing the Jampa Pass, the group continued to a campsite at the base of the

Quelccaya Ice Cap, where the students performed some field experiments and prepared for the summit hike the following day to an elevation of 18,500 feet. Nighttime temperatures were so low the campers awoke to find condensation from their breath had frozen to the surfaces of their tents while they slept. As they began to move around, the ice fell on them like miniature snowstorms. “I think the lowest temperature we recorded was around 11 Fahrenheit,” O’Neill said. Still, Perry said the students were well prepared for the harsh conditions. “Students come to Appalachian because they’re drawn to the mountain environment. They get out and hike and are physically active. There’s a difference in altitude in the Andes, sure, but our students have the mindset for that challenge.” today.appstate.edu • 49


50 50 •• 2019 2019


{ Mountain to Mountain }

What ice cap precipitation research can tell us The Quelccaya Ice Cap is the largest glacier in the tropics. People in the Andes rely on glacier runoff for part of their water supply, particularly in the dry season. As the glaciers have begun to melt faster, the water supply increases initially, but then an adjustment occurs, and there is less water. In some cases, glaciers have disappeared. Some watersheds have already peaked and others have a few decades left. “We’ve been trying to improve scientific understanding of meteorological processes associated with precipitation, and on the basis of that, we can look at the snow pack on the glaciers and look back in time to have a richer understanding of what the climate was in the past,” Dr. Baker Perry said. “That will help us know what to expect in the future.” Five years ago, a comprehensive precipitation monitoring system was installed on the Quelccaya Ice Cap. Similar equipment was installed on Chacaltaya Mountain in the Bolivian Andes. The equipment measures temperature, humidity, wind, precipitation type and snow depth. Each precipitation event creates a new layer in the ice on Quelccaya. While on the ice cap, the students dug a snow pit representing the latest year’s accumulation. They sampled each layer, then bagged the samples to take back to the U.S. to analyze. Professor Dr. Anton Seimon, who joined Perry’s group just before its journey to the glacier’s base camp, explained the research process that occurred back in the lab: “The chemical composition of each sample bag is analyzed along with the measurements of the weather event that produced that particular layer of ice. “By establishing a very tight relationship between the meteorology (weather event) that produces the snowfall and the chemical signals or isotopes that are preserved in the snowpack,” he said, “we hope to better understand what those chemical signals mean when we look at ice cores across much longer time series, going back thousands of years.” “Rather than looking forward to the future of climate,” Seimon said, “we’re looking backward at how the climate has changed in the past. It’s extremely important in assessing how climate will change, to actually know what the history is. This work has been very valuable to this part of the world. Just over the mountain summit, over there is the Amazon rainforest, a place of enormous global importance.” Pictured left: On top of the Quelccaya Ice Cap, junior geography major Cole Barrow, bottom right, relays measurements from a snow pit to senior geography major Michael Godwin, far left. With them is John Howarth, center, who played a supporting role during the expedition. At right is an image of the weather station Dr. Baker Perry installed on the ice cap. Photos by Marie Freeman’85

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Heather Guy ’18 earned a Master of Arts in geography from Appalachian in 2018. She received her Master of Science in natural sciences — physics and environmental science with a focus on climate modelling — from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom with a thesis related to reducing uncertainty in global climate models. She was one of the research assistants who accompanied Dr. Baker Perry on his expedition to Peru in the summer of 2018. Here, Guy stands atop the Quelccaya Ice Cap in Peru. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Conferences, collaboration and scaling the Andes Prior to enrolling in Appalachian’s geography graduate program, Heather Guy’s work experience involved computer modelling — an activity that kept her in front of a computer screen all day. Guy ’18, of the United Kingdom, who graduated from Appalachian in 2018 with a Master of Arts in geography, wanted to stay in research but longed to be doing fieldwork in remote locations. Appalachian provided that opportunity. As a graduate research assistant with Appalachian’s Department of Geography and Planning, Guy served as a team member on multiple fieldwork campaigns to the remote high Andes in Peru and Bolivia, which she said improved her fieldwork skills and “gave me the experience that I needed to apply for similar jobs in the future.” She was also able to attend and present at international conferences, visit and work with collaborating institutions, and write her own paper for submission to an academic journal. “At Appalachian, you get a very personal experience, and you can form relationships with the faculty, which, in addition to making your time here enjoyable, can open doors to new opportunities and allow you to personalize your degree,” Guy said. Guy’s research at Appalachian involved precipitation patterns in the high tropical Andes — examining precipitation measurements and samples collected by a network of citizen scientists living at elevations above 13,000 feet. Her hope, she said, is that her research may inform others’ understanding of precipitation processes in the high Andes — how they have changed in the past and how they might change in the future — so that people there, many of whom rely heavily on precipitation and glacial meltwater for farming, tourism and hydroelectric power, can prepare and adapt. 52 • 2019


{ Mountain to Mountain }

Pictured from left to right, senior sustainable technology major Evan Shinn, junior sustainable technology major Griffin Payne, Appalachian alumna Tessa Bennett ’18, and senior sustainable technology majors Matt Kirby and Nikki Cook pause for a picture during a tour of Machu Picchu. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Renewable solutions -renewed purpose By Jan Todd ’84

During summer 2018, a group of Appalachian students traversed Peru — from the heights of Machu Picchu down to the gateway of the Amazon rainforest — to immerse themselves in Incan history and culture while sharing and learning sustainability practices, Mountaineer-style. While in Peru, the group visited ruins in the Inca Empire; attended workshops with students from Universidad Nacional de San Antonio Abad del Cusco (UNSAAC), a public university in Cusco; designed and built photovoltaic (PV or solar-powered) systems to implement in rural areas of the country; and assessed needs for future energy projects. Assistant professor Dr. Jeremy Ferrell and Practitioner-in-Residence Brent Summerville, both of the university’s Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment (STBE), led this group of 14 students — all of whom, save one, are enrolled in the STBE department — into what Ferrell described as a paradigm-shifting experience. “In Peru, there is archaeology, stone masonry that Western science still doesn’t know how to explain, and several climates butted up against one another — a coastal environment, glaciers and snow-capped today.appstate.edu • 53


{ Mountain to Mountain }

Pictured from left to right in foreground, senior sustainable technology majors Matt Kirby and Nikki Cook, along with senior sustainable technology major Evan Shinn and Appalachian alum Seth Daughety ’18, assist in building a solar streetlamp during a two-day workshop held at Universidad Nacional de San Antonia Abad del Cusco (UNSAAC) in Cusco, Peru. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

mountains, high elevation climates and the Amazon basin with incredible biodiversity,” Ferrell said. “From an ecology and environmental aspect, with resources and renewable energy resources, there is a lot going on there.”

Lessons from the past Through touring Incan architectural sites in Saqsaywamán, Ollantaytambo and Machu Picchu, Ferrell said students gained an appreciation for building methods that predate Western civilization. “When people see those massive Incan stone works put in place without any type of modern technology, it reshapes our thinking about the way the world is and the way the world works,” he said. “In thinking about sustainable technology, we tend to focus on solar panels and wind generators and things like that,” Ferrell said. “But it is a discipline about finding the right technology to implement — whether for producing energy, cleaning water or creating a built environment.” 54 • 2019

Many of the structures the group visited were built by the Incas in the 1400s. “Part of sustainability is durability, being able to last,” Ferrell said. “That’s a valuable lesson for our students to learn.”

Collaborative learning, sustainable action While in Cusco, the group from Appalachian conducted a two-day workshop on stand-alone PV systems with physics students and faculty from UNSAAC. Ferrell said that while an estimated 12 percent of the global population lives without electricity, cell phone reception is often found in even remote areas of the world, and some people must walk miles to charge their phones. This knowledge directed the focus of the project, and the students designed and constructed two PV systems for lighting and cell phone charging. One system was installed at UNSAAC, and the second was placed in Pucarami, a remote community at the foot of the Ausangate Glacier.


Senior sustainable technology major Nikki Cook works on installing the solar streetlamp in Pucarumi. She was the project manager for the installation. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

As night falls on Pucarumi, the completed Appalachian Streetlamp lights up. The solar streetlamp also allows residents and visitors to power their cell phones and other small electronic devices. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85 today.appstate.edu • 55


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{ Mountain to Mountain }

Working with the students at UNSAAC was a rewarding experience for Tessa Bennett ’18, who was a senior at Appalachian during the trip and has since graduated with a B.S. in sustainable development (SD). “The students there were so smart and eager to share what they knew,” she said.

learn from one another while managing various projects on the other side of the globe.

With the UNSAAC students, Appalachian students demonstrated an improved cook stove, which could replace the traditional wood-fire cooking used in village homes, potentially reducing air pollution, deforestation and the use of fossil fuels.

Nikki Cook, a senior from Raleigh, North Carolina, who served as project manager for the installation, said it will allow the residents of the remote area “to charge their phones for free so they can call loved ones, have light when they need it.”

Adam Mattheis, a senior from Raleigh, North Carolina, said the cook stove works like a kiln. “It’s super insulated and once you make a fire … if you keep feeding it, it burns so hot there are no emissions. You can cook inside a house without smoke ... and that smoke is so bad for the children.” As the sole SD major on the trip, Bennett said learning about the technical side of sustainable action was a bonus. SD is based more on policy and practices, she said, not building systems to solve problems. “Generally, the two don’t work together,” she explained, “but I like having a taste of both sides.”

Assessments and solutions Moving on to Ollantaytambo, the group met up with Dr. Baker Perry, professor of geography at Appalachian, who was leading another study abroad course in Peru to investigate the effects of climate change on dynamic tropical glaciers. There, Ferrell, Summerville and Baker, along with their students, collaborated on a wind energy assessment to determine the feasibility of installing a community-scale wind turbine at the Sacred Valley Brewery in nearby Pachar to help power the plant. Ferrell said the experience collaborating with Perry and his students provided an opportunity to

Ferrell’s group headed on to Pucarumi to perform a community needs assessment there. They installed the PV post — affectionately dubbed the Appalachian Streetlamp — which is synchronized to turn on at sunset and off at sunrise.

“That’s what so cool about renewables,” Mattheis said. “You’re getting it free from thin air. It’s a really cool technology. It’s a win-win for everybody.”

A bond that ‘can’t be replicated’ Ferrell said trips like this one help students see how the global marketplace is interconnected, how cultural aspects are woven together. “Students may end up working in a corporate structure with people on the other side of the world. This trip was a great immersion into thinking like a global citizen,” he said. “Also, these trips result in a strong bond between the students and faculty that can’t be replicated in the classroom,” Ferrell said. The students more than affirmed his assessment. Bennett said the trip was life changing. “Peru is a magical place. I saw some of my friends from the trip a while ago, and they said they feel they have changed … one friend said he even stopped smoking because of the experience.” And Mattheis said it made him dream big — dream of being the person who could convince the leaders of governments to build solar plants. “It would help boost economies, and create jobs — making panels and installing.”

Dr. Jeremy Ferrell, far left, shows off the features of the “rocket stove” to residents of Pucarumi. The biomass-fueled stove has a solar component that runs a fan and powers a small light. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

View the video gallery at today.appstate.edu

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Student Success A clear path

Appalachian provides the resources and support students need to stay focused and on track — academically, financially and personally. Data and accolades indicate we are doing it well. But many factors impact a student’s success at Appalachian. Three students profiled in this section have discovered individual tactics for success: scholarship, international exchange, and community outreach and engagement. Their stories are inspirational for others and representative of thousands more.

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{ Student Success }

Appalachian’s newest students during the first day of the fall 2018 semester. Photo by Chase Reynolds ’17

“Student Success at Appalachian Finding balance academically, financially, personally

1

Winning from day Compiled by Elisabeth Wall

The Appalachian Experience reaches far beyond the classroom, and the opportunity for success depends on balancing a number of new experiences — academic, financial and personal well-being.

Students working long hours to meet expenses may fall behind academically. Family issues may force academically sound students to miss classes repeatedly. Students struggling with one or two classes may avoid admitting, until far too late, they need assistance.

Appalachian recognizes these challenges and has systems, personnel and strategies in place to ensure students have the help they need in all three areas — possibly one reason the university’s retention and debt repayment rates are significantly higher than the national average.

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{ Student Success }

Dr. Greg Lester, executive director of academic advising and student success at Appalachian State University, outside the Office of Student Success. Photo by Chase Reynolds ’17

All in the name — the Office of Student Success By Elisabeth Wall

Whether students are struggling or excelling, the Office of Student Success is dedicated to providing timely outreach to help students make the most of their time as Mountaineers. Dr. Greg Lester ’98 M.A., executive director of academic advising and student success at Appalachian, said early intervention is key. All students whose cumulative GPA falls below a 2.0 take a mandatory Academic Success Workshop the semester following the grade drop. “Students consistently tell us they gain skills and learn tactics in academic workshops that help them in this and future semesters,” Lester said. “They gain a better understanding of the risks and of what they need to do to succeed.” A number of programs are offered through Appalachian’s Student Learning Center, including tutoring, academic strategy instruction, Academic Services for Student Athletes and As-U-R, an intensive student support program focused on supporting students with executive function challenges.

“Our Early Intervention Team, Upward Bound program and services supported by the Student Learning Center are just a few of the programs that have led to Appalachian’s impressive overall retention rate to reach sophomore status. At 87.2 percent, Appalachian is performing nearly 20 percent above the national average.” — Chancellor Sheri Everts 60 • 2019


disco (dis’ko), v. Lat: learn; become acquainted with; acquire knowledge of

Success tactics: • The Student Learning Center — dubbed The Disco in honor of its location in the building named after one of the university’s founders, Dauphin Disco Dougherty — provides tutoring and academic assistance for all levels of student need. • A cross-disciplinary team of faculty members from our College of Arts and Sciences and the Reich College of Education recently received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a program for high achievers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, or STEM. The program will help address the need for a high-quality STEM workforce and increase success for low-income, academically talented students who are pursuing degrees in STEM fields. • A new one-hour College to Career course is designed to facilitate students’ professional and career development paths. The course objectives include enhancing skills in networking, interviewing, financial literacy and writing. • An Early Intervention Team comprising faculty and staff from multiple campus units meets with students who are showing signs of difficulty with university life and have been referred by faculty or staff. The meetings with referred students are nondisciplinary and are intended to offer support, as well as connect students with resources that can assist them to become healthier and more productive members of the community. • The U.S. Department of Education has funded the fourth year of Appalachian’s Federal TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) program, giving Appalachian the opportunity to continue its support of firstgeneration and/or low-income students — from enrollment through degree completion.

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{ Student Success }

Bryan Bouboulis, senior lecturer in the Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance in Appalachian’s Walker College of Business, is an advocate for helping develop students’ fiscal literacy and responsibility. His Personal Finance course provides a study of the key concepts and tools that are necessary to help students manage their personal finances and avoid financial difficulties as they transition from college life to their professional careers. Photo by Chase Reynolds ’17

Fiscal profile of a student

An Appalachian education compares favorably

For the 2017–18 academic year:

• 68 percent of Appalachian students received some type of aid. • 30 percent of undergraduates were recipients of Pell Grants — debtfree money the federal government provides for eligible students to pay for college. • 12 percent (around 2,405 students) were at or below the federal poverty guidelines.

• Appalachian’s cost for tuition, fees, standard room and board, and most textbooks for the 2017–18 academic year is $14,645 for North Carolina residents and $29,452 for out-of-state residents. • The national average cost, for the same items, according to CollegeData, is $22,020 for state residents at public colleges and $37,676 for out-of-state residents attending public universities.

Appalachian students are paying their college loan debt

the national average is 62 • 2019

47%


Dr. Alex Howard, director of Appalachian’s Wellness and Prevention Services. Photo by Chase Reynolds ’17

Wellness — what it means, why it matters By Dr. Linda Coutant ’01 ’17

Personal well-being is a critical factor in student success. Dr. Alex F. Howard, director of Wellness and Prevention Services, views wellness as a measure of how well a person is functioning when considering their holistic experience — not just physical health, but intellectual, social, emotional, financial and more. His unit supports Appalachian students’ overall health and well-being through a variety of programs and services, addressing a total of eight dimensions. The other dimensions are environmental, occupational and spiritual. Everyone in the Appalachian Community contributes to student wellness, according to Howard. “Success is a collective effort,” he said. Wellness and Prevention Services offers a number of programs addressing alcohol and other drugs, mental health, general wellness, nutrition and body image, support groups, sexual health and peer education. The unit is in the middle of a four-year assessment cycle to measure student wellness so it can make data-driven decisions about its programming. Through that assessment, four groups have been identified as needing additional support: those with dependents (children or parents), first-generation students, students with financial needs and students with addictions. “We’re asking, ‘How do we create intentional and appropriate services to address these students?’” Howard said. “Identifying, protecting and enhancing student well-being does not belong to one unit on campus — it’s everyone’s responsibility.”

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Changing Lives through Scholarships

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{ Student Success }

Scholarship changed the conversation for Jessica Payne By Anna Kimbro ’17

When B.B. and D.D. Dougherty founded Watauga Academy in 1899 — later to become Appalachian State University — they were building on the belief an education means empowerment. For Jessica Payne, who is from Denton, North Carolina, and in her first year at Appalachian, that philosophy is making her dreams a reality. Growing up, Payne said she always knew she wanted to attend college. Although no one in her family had attended college, she knew both the challenges and opportunity that came with that commitment. But coming from a small town made up of mostly low-income households, Payne had witnessed the burden of college tuition debt on others. “I come from a family that has always struggled financially,” she shared. “I remember times from my childhood where my entire family had to skip meals at least twice a week to accommodate for things such as rent or a water bill. College was always a conversation that got cut short when costs came up.” Payne was determined to get a degree, but she knew her family could not afford to help her pay for it. As deadlines approached, her dreams were starting to look unreachable. Then, Appalachian offered Payne something that changed everything — a scholarship. “When I got the letter, I didn’t believe it,” she said. “Something this fortunate and absolutely amazing couldn’t be real. I waited until the very last minute to accept because I just couldn’t believe it.” With that scholarship letter, a new world of opportunity opened for Payne. Her goal is to major in biology with a concentration in cell/ molecular biology and to move on to veterinary school after graduation.

Animals are her passion, she said, but she was not able to have a pet growing up. Now, she knows her education at Appalachian will enable her to pursue a career where she will get to care for the animals she loves every day. Payne’s scholarship has empowered her to achieve her dreams and break the cycle of financial stress. But it has done more — it has provided her with a home. “Without this scholarship, I’m homeless. But this has given me guaranteed housing until I graduate,” she said. “That is such a relief — to know I have a place to live.” In a letter to the donor who funded her scholarship, Payne wrote, “I cannot express how much of a burden has come off not only my shoulders, but my family’s as well. It is because of you that I will have a college education. It is because of you that my future children will not have to purposely skip meals the way that I had to. And it is because of you that all of the animals that I plan to save using my degree will now have a home. I am forever grateful and so very appreciative of your generosity.” “Opportunity. Empowerment. A changed life. These are the impacts of Appalachian. The university is committed to seeing students like Jessica Payne achieve their dreams. Without the donors who have elevated and transformed Appalachian’s students’ lives, Appalachian’s mission would not be possible.” — Dr. Randy Edwards, vice chancellor for university advancement

give.appstate.edu

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Meet

Murlio Artese

comedian and Appalachian Student Ambassador By Alex Jansen

At Appalachian, senior Murilo Artese wears many different hats — improv comedian, student ambassador and communication major with a concentration in electronic media/broadcasting, to name a few — which he pairs with his signature red glasses.

— so I’m working towards writing my own television scripts,” he said.

From Brazil to Boone Artese, of São Paulo, Brazil, was an exchange student in Hickory, North Carolina, his senior year of high school. His host mother was an Appalachian alumna, which provided him the opportunity to tour and visit Appalachian’s main campus. When Artese returned to Brazil, he gave a PowerPoint presentation to his parents about his desire to attend college in the United States. He included a good bit about Appalachian — the only school to which he ultimately applied. Before he left home for Boone — and despite his mother’s reservations — Artese purchased a pair of bold red glasses that have become his trademark. “I believe glasses have the power to showcase people’s personality without them saying a word,” Artese said, “and my red glasses have definitely helped me showcase who I am.”

66 • 2019

But, in other areas, his first year was a struggle, he said. Something didn’t feel right: “I still had a question in the back of my mind of whether this was where I was supposed to be and if I was making the right choice.” He decided to become involved with Getting involved Artese found his academic niche quickly. He learned about Appalachian’s electronic media and broadcasting program from a friend during his first year. After taking some of the program’s classes, Artese knew he wanted to work on the creative side of television. “I’m minoring in English — focusing on creative writing

Photos by Chase Reynolds ’17


{ Student Success }

organizations around campus, joining NouN Improv Comedy, Appalachian’s improvisational comedy troupe, and becoming an Appalachian Student Ambassador. Artese said being involved helped him to “grow professionally (and) become more comfortable with myself and my experiences with telling my story.” Professional development and the first rule of improv Artese said improvisational comedy has helped his professional development. “A lot of people don’t understand how awesome improv can be in terms of helping in professional development and your daily life,” Artese said. He said the first rule of improvisational comedy is to say “yes, and” — meaning not only should a participant accept what the other participant said, they should expand on the line of thinking by adding to the narrative.

For Artese, the rule goes beyond improv.

A representative of the school he loves

“When working in groups or in an interview when you don’t really know what you’re saying, you just go with the flow and keep going.” Artese said. “Just accept what’s surrounding you.”

As a student ambassador, Artese serves three main offices on campus: the Office of Admissions, the Alumni Association and the Office of the Chancellor. The ambassadors are widely recognized as campus tour guides.

NouN Improv Comedy, in particular, he said, helped create the feeling he experiences on ambassador tours, which is having found his “family away from family” at Appalachian. He said a family was created within the troupe because it was so fun. Artese remembers his first show at Appalachian’s Legends: It was “the first time I actually felt like Appalachian was the place for me,” he said. “Over 200 people came to see us, and I was so terrified,” Artese said. “Before the show, we do this little circle where we all talk and it was an emotional moment. “It was where I realized, ‘This is awesome. This is it; this is for me.’”

“Being a student ambassador has shaped my college career for the best,” Artese said. “I have no words to describe the feeling of when I hear a student saying that I played a vital role in their college decision. To be able to represent this university that I love in this capacity is a privilege and an honor.” “What I tell the people on my tours is that, even though I’m from far away, I still had to choose a place that made me feel comfortable and that I thought would challenge me,” Artese said. “My reason to be here is not that different from their reality.”

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Rachel Gallardo, left, and Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts are all smiles on the Kidd Brewer Stadium field during halftime of the 2018 Homecoming football game. Photo by Chase Reynolds ’17

2018 Top of the Rock — a rock for many By Alex Jansen

Appalachian’s Top of the Rock recipients are recognized for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the success of others. Rachel Gallardo, the 2018 recipient, certainly qualifies. The senior nutrition and foods major, whose concentration is dietetics, is manager for Appalachian’s wrestling team and percussion section leader in the Marching Mountaineers. As a member of the Broken Pancreas Club, the Hispanic Student Association and the Appalachian Student Dietetics Association, Gallardo is part of a support system for many.

“Wrestling is tough like diabetes,” she said. “Watching them win, it’s great, but when they lose, emotionally it’s really hard. I try to be there and be that emotional neutrality, even for the coaches. It is more than keeping score. It is being there and showing that support. “I love knowing that I am doing my part to further the involvement of women in this sport,” Gallardo said. She said she aspires to be a coach, to start her own wrestling club program and to “spread the good word” about a sport she says isn’t as mainstream as others. Representing more than the diabetic community

Gallardo, of Eden, North Carolina, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 3, learned from two health caregivers and her parents the value of a support system.

Gallardo was representing the Broken Pancreas Club, Appalachian’s chapter of the College Diabetes Network, when she was named Top of the Rock.

‘Wrestling is tough like diabetes’

“There are so many young people who live with this illness in silence, and they sit and they suffer alone, and it’s not fair.” That is her motivation for studying dietetics, and why she is proud to be the megaphone for the diabetic community.

As the wrestling team’s manager, Gallardo keeps score and time, manages the database and handles office duties, but for her, it goes beyond that. 68 • 2019


Academic Excellence Well-ranked and forward thinking

National publications consistently rank Appalachian among the top schools in the South for undergraduate teaching, academic innovation and value. Our stellar faculty is among the reasons why. Each day, faculty members come to campus energized to make a difference in students’ lives, whether through engaging instruction, research mentoring or visionary ideas that take learning at Appalachian to the next level. Read about some of the accomplishments within Appalachian’s degree-granting academic colleges and schools.

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Dr. Rahman Tashakkori, chair of the computer science department and Lowe’s Distinguished Professor of Computer Science, works with graduate student Gurney Buchanan to create a web application for the management and analysis of honey bee data. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Senior criminal justice major K’Lynn Beal poses with the research poster she made about her summer 2018 internship with the NC DPS Division of Adult Correction and Juvenile Justice in Raleigh, N.C. Photo by Ellen Gwin Burnette ’05

cas.appstate.edu

Dr. Cameron Gokee, assistant professor in Appalachian’s Department of Anthropology, was awarded Best Book Prize by the Society for Africanist Archaeologists for his book “Assembling the Village in Medieval Bambuk: An Archaeology of Interaction at Diouboye, Senegal.” Dr. Lynne Getz, professor in Appalachian’s Department of History, received the Barbara “Penny” Kanner Prize from the Western Association of Women Historians (WAWH) for her book “Abolitionists, Doctors, Ranchers, and Writers: A Family Journey through American History.” Dr. Harvard G. Ayers, professor emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at Appalachian, was recognized among the top 100 Best Independently Published Books by Shelf Unbound for his book “Train Wreck Earth,” which he co-authored with David Harman. Thomas Hansell, Honors College faculty member, associate professor in the Appalachian studies program and co-director of Appalachian’s University Documentary Film Services, created the documentary “After Coal,” which was adapted into a book in November 2018. 70 • 2019


Funded by the College of Arts and Sciences, the SOAR program (STEM Opportunities Are Realized) is a summer bridge program that provides students with extra support in math and chemistry. Photo by Ellen Gwin Burnette ’05

Participants from campus and the community worked with inventor, writer, producer and educator Kurt Przybilla in a workshop on building geodesic domes as part of Black Mountain College Semester at Appalachian. Photo by Ellen Gwin Burnette ’05

Teaching • Research • Engagement

Appalachian alumna Carmen Scoggins ’94 ’98 is the recipient of the College of Arts and Sciences’ 2017–18 Outstanding Alumni Award. She holds a B.S. and an M.A. in Spanish education from Appalachian and is a National Board Certified Teacher. Scoggins has spent her career of 25 years in Watauga County and currently teaches Spanish at Watauga High School and as an adjunct instructor at Appalachian. Photo submitted

Currently made up of 13 members, the CAS (College of Arts and Sciences) Corps act as student ambassadors, sharing their transformational education experiences to a variety of internal and external audiences in order to facilitate opportunities for academic and professional growth. Photo by Ellen Gwin Burnette ’05

“The SAFE grant provided me with my first opportunity to work on research with a student and provided that student with hands-on experience that they can now take with them as they pursue entry into graduate school.” — Dr. Ellen Lamont, assistant professor, Department of Sociology today.appstate.edu • 71


{ Academic Excellence }

A P PA L AC H I A N S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

faa.appstate.edu

Artist Ed Woodham, far left, hosts a workshop with students at the College of Fine and Applied Arts’ HOW Space during his visit in spring 2017. Under his guidance, art students and faculty partnered with community groups to plan and host the High Country Spring Procession, a celebration of springtime and life in Boone, N.C. Photo by Erin Durham

HOW Space equals community-making By Meghan McCandless

In September 2018, the College of Fine and Applied Arts at Appalachian reached an agreement with the Town of Boone to continue supporting the HOW Space — a collaborative downtown venue fostering diverse programming, events and ideas. Located on Howard Street, the converted garage welcomes both campus and community programs. Since it first opened in April 2017, HOW Space has hosted more than 170 events serving approximately 10,700 people, including art exhibitions and openings, student- and faculty-led initiatives, visiting artist meet-and-greets, receptions, plays, children’s workshops and even a weekly swing dancing group. HOW Space Director IlaSahai Prouty, who is also associate professor and assistant chair of the college’s Department of Art, said the venue is designed to be a place where different populations of people can intersect and collaborate — a place where students, faculty and the community can work together to ask and answer the who, what, when, where, why and how questions that come up as part of scholarly work and creative practice. 72 • 2019


“Establishing collaborative relationships with the community is a point of pride for the college. We are always looking for outreach and partnership opportunities benefiting students and the community alike.” — College of Fine and Applied Arts Dean Phyllis Kloda

The ribbon-cutting of the first tiny house built for Life Village, a residential community for adults with disabilities. The house was built during summer 2018 by 12 students in the Department of Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Boone, N.C., community access channel AppTV now offers updated programming options, including a livestream of Appalachian’s 2018 homecoming parade. Pictured are junior communication, electronic media/broadcasting major Anna Jones, of Charlotte, N.C., left, and Dr. Janice Pope, professor in and interim chair of Appalachian’s Department of Communication and Honors College professor. Photo by Garner Dewey

Points of Pride: • The Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development partnered with Appalachian’s Food Services to provide local meat, eggs and produce from its Teaching and Research Farm to on-campus dining facilities. • Applied design students in the spring 2018 Preliminary Design Studio designed and built furniture for the Moses Cone Manor’s minitheater as part of a grant through the Chancellor’s Innovation Scholars Program. • The Department of Art reimagined a school bus to create a solar-powered, mobile Room 13 after-school art program for elementary and middle school students in the community. • The Valborg Theatre celebrated its 25th anniversary with a gala performance of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” — a throwback to the very first play produced when the theater opened in 1994. • Cadets in the Department of Military Science and Leadership partnered with Western Youth Network to offer an afternoon of face painting, tug of war, ROTC skills development and team-building fun for local children. today.appstate.edu • 73


{ Academic Excellence }

A P PA L AC H I A N S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

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“The RCOE invests in student, family and community success. The college fosters academic rigor and relevance, sustainable practices and opportunities for local-to-global service and engagement.” — Excerpt from the RCOE mission statement, revised October 2018

The James Center for Student Success and Advising is the RCOE’s hub for student support. Through the center, students are able to connect with peers, discover resources, participate in professional development, serve the campus and community, and more. Photo by Chase Reynolds ’17

Engaging the state, the region and the world Engagement starts in the new James Center for Student Success and Advising (rededicated in November 2018) located on the first floor of the Reich College of Education (RCOE). Named for donors Steve and Judy James, the center’s mission is to support and retain education majors during their tenure at Appalachian and beyond. The James Center coordinates two residential learning communities: • Appalachian Community of Education Scholars (ACES) — a four-year scholar program for future teachers focusing on mentoring, leadership, service and personal and professional development. • Transfer Educators — provides a supportive and scholarly community for transfer students with intended or declared majors in education. The center’s staff offers 50-plus professional development opportunities for students annually, mentors new alumni through the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program, advises the Appalachian Educators Club — one of Appalachian’s largest student organizations — and coordinates the Education Peer Ambassador Program, a unique leadership opportunity for undergraduate teacher education students. 74 • 2019


Scholarship recipient Katelyn McKinney, center, poses with RCOE Advancement Board Chair John Neathery Jr. ’94 ’96 ’01 and April McKinney Neathery ’98. During the 2017–18 academic year, over 300 RCOE students were awarded $775,000 in scholarships, many of which require service and community engagement. Photo by Heather Brandon ’02

Practice makes perfect. RCOE students work early and often — between 115–140 hours — in real classrooms, such as the Kaleidoscope After-School Program that offers participants a stimulating, multifaceted learning experience. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Points of Pride: • The RCOE is one of North Carolina’s largest teacher preparation programs, with 2,000-plus students and 400-plus graduates annually. • Students participate in unique opportunities like international student teaching and equine therapy courses. • The RCOE’s Lucy Brock Child Development Lab School serves around 100 children at four High Country locations. • More than 6,000 graduates are employed in North Carolina school districts, including 2017–18 Milken Award winner Megan LeFevers ’07. • For the second year in a row, RCOE ranked first in the nation for National Board Certified Teachers — 2,049 alumni hold the national credential.

Related stories: • Equine assisted therapy course at Appalachian prepares future counselors through a “multisensory approach to learning”: today.appstate.edu/2018/06/26/equine-assisted-therapy • Appalachian alumna Meghan LeFevers ’07 wins 2017–18 Milken Educator Award: today.appstate.edu/2018/01/18/lefevers • Dr. Krista Terry named 2018 University of North Carolina System Academic Affairs Faculty Fellow: today.appstate.edu/2018/03/16/terry • 10 years of Naylor Award winners recognized at Appalachian’s Doctoral Spring Symposium: today.appstate.edu/2018/05/18/naylor • IREX grant supports leadership training to enhance Iraqi universities: today.appstate.edu/2018/04/26/iraqi-visitors

today.appstate.edu • 75


{ Academic Excellence }

APPALACHIAN STATE UNIVERSITY

business.appstate.edu

Students in the Walker College of Business (WCOB) learn by doing. Connecting theory to practice, Appalachian business students hone their discipline and test their abilities against peers through global competitions and relevant cocurricular offerings. WCOB students boast a long tradition of competing — and winning — in events in every business discipline. Professional selling students from the WCOB’s Department of Marketing attend the National Collegiate Sales Competition each April, where they compete against students from other universities and interact with industry professionals and recruiters. Pictured, from left, are Jason Pollock, a senior marketing major; Appalachian alumni Shane Heyward ’18 and Bailey Wall ’18; Dr. Jim Stoddard, marketing department chair; Annie Love, assistant director of Appalachian’s Business Career Services; and Appalachian alumni Anthony Corso ’18 and Greg Merzigian ’18. Photo submitted

For 10 consecutive years, students majoring in computer information systems have received the Student Chapter Outstanding Performance Award at the Association of Information Technology Professionals National Collegiate Conference. The chapter has also received multiple Appalachian Student Organization Leadership Awards. Pictured, from left, are Appalachian alumnus Brantley McDonald ’17; David Wilson, a graduate student in the applied data analytics program; Appalachian alumni Dan Collins ’18, Haley Robinson ’18 and Koby Meyer ’17; Dr. Scott Hunsinger, professor in the Department of Computer Information Systems and Supply Chain Management; and Appalachian alumnus Austin King ’17 ’18. Photo by Sabrina Cheves

Graduates of Appalachian’s applied data analytics program and winners of the 2018 Charlotte Hackathon pose with the $10,000 check they received for their work. Pictured, from left to right, are alumni Cameron Barnett ’17 ’18, Daniel Emery ’18 and Kiefer Smith ’15 ’18, who were judged on the quality of their predictions and scalability of code to solve a social problem. Photo by Pete Murphy

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Several students in Appalachian’s Rho Chapter of Gamma Iota Sigma won awards in membership development, chapter management, community service, alumni relations, public relations, and solutions for authenticity, inclusion and diversity during the organization’s international meeting. Appalachian was one of only three chapters nationally to be recognized in all six areas. Pictured, from left, are senior actuarial science major and Honors College student Catherine Lattimore; junior actuarial science major Gina Bixby; senior actuarial science major and Honors College student Andi Olivet; senior risk management and insurance major Brandon Wilkerson; senior finance and banking major Jordan Boyd; junior risk management and insurance major Harrison Cameron; senior risk management and insurance major Kate Ciesinski; senior health care management major Sarah Musser; senior health care management major Avery Fink; senior finance and banking major Tanner McGuire; senior risk management and insurance majors Caroline Jonkers and Reid Cooper; senior actuarial science major Manny Tsra; junior actuarial science major Ellen Collins; junior finance and banking major Kimberly Aguirre; Dr. Karen Epermanis, professor in the finance, banking and insurance department and director of the Risk Management and Insurance and Employee Benefits programs; and first-year risk management and insurance major Gilberto Ramirez. Photo submitted

Nine accounting students earned scholarship awards from the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) to study for and take the Certified Management Accountant exam at no cost. Pictured, from left, are Walker College Dean Heather Hulburt Norris; junior accounting majors Jesse Mazza, Sachin Iyeangar, Andrew Howard and Timothy Mills; senior accounting major Brad Coyote; Dr. Doug Roberts, professor in and chair of the accounting department; junior accounting major Abby Lewis; and Dr. Kim Zahller, assistant professor in the accounting department. Not pictured are junior accounting major Brooke Lane; senior management major and Honors College student Spencer Lavender; and junior accounting major Grantham Williams. The students received an IMA membership for up to three years while pursuing completion of the exam, waived entrance fee to the program, an assessment tool to help assess the content covered on the exam, waived registration fees for the first attempt at both parts of the exam and comprehensive online materials for both exam parts. Photo by Sabrina Cheves today.appstate.edu • 77


{ Academic Excellence }

healthsciences.appstate.edu

“Students who are taking classes and participating in research in Levine Hall today will be improving lives tomorrow. They will be addressing public health concerns and solving global problems. They will be promoting sustainable health as they advocate for healthy food and clean air and water for our citizens. They will touch hundreds and hundreds of lives in positive ways. Maybe they will even touch yours.” — Beaver College of Health Sciences Dean Marie Huff

Dr. Benjamin Russell, clinical associate professor in Appalachian’s Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, pauses from teaching his Audiology class in Appalachian’s Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences to give a thumbs-up on the first day of classes at Appalachian. Russell spoke about the benefits of having his clinic and classroom in the same location: “The opening of Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences gives our college a cohesive presence and allows interdisciplinary collaboration to occur more easily and more naturally.” Photo by Marie Huff

Points of Pride: • BCHS offers 10 undergraduate and six graduate programs that respond to high-need areas in the state and region. • Four- and six-year graduation rates and first-year student retention rates are higher than the state and national averages. • The most recent cohort of graduates from the college’s nursing program had a 100 percent pass rate on their NCLEX (National Council Licensure Examination). • The Communication Disorders Clinic has provided speech and hearing services to the community for over 50 years. • With a focus on sustainability and accessibility, the college’s Office of Advising and Academic Support is 100 percent paperless.

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Pictured, left to right, are Dr. J. “Wayne” Miller ’60 ’76, Joanna Miller Lyall ’90, Kimmon Miller Pruitt ’13 and Katie Lyall. Photo submitted

All in the Appalachian family By Audrey Gurkin ’16

Joanna Lyall ’90, associate vice president and program and campaign manager with the Office of Philanthropy and Alumni Relations at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, recently created a new scholarship to honor her father, Dr. Joseph Wainwright Miller ’60 ’76. Miller was able to attend Appalachian from 1956–60 with the help of a GI Bill after honorably serving his country in the Army. One of four children, Miller was the first in his family to earn a college degree. As an enthusiastic advocate of higher education, Miller took his family on many trips to Boone, North Carolina, to see Appalachian. He always managed to go by Tweetsie Railroad, he said, to pique the interest of Lyall. He said this was all part of his plan, with the hopes that a passion for higher education would develop in Lyall. His plan worked. Lyall went on to earn her degree at Appalachian and her daughter, Katie Lyall, is currently a junior building sciences major at Appalachian. Miller’s niece, Marsha Miller ’82, and great-nieces, Melanie Lowrance ’15 and Kimmon Miller Pruett ’13, also graduated from Appalachian. Lyall serves as a member of the Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS) Advisory Council, providing advice and support to the college. She also serves as a preceptor for interns through her role at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and works with the BCHS to host interns as they explore their future career paths. Lyall has worked with interns since her own graduation, and she credits Appalachian and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s partnership with helping her teach in every area. Lyall said, “We can help bring the next generation along by providing opportunities to explore their various areas of interest while they’re in their internship. We try to have our interns attend all events and meetings, and we cherish their feedback. This process helps us all grow.” today.appstate.edu • 79


{ Academic Excellence }

A P PA L AC H I A N S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

music.appstate.edu

“Studying abroad and completing a music degree often conflict. The Hayes School of Music offers several short-term options for students to learn about music and the world.” — Hayes School of Music Dean James Douthit

Dr. Adam Booker, professor of double bass in Appalachian’s Hayes School of Music, far right, performs with colleagues in Lucca, Italy. Photo submitted

Dr. Suzi Mills, music education program coordinator and professor in Appalachian’s HSOM, left, and Bill Cisco, a member of The Drifters, prepare for a radio interview in South Africa. Photo by Dennis Miller

Points of Pride: • HSOM students have performed and studied internationally in Scandinavia, Italy, Ireland, South Africa, Amsterdam, Denmark, London and Germany. • HSOM music education students have completed student teaching in Germany, Costa Rica and the UK, while music therapy faculty and students have attended conferences in Japan, Denmark, the Czech Republic and the UK. • HSOM faculty have presented papers and performed in Greece, Cuba, Brazil, Denmark, Ireland, Mexico, Russia and Italy.

80 • 2019


Hayes School of Music (HSOM) faculty and students make an impact by spreading music across the globe. This map displays the various countries HSOM faculty and staff traveled to for performances, conferences, student teaching and more.

Where in the world is the Hayes School of Music? By Dr. James Douthit

During summer 2018, the notes of students and faculty in the Hayes School of Music (HSOM) were heard around the world. Appalachian’s Jazz Ensemble I, directed by professor Todd Wright, completed a concert tour of Scandinavian countries. A highlight was performing with students in the Academy of Music and Drama in Gothenburg, Sweden. Dr. Suzi Mills, HSOM professor and music education program director, traveled to the University of Johannesburg in South Africa to participate in the program “Music as Emancipation and Protest,” where she presented music with Bill Cisco of The Drifters, as well as a number of other academic and performing musicians. Dr. Adam Booker, assistant professor of double bass, traveled to Lucca, Italy, to present at the 2018 European Bass Congress. The HSOM works to transform each student’s passion for music into a profession for a lifetime, and international experiences contribute greatly to this effort.

today.appstate.edu • 81


{ Academic Excellence }

graduate.appstate.edu

70th Anniversary

Appalachian graduate students sort clothing at the GOOD+ Foundation as part of the graduate school’s 2018 Graduate Career and Service Trek to New York City. Photo submitted

Dr. Mike McKenzie ’99, dean of Appalachian’s graduate school, welcomes new and returning graduate students at the summer cookout held as classes began for the fall 2018 semester. Photo submitted

Celebrating 70 years of excellence in graduate education (1948–2018) Points of Pride: • Trails to Success hosted 40 events and served 1,397 students in 2017–18. • Appalachian was approved for and will launch a new doctorate in psychology program in fall 2019. • TrailNet, an online personal and professional career resource for all graduate students, launched in September 2018. • Appalachian retained 95 percent of all eligible graduate students for fall 2018. • Appalachian alumnus Dr. Michael (Mike) McKenzie ’99 became dean of the graduate school on July 1, 2018.

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“Appalachian offers mentorship and a hands-on experience to all graduate students at a level not typically seen, along with top-notch opportunities for personal and professional development.” — Dr. Mike McKenzie, dean of the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies

Recipients of the Provost Fellowship are recognized at the graduate school’s 2018 Faculty and Student Awards Ceremony. Pictured, from right to left in the front row, are graduate student Christopher McCloud, a Pensacola, Fla., native pursuing an M.A. in history; Appalachian alumnae Erin Bishop ’18, of Asheville, N.C., and Brianna Bentley ’17 ’18, of Charlotte, N.C.; Kaitlin Chandler ’17, a graduate student in Appalachian’s speech-language pathology program from Lincolnton, N.C.; Bethany Holden ’17, a graduate student in Appalachian’s speech-language pathology program from Wilmington, N.C.; and Mary Clements ’18, of Lincolnton, N.C. Photo submitted

Appalachian’s school of graduate studies embraces change A new academic year has brought changes to the Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies at Appalachian. The school welcomed an alum as our new dean on July 1, 2018, as Dr. Mike McKenzie ’99 returned to Boone, North Carolina. The graduate school is hard at work improving the graduate school student experience and increasing the presence of the graduate school both on and off campus, as well as growing enrollment. The school’s Trails to Success program officially launched in the 2017–18 academic year. The program provides inclusive, comprehensive and transformational professional and personal development, which promotes the advancement of transferable skills and promotes ongoing success for a diverse graduate student community, as these students contribute to a growing society and workforce. The school also established an Enrolled Student Services Advisory Board, which comprises campus partners from major student support services units and across the university. Board members meet quarterly to discuss building a graduate student community and inclusion for all graduate students. today.appstate.edu • 83


{ Academic Excellence }

honors.appstate.edu The Honors College at Appalachian offers an enhanced intellectual experience for the most academically motivated students on campus, one that fosters independent and creative thinking, global engagement and personal integrity. The Honors curriculum includes topically focused, interdisciplinary and discussion-based seminars. It extends to a required international experience, and culminates in an Honors thesis as original research or a creative endeavor. Students in the college are supported and challenged by a community of like-minded learners. From the Honors experience, students emerge as lifelong learners well prepared for postgraduate training — they are leaders of the future.

Hannah Davenport poses at the top of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa. Photo submitted

Makayla Wood plays with a baby cheetah at the Animal Creche in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo submitted

Honors rising juniors and pre-med majors Makayla Wood and Hannah Davenport traveled to South Africa in summer 2018 for a clinical shadowing and emergency medicine program. This faculty-led study abroad program was designed and led specifically for Appalachian pre-med and pre-PA (physicians assistant) students by Dr. Chishimba Nathan Mowa, professor of physiology and endocrinology in Appalachian’s Department of Biology.

Pictured, from left to right, first-year Honors students Dani Hitchcock, Maddy Ogrady and Cori Ferguson complete an engaged learning exercise — a photography assignment — in the First Year Seminar Balanced Brains course on Oct. 29, 2018. Photo by Honors student Sarah Royster

84 • 2019


Jarrod Mayes ’16 designs for change in NYC In May 2018, Honors alumnus Jarrod Mayes ’16 was selected as a finalist for the Fellowship for Change in Design with the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). He wrote, “I applied to the Center for Urban Pedagogy’s Fellowship for Change in Design, (and) their starstudded jury selected me as a finalist. Seriously, they are absolute giants in the field! It is extremely humbling that they saw something in my work.” Then, just as Mayes was named a finalist for the CUP fellowship, he landed another opportunity — an offer from Brooklyn design studio Hyperakt. At Appalachian, Mayes was a graphic design major who worked on his Honors thesis, “Past Bleed Present,” with mentor Tricia Treacy, associate professor of graphic design. While a student, Mayes also designed promotional materials for the Honors College. Jarrod Mayes ’16 at the Honors College Graduation in December 2016. Photo by Shauna Caldwell

As a service-learning activity during their “Day at the Farm” in August 2018, Honors College students and students in Appalachian’s Goodnight Family Department of Sustainable Development collaboratively hoe a garden plot at the university’s Sustainable Development Teaching and Research Farm. Photo by Garrett McDowell

Honors College opportunities abound. Here’s a random selection from a few weeks’ worth of Honors Wednesday Memos: • Appstate-Università di Padua Bioarchaeological Field School The purpose of this program is to teach students human osteology.

• Inclusive Leadership Retreat The retreat is focused on sharing Sustained Dialogue principles and the Dialogue to Action process to help participants gain skills in active listening and inclusive language. • The Science Enrichment Preparation (S.E.P.) Program The S.E.P. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers an eight-week honors level experience for rising first- and second-year students. S.E.P. serves firstgeneration, underrepresented minority, rural, and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged undergraduate students.

today.appstate.edu • 85


{ Academic Excellence }

library.appstate.edu

The W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection turns 50 By Lynn Patterson ’89

On Oct. 18, 2018, University Libraries at Appalachian marked the 50th anniversary of the W.L Eury Appalachian Collection. This globally renowned collection consists of more than 44,000 volumes of books, over 200 periodical subscriptions, 8,000 sound recordings and 1,500 videos and DVDs related to the Southern uplands. The collection was named for former librarian William Leonard Eury. Eury joined Appalachian Normal School on a full-time basis in 1929. He served as the institution’s librarian until his retirement in 1970. During his long career at Appalachian, the school evolved into Appalachian State Teachers College and then into Appalachian State University. Eury managed the library’s growth — from two small rooms with about 2,000 books in 1929, through the establishment of the D.D. Dougherty Library, and the library’s eventual move into the former Carol Grotnes Belk Library, now known as Old Library Classroom Building. He also developed a separate Music Library, which is housed in Appalachian’s Broyhill Music Center.

Librarian W.L. Eury in the stacks at Appalachian, circa 1962. Photo courtesy of Appalachian State University Archives

Of his many accomplishments at Appalachian, Eury often said he was most proud of the role he played in establishing a special collection devoted to preserving materials related to the Appalachian region. That collection, which bears his name, was dedicated in his honor in 1971. The collection has gained global recognition, as it has increased from 5,000 books to 54,000. Dr. Fred Hay, current director of the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, said, “Continued growth within the collection puts University Libraries and Appalachian State University on the map in the world of libraries and research about the Appalachian region.” Today, the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection is noted by scholars and researchers worldwide as the premier collection for the study of the Appalachian region. The collection has continued to grow and expand in size and scope and will continue to be the cornerstone for research about the Appalachian region well into the future.

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“I am honored to join my colleagues in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection. Founded as the Appalachian Room in 1968, the collection has grown to be the largest, most comprehensive collection of materials on Appalachia that exists. We are excited to recognize and continue the esteemed reputation and traditions set forth by the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection, now and for the next 50 years.” — University Libraries Dean Dane Ward

Four Appalachian students use the reading area located on the fourth floor of the Belk Library, which is home to the W.L. Eury Appalachian Collection. The collection contains more than 44,000 volumes of books, over 200 periodical subscriptions, 8,000 sound recordings and 1,500 videos and DVDs related to the Southern uplands. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

A circa 1960s graduating class from Allen High School in Asheville, North Carolina. The Allen School was founded in the Asheville, North Carolina, area in the late 19th century as an all-female boarding school for African-Americans. Photo courtesy of Appalachian’s Allen School Collection

Congressman James “Jim” Broyhill, center, meets with President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H.W. Bush in the White House. Photo courtesy of Appalachian’s James T. Broyhill Papers

The W.L. Eury Collection also boasts: • The premier shape note hymnal collection in the world. • The W. Amos Abrams Folksong Collection, which consists of approximately 1,100 document pages that compose some 400 individual song titles, which contains what may be the first recording of local musician Arthel Lane “Doc” Watson. • An intensive collection of Appalachian photography, including Appalachian State University Historical Photographs and the works of William A. Bake and Jack Jeffers. • The Ralph Finkel collection of rock climbing maps and books covering North Carolina and beyond. • An extensive train collection, featuring early film footage of Tweetsie Railroad. • An extensive number of early and current regional newspapers on microfilm and paper. • The Allen School Collection. The Allen School was founded in the Asheville, North Carolina, area in the late 19th century as an all-female boarding school for African-Americans. The school boasts singer and civil rights movement activist Nina Simone among its graduates. • The James Thomas Broyhill Papers. The Broyhill Papers contain the political papers generated during Broyhill’s term as a U.S. representative between 1963 and 1986, six months as a U.S. senator in 1986 and his term as Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

today.appstate.edu • 87


A P PA L AC H I A N S TAT E U N I V E R S I T Y

universitycollege.appstate.edu

Common Reading Program engages new students Compiled by Jessica Stump

Since 1997, incoming first-year students at Appalachian have been asked to read a book as part of their orientation to the university. Appalachian’s Common Reading Program, a unit within Appalachian’s University College, selects a book for incoming first-year students to read together, so they will enter the university with at least one intellectual experience in common. Comparing ideas about the book offers new students a way to begin conversations with other new students, establishing a common academic community. Dr. Mark Ginn, vice provost for undergraduate education, said the reading program “supports a culture of intellectual engagement in a variety of contexts, both inside and outside the classroom; encourages students to engage with texts critically with the expectation of building topical and global knowledge; and enables students to practice civil discourse in a dissensual community.” In addition, this experience reinforces communication skills and serves to remind students of how strongly Appalachian values the intellectual and academic development of its students.  First Year Seminar classes are assigned the book and students participate in events and activities related to the book and its themes throughout the academic year. The authors are featured speakers on campus, usually at convocation.   88 • 2019


2018–19 reading selection The 2018–19 book selection is “The Laramie Project” — a play by Moisés Kaufman and members of Tectonic Theater Project. Kaufman is founder and director of the Tectonic Theater Project. “The Laramie Project” is about the community of Laramie, Wyoming, in the aftermath of the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, who was a gay student at the University of Wyoming. The murder, which was denounced as a hate crime, sparked a national debate.

Playwright Moisés Kaufman, author of “The Laramie Project” and founder and director of the Tectonic Theater Project. “The Laramie Project” was the Common Reading Program’s selection for the 2018–19 academic year. Photo submitted

“‘The Laramie Project’ represents a creative and illuminating response to an act of inhumane violence. The various perspectives about exclusion, violence and community membership offered by ‘The Laramie Project’ are quite relevant for our incoming first-year students, whom we hope will engage in discussions about the issues that shape our community,” said Dr. Martha McCaughey, director of the Common Reading Program.

2019–20 reading selection The program’s 2019–20 selection, “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson, details the injustices of a broken criminal justice system that punishes poor people and sets forth Stevenson’s work to improve that system. “The Common Reading Committee selected ‘Just Mercy’ for its relevance to a wide range of academic disciplines, and because Stevenson’s work has had a profound impact on our society,” McCaughey said. The author, a graduate of Harvard Law School and founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama, has dedicated his career as a public interest lawyer to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned.

Author Bryan Stevenson. Stevenson’s book “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” is the 2019–20 selection of Appalachian’s Common Reading Program. Photo submitted

The Equal Justice Initiative has exonerated innocent death row prisoners, won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, aided children prosecuted as adults and opposed the abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill. Stevenson successfully argued in the U.S. Supreme Court that mandatory life without parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Most recently, with the Equal Justice Initiative, Stevenson founded the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, also known as the Lynching Memorial, in Montgomery. today.appstate.edu • 89


{ The Arts }

A performance by the Ballet Folklórico de México. Photo submitted

“The Schaefer Center Presents …” performance series offers campus and community audiences a diverse array of music, dance and theater programming by nationally and internationally renowned artists. Through related educational and outreach activities, the series promotes the power and excitement of the live performance experience.

Visitors to Appalachian’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts study a piece of artwork in the “Art from Down Under: Australia to New Zealand” exhibit. Photo submitted

The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts offers free admission for 20,000 visitors annually and supports lifelong learning and engagement with the visual arts. Its seven galleries host changing exhibitions featuring a blend of contemporary and historically important work by nationally and internationally renowned artists, as well as regional artists.

Arts engagement at Appalachian Quality of life, community-building and a commitment to lifelong learning are key to the mission of arts programming at Appalachian. Appalachian’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and Office of Arts and Cultural Programs offer arts engagement and cultural resources programming — including “The Schaefer Center Presents …” performance series, An Appalachian Summer Festival and more — that complements classroom studies.

The Appalachian Community gathers for an event at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Photo submitted

Annually, more than 8,000 Western North Carolina students have access to K–12 arts education and outreach programs through Appalachian’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. Turchin Center exhibitions and Schaefer Center performances, which are part of the APPlause! K–12 Performing Arts Series, bring local, regional and world-renowned professional artists to the High Country. 90 • 2019

The Eastern Festival Orchestra performs in Appalachian’s Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts as part of the 2018 An Appalachian Summer Festival. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Now entering its 35th season, An Appalachian Summer Festival has grown from a popular regional event to a destination for visitors from around the country who are attracted to the festival for the breadth and quality of its artistic programming, as well as the natural beauty of its High Country setting. The festival, presented throughout July, offers the very best in music, dance, theater, film and the visual arts.


An APPlause! Series performance. Photo submitted

Inspiring a love of learning through the arts By Denise Ringler

School buses lining Rivers Street, in the heart of Appalachian’s campus, have become a frequent sight — thousands of students travel annually to fill the seats of Appalachian’s Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. The center offers regional K–12 students and their teachers affordable music, dance and theater performances ranging from high-energy acrobatics, to Appalachian music, to international dance, to literary classics brought to life through theatrical productions. The performances are part of the APPlause! K–12 Performing Arts Series presented by Appalachian’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs. The program’s mission is to inspire a love of learning through the arts by connecting university arts resources to young audiences in the public, private and home-school networks across 11 counties in Western North Carolina. The APPlause! Series has featured such artists as the North Carolina Symphony, Golden Dragon Acrobats, Ballet Folklórico de Mexico, Black Violin and several others, as well as theatrical productions of “The Miracle Worker,” “The Diary of Anne Frank” and American Shakespeare Center’s “Julius Caesar.” During the 2017–18 season, over 8,000 students attended a live performance as part of the APPlause! Series. Many of them also enjoyed a campus tour and had lunch in a university dining hall. A visit to the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts was also on the agenda. To fulfill its mission, the program collaborates with Appalachian’s Office of Admissions, which supports area students, teachers and school districts in promoting access to higher education. Through its success and potential to spark imaginations, the APPlause! Series opens doors to a bright future for students across the High Country.

today.appstate.edu • 91


{ Mountaineer Athletics }

Women’s athletics at Appalachian

— 50 years in the game By Tyler Hotz and Appalachian Athletics

The birthplace of women’s sports at Appalachian began on an old grass field in Durham Park. Mountaineers of past and present can thank alumna Jan Watson ’67 for getting it all started. In 1968, Watson became coach of the first women’s sport at Appalachian — field hockey. She was inducted into the Appalachian State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008. Appalachian established field hockey as its first women’s sport four years before Title IX legislation was passed in 1972 as part of the Education Amendments. The federal law prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded schools, requiring women and men to have equitable opportunities to participate in sports. In 2018–19, Appalachian celebrates 50 years of women’s sports and fields teams in 10 different women’s varsity sports. Current and former female student-athletes came together for a Trailblazers Dinner, on an-field recognition at Appalachian’s home football game against Garner-Webb and a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Brandon and Erica M. Adcock Field Hockey Complex to highlight the weekend festivities surrounding the yearlong anniversary celebration. At the celebratory dinner, Chancellor Sheri Everts said, “The tradition of women’s athletics at Appalachian serves as an enriching experience that brings together students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends to celebrate the challenge of competition and pride in our university. I applaud our female student-athletes for their commitment to education and their dedication to their sports.” The Trailblazers Dinner, hosted by ESPN radio host, football sideline reporter and Appalachian alumna Molly Cotten ’15, honored individual leaders in the success of women’s sports at Appalachian. “Now we have 190 women student-athletes competing on our 10 women’s intercollegiate varsity teams,” said Joey Jones, associate athletics director for strategic communications at Appalachian. Appalachian Athletics allocates more than $2.4 million in scholarships to women. The history of women’s intercollegiate athletics at Appalachian has paved the way for numerous female student-athletes to succeed — both on and off the field.

92 • 2019

Illustration by Jim Fleri


Appalachian Chancellor Sheri Everts, center, with members of Appalachian’s women’s track and field team during the Trailblazers Dinner — an event celebrating current and former female studentathletes — in September 2018. Pictured with the chancellor, from left to right, are Samara Gibson, Phylissa Greeley and Ashley Muschiatti. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Erica Adcock ’07 ’08, right in foreground, goes after the ball in this match during the 2005–06 women’s field hockey season. Photo from the 2006 issue of Appalachian’s The Rhododendron yearbook

In 1975, the women’s gymnastics team at Appalachian had nine members (one is not pictured). Dr. Katherine Davis ’77, executive director for The Overton Institute, is pictured at far right in the front row. Davis was a member of the Appalachian women’s gymnastics team from 1973–76 and graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in psychology. Photo from 1975 issue of Appalachian’s The Rhododendron yearbook

Jamie Palermo, a senior psychology major and member of Appalachian’s women’s varsity soccer team, right, defends the ball from an opponent. “I think sometimes people underestimate female athletes and how strong and fast we actually are and that we put just as much time, energy and heart into our sport as anybody,” she said. “We definitely have a very supportive athletic and student body community, which is something to be thankful for!” Photo by Tim Cowie

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Appalachian wins first Sun Belt Championship Game By Appalachian Athletics

During the presentation of the 2018 Sun Belt Conference Championship trophy, Yosef, Appalachian’s mascot, far left, poses with sophomore Darrynton Evans, center, who holds the MVP belt, and senior captain MyQuon Stout, who lifts the trophy high. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85 94 94 •• 2019 2019


{ Mountaineer Athletics }

On Dec. 1, 2018, Appalachian hosted the inaugural Sun Belt Conference Championship Game. The title game began with fireworks and ended with Mountaineers fans storming the Kidd Brewer Stadium field as confetti rained over the Mountaineers football team during the trophy presentation. Appalachian State defeated Louisiana 30–19 to claim its third straight league title and earn an automatic bid to face the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 15, 2018. Students rushed the field after senior quarterback Zeb Speir, a former walk-on from Sylva, North Carolina, took a final knee and embraced senior classmate Brad Absher, of Troy, North Carolina. Senior captain MyQuon Stout, from Salisbury, North Carolina, lifted the championship trophy to cheers from teammates and Appalachian State fans. “We faced adversity just like any good football team does throughout a season, but these guys just continued to rally each and every week,” said former Appalachian head coach Scott Satterfield. About Appalachian’s win, Tae Hayes, a senior communication studies major and Mountaineers cornerback from Decatur, Alabama, said, “I couldn’t be more blessed to go to this university, and everybody here just puts their best foot forward. We’ve always thought that we deserved a championship, so I’m just happy for everybody. We have one of the best fan bases in the world.” Above, Mountaineers football fans storm the Kidd Brewer Stadium field after Appalachian’s win over the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns in the inaugural Sun Belt Conference Championship Game. At right, fans show off their Mountaineer spirit and creativity through posters made for the championship game. Photos by Troy Tuttle ’07

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Members of App State Mountaineers football team pose with the trophy they took home after the team’s 45–13 victory over Middle Tennessee in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. Each Mountaineer flashes four fingers for the cameras, indicating Appalachian’s fourth straight bowl win.

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A nighttime view of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and New Orleans skyline.

The Big Easy win Appalachian — the Sun Belt Conference Champion — traveled to the Big Easy to compete in its first R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl By Chris Grulke ’18

Surrounded by the gas lamps and wrought iron of New Orleans’ French Quarter, Mountaineers fans gathered over the weekend of Dec. 15–16, 2018, to support the Appalachian football team in its first appearance in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. Black and gold were prevalent in the Crescent City, showing how surprisingly portable Mountaineer spirit can be. Between strenuous pregame practices, Appalachian student-athletes assisted with service projects in the local community, including reading to elementary schoolchildren and visiting with patients in Children’s Hospital New Orleans. As kickoff echoed in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Appalachian got off to a sluggish start but ended up prevailing over Middle Tennessee State University by the largest margin in New Orleans Bowl history, 45–13. Despite coaching turnover, the Appalachian State football team was able to secure its fourth win in four straight bowl appearances, maintaining an undefeated bowl record.

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The pride of Mountaineers fans is on display as they crowd the Mercedes-Benz Superdome to watch Appalachian compete in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Dec. 15, 2018. Photos by Marie Freeman ’85 and Troy Tuttle ’07 98 • 2019


{ Mountaineer Athletics }

Eliah Drinkwitz, a Norman, Oklahoma, native, is the 21st head coach of App State Mountaineers football program. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Appalachian welcomes head coach Eliah Drinkwitz to The Rock Compiled by Jessica Stump

On the heels of Appalachian’s 45–13 victory over the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, the university welcomed Eliah Drinkwitz as its new head coach for the App State Mountaineers football team. Drinkwitz was formally introduced during a press conference held Monday, Dec. 17, 2018, in Appalachian’s Mark E. Ricks Athletics Complex. “I’m excited to welcome Eliah and his family to App Nation,” said Doug Gillin, Appalachian’s director of athletics. “Eliah is committed to excellence academically, competitively, socially and to the well-being of our student-athletes … (and) has great character and a clear vision for the future of Mountaineer football.” During the conference, Drinkwitz spoke about the goals he and Gillin have for the program, stating, “We’re excited to continue to move this university and this football program forward. Our stated goal is to win the Sun Belt Conference Championship and a bowl game with class, integrity and academic excellence.” Drinkwitz, who served as NC State’s offensive coordinator for the past three years and has been a member of championship staffs at Boise State, Arkansas State and Auburn, is the 21st head coach of the Appalachian State football program. He was a key figure in back-to-back Sun Belt championships in 2012–13 as a running backs coach and cooffensive coordinator at Arkansas State, and served as a quality control assistant at Auburn when the Tigers won the 2010 national championship. today.appstate.edu • 99


T

W O D N H ! C U O

When he first enrolled at Appalachian in fall 2009, Demetrius McCray ’18 made a promise to his mother — he would earn a degree. McCray, from Long Beach, California, was recruited and awarded an athletic scholarship to attend and play football at Appalachian. McCray played four seasons of football as a Mountaineer and entered the NFL draft the spring of 2013 during his senior year. He had finished his classroom requirements but had not completed the internship needed to graduate and earn his B.S. in criminal justice. Students usually spend an entire semester working with an approved criminal justice agency to fulfill the required internship for the degree. In fall 2018, he completed his internship and was among the more than 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students who graduated from Appalachian in December 2018. He was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars in the seventh round and played the cornerback position for three seasons, in which he tallied 86 combined tackles. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks and Oakland Raiders in 2017 but suffered a seasonending knee injury during his third game with the Raiders. McCray knew he was prolonging his pursuit of a degree by entering the NFL draft, but said he fully intended to finish someday. “I always said I’d finish what I started at App State and get my degree. I made a promise to my mother and told her I’d give her my diploma to hang on the wall,” he said. 100 • 2019

As a first-generation college student on both sides of his family, McCray said, “My coming to Appalachian was a big accomplishment for both me and my family. The athletic scholarship was life changing. I wouldn’t have been able to go to college without it.” While a serious injury might be discouraging for a professional athlete, McCray said he saw it as an opportunity. “I thought this would be the perfect time to finish my degree,” he said. Joey Jones, associate athletics director for strategic communications at Appalachian, said his department stays in contact with athletes who have left the university without earning their degrees, encouraging completion when the time is right. “Finishing my degree will only help me in the future,” McCray said. “In my current field, a degree is needed.” During the fall 2018 semester, McCray interned with the sheriff’s office in Jacksonville, Florida, where he split his time among seven divisions and was exposed to many aspects of police work. In addition to the traditional duties within the office, McCray worked with children in an afterschool program with the Police Athletic League. McCray said, “Gaining real-life experience with my internship was eye-opening. Now I’ve had real-life situations ... so I have a different perspective. I have a daughter, who is now 3, so planning for the future is even more important.” To other student-athletes, McCray advised, “Stay focused. Manage your time well and get your degree first, because being a student comes first, before being an athlete. Getting an education opens a lot of doors.”


{ Mountaineer Athletics }

Appalachian alumnus Demetrius McCray ’18 on the field while playing as a cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks. Photo submitted

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Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley ’84 is the 2018 winner of Appalachian’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley ’84 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient By Alex Jansen

Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley ’84, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), was recognized for having attained extraordinary distinction and success in his career field and having demonstrated exceptional and sustained leadership in his community. “I appreciate the honor and I am absolutely humbled,” Ashley said. “Thank you for the recognition, but there is a long line behind the person sitting in this chair, and it starts with my wife and my kids.” Ashley has earned a rank attained by less than half of 1 percent of Army officers. Ashley became the 21st director of the DIA in October 2017 — a position nominated by the president of the United States and confirmed by the Senate. He is a principal adviser to Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and to Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Ashley also chairs the Military Intelligence Board. A career Army military intelligence officer, Ashley has been stationed countrywide and deployed all over the world, earning countless awards and decorations in his more than 34 years of service. “As noted by his continuous selection for promotion and positions of greater responsibility, his outstanding professional performance has continuously rendered him accolades,” said Brig. Gen. Anthony Hale, who said he has known Ashley since 2002. “His contributions to the Military 102 • 2019


{ Alumni Awards }

Intelligence Corps, the Intelligence Community and the Interagency of the United States Government have been significant during his extraordinary career.” Ashley graduated from Appalachian with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and as a distinguished military graduate of the university’s ROTC program. He earned a master’s degree in strategic intelligence from the National Intelligence University and a master’s in strategic studies from the United States Army War College. He is the highest-ranked military officer ever to have received his undergraduate degree from Appalachian.

“The first thing General Ashley asked when he came into the room was ‘Who is the App State graduate?’” Harrill said. When Harrill graduated from the course — the day before Thanksgiving — he again had a chance to speak with Ashley, who told Harrill he was going to stay at Fort Huachuca to have Thanksgiving with the soldiers still in school.

“I appreciate the honor and I am absolutely humbled.”

Zachary Harrill ’08, a battalion intelligence officer in the North Carolina Army National Guard, met Ashley at Fort Huachuca in Arizona in 2013. Harrill was a student in the Basic Officer Leader Course for young lieutenants.

“That is the sign of a true Army leader,” Harrill explained. “Someone who is not only skilled in his profession and bold in his decisions, but is also a person that cares enough about his soldiers to stay at his duty station for a junior officer’s graduation, as well as eat a holiday meal with the troops of all ranks under his command. “His reputation precedes him as a caring, compassionate and competent leader who always takes care of his soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and their families,” he said.

David English ’04 ’06

2018 Young Alumni Award recipient By Alex Jansen

David English ’04 ’06, executive vice chancellor and provost (EVCP) of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), was recognized as an outstanding representative of the university for his work, service and philanthropy. On accepting the award, English said, “For somebody to think I’ve been able to live up in some way to what was given to me as a student is incredibly gratifying. Appalachian … truly changed the trajectory of who I am in life.” Like the founders of Appalachian, B.B. and D.D. Dougherty, English grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina, has taken a leadership role in a university at a young age and is passionate about education. English, 37, became EVCP at UNCSA in 2017. He reports directly to the chancellor and is the senior executive responsible for day-to-day campus operations. He is also the chief academic officer and is responsible for providing academic and administrative leadership in all areas related to teaching and student learning. today.appstate.edu today.appstate.edu •• 103 103


{ Alumni Awards }

Prior to becoming EVCP at UNCSA, English served as the school’s interim provost during 2016, vice provost and dean of academic affairs from 2013–16 and associate provost from 2010–13. UNCSA Chancellor Lindsay Bierman said she “greatly admires David’s transformational leadership.” She continued: “His exceptional charisma, policy chops, strategic agility and commitment to excellence will take him far and define his long-term legacy in higher education.” English also teaches courses on higher education at UNCSA and North Carolina State University. He has presented widely on current higher education policy issues, and his research has been published in journals such as The Review of Higher Education and College and University. English graduated from Appalachian with a Bachelor of Science in business administration

“Appalachian … truly changed the trajectory of who I am in life.” David English ’04 ’06 is the 2018 winner of Appalachian’s Young Alumni Award. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

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with majors in management and computer information systems, as well as a Bachelor of Science in industrial technology. After graduating, he became assistant director of admissions at Appalachian and earned his master’s in higher education administration from Appalachian in 2006. He received a doctorate in educational research and policy analysis from North Carolina State University in 2012. Jim DeCristo, vice chancellor for economic development and chief of staff at UNCSA, praised English for his wisdom and leadership over the past eight years. DeCristo pointed out English’s deep appreciation for Appalachian. He said English, in his role as provost, is a UNCSA Pickle — the mascot of the school — on the outside, but “in his heart, he is a Mountaineer.”


“Making a difference is the only thing that matters.” Carole Wilson ’75 is the 2018 winner of Appalachian’s Outstanding Service Award. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

Carole Wilson ’75 2018 Outstanding Service Award recipient By Alex Jansen

Appalachian Board of Trustee Carole Wilson has spent every year since graduating from Appalachian putting her words — “making a difference” — into action, and usually wearing black and gold while she does it. She was recognized by the Appalachian Alumni Association as the recipient of the 2018 Outstanding Service Award for being an outstanding representative of the university through her work, service and philanthropy. “I’m just honored beyond words to be receiving this award,” she said. “I don’t do what I do to get an award. Making a difference is the only thing that matters.” Wilson graduated with a Bachelor of Science in history and worked in public schools, teaching history and special education in addition to providing private tutoring for students with learning disabilities. At Appalachian, Wilson has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2013 and has been a member of the Yosef Club since 1975. She has served on the Alumni Council and was co-chair of the Campaign for Appalachian, the university’s largest fundraising effort, which exceeded its goal of raising $200 million in support of academics, the arts and athletics. Dr. Neva J. Specht, dean of Appalachian’s College of Arts and Sciences, knew of Wilson long before meeting her. “As a history professor, I knew Carole’s name as someone who had been a long supporter of the history department (at Appalachian),” Specht said. today.appstate.edu • 105


“As I moved out of the department and into administration, I learned that her support of Appalachian went much, much deeper,” Specht added. “She’s been a wonderful connector for the college.” “She has dedicated her time, efforts and resources to enhancing the student opportunities at Appalachian, to welcoming students who might not have an opportunity to attend our wonderful university without financial support, and to the growth and development of our athletics program,” said James Deal Jr. ’71, who received Appalachian’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016.

Wilson has volunteered her time to her community and the arts, serving on the boards of the North Carolina Partnership for Children (Smart Start), SAFEchild, Visual Art Exchange (VAE) and the Carolina Ballet, to name a few. She is currently a member of the North Carolina Museum of Art’s foundation board, the board of directors of Susan G. Komen North Carolina Triangle to the Coast and the board of visitors of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Brock Long ’97 ’99 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient By Alex Jansen

Brock Long ’97 ’99, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), was recognized as the recipient of the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award for having attained extraordinary distinction and success in his career field and having demonstrated exceptional and sustained leadership in his community. Long said he was humbled to receive the award because he knows “there are thousands of Appalachian alumni doing great things out there.” As FEMA’s head, hurricanes, floods and wildfires are the agenda items on Long’s daily calendar. He is no stranger to emergencies or public service. Before becoming the administrator of FEMA, Long was the director of Alabama’s Emergency Management Agency, where he served as the coordinating officer for 14 disasters, including eight presidentially declared events. He also developed Alabama’s response to the H1N1 influenza and served as the on-scene state incident commander for the Alabama Unified Command during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In 2017, Long began service as administrator of FEMA. Shortly after, he was coordinating the historic federal response to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, multiple wildfires and — most recently — hurricanes Florence and Michael. Long, of Newton, North Carolina, graduated from Appalachian with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice in 1997 and a Master of Public Administration (MPA) in 1999. In 2011, he completed the prestigious Executive Leadership Program offered by the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

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Prior to being confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as FEMA administrator, Long had more than 16 years of experience assisting and supporting local, state and federal governments with building robust emergency management and public health preparedness programs. Dr. Mark Bradbury, former director of Appalachian’s MPA program and now associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences, said Long consistently makes time to return to Appalachian. “Brock has served as a guest speaker in our classes multiple times and always impresses students,” Bradbury said. “… his enthusiasm and passion for emergency management is inspiring, thought-provoking and contagious. He embodies the notion of a public servant and a consistently engaged alumnus.” Those who know Long speak to traits that go

beyond his resume. Appalachian alumnus Nathan White ’93, vice president of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, said of Long, “Beyond any accomplishments he has achieved professionally, he has maintained a foundation of commitment to his family, his local community and his personal values. These traits are as important to the job he maintains as his professional skill set.” White added, in the midst of Long’s service, “he continues to have a heart for Appalachian State University.” Long recounted a time when, while traveling aboard Air Force One, he asked if the TV channel could be changed from Fox News to the Appalachian football game, and soon found himself watching Mountaineer football — with the president of the United States.

“There are thousands of Appalachian alumni doing great things out there.” Brock Long ’97 ’99 is the 2018 winner of Appalachian’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

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Homecoming 2018, which took place over the Sept. 28–29, 2018, weekend on Appalachian’s campus, brought together past and present Mountaineers, as well as members of the Boone, North Carolina, community, to reconnect with friends, reflect on the university’s history and traditions, and celebrate the Mountaineer spirit. Some of the homecoming festivities included the football game against the South Alabama Jaguars, an alumni breakfast, and a parade and carnival. Appalachian honored the Link family, pictured at bottom right on opposite page, as its Family of the Year and celebrated the 50th anniversary of its Class of 1968.

Photos by Marie Freeman ’85 and illustration by Jim Fleri

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Appalachian remembers ... Compiled by Jessica Stump

In 2018, Appalachian said goodbye to friends and advocates of the Appalachian and Boone, North Carolina, communities. Irwin “Ike” Belk, Randy Collins, Nanette Mayer, Grady Moretz and Lillie Perry were charitable champions for the advancement of campus spaces, the arts, education and more at Appalachian. The following tributes provide a brief overview of their lives, their accomplishments and their contributions.

Lillie Perry — granddaughter of Appalachian founders Lillie Perry, of Boone, North Carolina, was the daughter of Rev. O.L. and Clara Dougherty Brown and wife of the late obstetricgynecologist Dr. H.B. Perry Jr. She graduated from Greensboro College with a Bachelor of Music in 1940. Afterward, Perry taught music at Appalachian State Teachers College, now Appalachian State University. Her family ties to Appalachian were an important part of her life. She was the granddaughter of Appalachian founders D.D. Dougherty and Lillie Shull Dougherty — her namesake.

Lillie Brown Perry (Oct. 13, 1920–Dec. 29, 2018). Perry was the granddaughter of Appalachian founders D.D. Dougherty and Lillie Shull Dougherty. Photo submitted

Lillie and H.B. Perry Jr.’s four children are Donna Vandiver; Dr. Henry Baker Perry III, professor and graduate program director in Appalachian’s Department of Geography and Planning; Doris Stam; and Susan Lineberry.

Irwin Belk — revered philanthropist Many of the sculptures that adorn Appalachian’s campus were gifted by Irwin “Ike” Belk, a prominent North Carolina business leader and philanthropist. His contributions supported Appalachian’s library and colleges, and improved the university’s athletic facilities. Belk’s family name adorns Belk Residence Hall, and Carol Grotnes Belk Library and Information Commons is named in honor of his late wife. Irwin “Ike” Belk (April 4, 1922–Feb. 24, 2018) mimics the gesture of the bronze boy in “Just Reach a Little Higher,” a sculpture he commissioned for Appalachian’s Reich College of Education in 2012. Photo submitted 110 • 2019

He served on the Board of Visitors for Appalachian and the Board of Governors for the University of North Carolina System. In 2010, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Appalachian.


{ Appalachian Remembers }

Randy Collins — ‘good as gold’ “Randy (Collins) ... was larger than life in so many ways for the roles that he played in this community,” said Sarah-Davis Cagle ’06, associate director of admissions at Appalachian. “He was just good as gold.” Collins graduated from Appalachian in 1979 with a B.S. in health and physical education, K–12 and held a master’s in the same field from Gardner-Webb University.

James Randall “Randy” Collins (July 14, 1957– Aug. 30, 2018), left, poses with Appalachian alumnus Corey Lynch ’08 during Appalachian’s 2007 winning game against the Michigan Wolverines. Photo by Troy Tuttle ’07

He worked as an educator for North Stokes High School in Stokes County, C.B. Eller Elementary School in Wilkes County, and later retired from teaching at Green Valley Elementary School in Watauga County in 2010. Collins served the Boone, North Carolina, community and surrounding areas as sergeant and lieutenant for Watauga County Rescue Squad before becoming chief in 1995 and again in 1999.

Nanette Mayer — beloved friend of the arts Nanette Frances Steinhauser Mayer was a founding member and lifelong supporter of An Appalachian Summer Festival and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian. She and her husband, Budd Mayer — both honorary alumni — served on boards for both the summer festival and the Turchin Center. For more than 25 years, the Mayers supported of a broad cross section of Appalachian arts and humanities programs, and in 2012, both Mayers were awarded honorary doctorate degrees from the university.

Nanette Mayer (June 1, 1924–March 9, 2018) and her husband, Budd Mayer (Oct. 29, 1918– May 13, 2016). Photo submitted

In addition to their support of the arts at Appalachian, many other campus areas have benefited from their generosity, including Belk Library and Information Commons, the Department of Theatre and Dance, the Hayes School of Music and more.

Grady Moretz — High Country trailblazer D. Grady Moretz Jr. was co-founder, owner and operator of Appalachian Ski Mtn. — a landmark tourism draw for the High Country and the first ski area to operate in northwestern North Carolina. Moretz and his wife, Reba Moretz, have enriched the lives of countless faculty and students at Appalachian with their support of scholarships and academic, arts and athletics programs. Moretz’s vision and business acumen were instrumental in founding An Appalachian Summer Festival. The event, held annually on Appalachian’s campus, is one of the top 20 festivals in the Southeast.

D. Grady Moretz (June 29, 1929–April 8, 2018), co-founder and former owner and operator of Appalachian Ski Mtn. in Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Photo courtesy of Moretz family

In 2015, Moretz was named an honorary alumnus by the Appalachian Alumni Association.

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App State on the go

Keep up and stay connected with the Appalachian Experience. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find.

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{ Year in Review }

Get social: appstate.edu/connect

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Celebrity chef Monica Smith ’94 poses in the kitchen of Appalachian’s Roess Dining Hall holding a sliced peach — one of several that were used in her recipe for peaches and cream shrimp and grits, which was served in the Chancellor’s Suite in the Mark E. Ricks Athletics Complex during the 2018 Homecoming football game. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85

At Appalachian, chef Monica Smith ‘put some meat to her love of food’ By Jessica Stump

For celebrity chef Monica Smith ’94, a native of Gastonia, North Carolina, the answer to the question “What came first — the chicken or the egg?” is, most certainly, the egg. She said her love of cooking began at age 6, when her grandmother showed her how to make scrambled eggs. The chicken, Smith said — at least the many fast-food poultry options available to consumers — might not even be the real deal. Smith, who holds a B.S. in nutrition and foods from Appalachian, has appeared in national cooking competitions on Food Network shows such as “Guy’s Grocery Games,” hosted by the Emmy Award-winning chef Guy Fieri, and “Cutthroat Kitchen,” hosted by chef and author Alton Brown. 114 • 2019

Smith recently brought her flavor to Appalachian’s campus, when she returned during Homecoming 2018 and prepared dishes — including her Mountaineer sweet potato and apple salad — served in Chancellor Sheri Everts’ suite in the Mark E. Ricks Athletics Complex at the homecoming football game. “I love being a Mountaineer and a ‘Boonenite.’ We are special,” she said. “My fondest memories are at ASU.” While attending Appalachian, Smith was involved in several on-campus organizations, including the Black Student Association (BSA) and BSA Gospel Choir. She was the first president of Appalachian’s African-American Alumni Association, as well as the first president of the Rho Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.


She said during that time she was able to “put some meat to her love of food.” ‘The flavor of chef Monica’

“If I can’t do anything else, I can cook,” Smith said. “And if I can cook, I can bring anybody together in peace and harmony over food.”

Although perfectionist is not the word she uses to describe herself, Smith said she sets the bar high, and once she’s achieved a goal, she inches the bar ever so slightly out of her reach. She’s been crafting a set of six spice blends that are eight years in the making, because, she said, “I got tired of going to the store and trying to find a flavor that matched me.” The majority of these blends are inspired by her family members and friends. One spice in particular, named Gina, after her cousin, is the “man-catching” spice in the set, she joked. Two additional goals she’s set for herself: Smith said she has her eyes on hosting her own cooking TV show, and she wants her products to be featured on grocery store shelves across America. “I want the flavor of chef Monica in every household,” she said. “I have great flavors.” Smith said, after all she’s accomplished, at the end of the day, she knows people want one thing when they eat: “When we sit down at the table, we want an experience. We want to break bread over some good food and talk.”

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A student’s perspective

Lauren Hempen, a junior English major from Apex, North Carolina, traveled to the Dominican Republic in spring 2018 to complete an Alternative Service Experience. The following is an excerpt from her personal narrative of that experience.

The queen’s coffee By Lauren Hempen

The bus shuttled through Santo Domingo, and the traffic lanes seemed to tighten as we traveled deeper into the city. Myself and 12 other Appalachian students were on our way to a small Dominican Republic community, La Rosa, to spend a week working alongside locals as a part of an Alternative Service Experience. Together, we would build the foundation of a water tank for the community. Once we arrived in La Rosa, we walked through small stucco buildings, past a half barber shop, half church overflowing with people and music, and into the center of the village where we had dinner. Afterward, we arrived at a beautiful blue house with a second-floor balcony — our home for the week. Tired from the day, one of my sorority sisters and travel mates, Sav, climbed under the mosquito net with me and sank into the thin mattress we shared. Suddenly, the rush of being so far from home hit me — a homesick tear made its way down my cheek, and before I could wipe it away, Sav put her hand on mine. I woke up in the morning from a rooster’s call, still holding Sav’s hand.

While taking an orange soda and snack break from the sweltering heat and concrete-mixing at the work site, a few of us followed an older Dominican woman who beckoned us to her front porch. She placed plate after plate of local food before us and offered a pot of coffee. I hung on her every word as she explained where she buys coffee beans, how she roasts them and how she brews each cup. The coffee tasted sweet, strong, slightly gritty and full. Cups empty, we clumsily thanked her dozens of times in Spanish and realized we didn’t know her name. “Reina,” she said, when we asked. “Queen.” This queen of coffee will forever live in my memory bank because she gave us all a moment we didn’t have in our itineraries. I had arrived believing if I benefited from the program, then I was selfish. But if I denied this gesture, it would be denying this woman from doing something she felt called to do: serve us. My mother captured this feeling perfectly as we sat on the phone, months after my program: “Just because you get something from giving, doesn’t mean the giving is bad.”

Lauren Hempen, far right, poses with her sorority sister and travel mate, Sav Watts ’18, of Taylorsville, North Carolina, during their Alternative Learning Experience in the Dominican Republic in spring 2018. Photo courtesy of Lauren Hempen

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{ A Different Point of View }

During Winter Storm Diego in December 2018, Yosef Santa — donned in a black suit with gold trim — watches from a shop window as an early morning snowfall settles over downtown Boone, N.C.

A different point of view By Marie Freeman ’85 During Winter Storm Diego, Dec. 8–10, 2018, I rose early and trekked around the snow-covered downtown streets of Boone, North Carolina, with my camera. As I walked down King Street at 5:30 a.m., I relished that Yosef Santa — poised in a shop window — and I were the only ones witnessing this quiet, pre-dawn snowfall. Snow totals from the storm resulted in a 20-inch blanket of white over the High Country.

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Campus ducks now have a floating shelter, pictured in background, on the Appalachian Duck Pond. According to biology professor Dr. Lynn Siefferman, Appalachian’s ducks are mallards, domestic Muscovy ducks and hybrids. Photo by Marie Freeman ’85 today.appstate.edu • 119


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Profile for Appalachian State University

Appalachian Magazine 2019  

The official magazine of Appalachian State University

Appalachian Magazine 2019  

The official magazine of Appalachian State University