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Plemmons Leadership Scholars


About the Plemmons Leadership Scholars Demonstrating the belief that leadership can be developed, the Plemmons Program is a four year in-depth experience aimed at developing successful leaders. The program attempts to identify entering freshmen who have demonstrated leadership and successful involvement in their high school or community. The program combines both in-class instruction and out-of-class experiential opportunities designed to provide participants with leadership development opportunities. Programs and opportunities available to a Plemmons Scholar include special classes, seminars, retreats, outdoor leadership experiences, conferences, experiential opportunities, and individual needs assessment. The Plemmons Leadership Scholars Program has core goals that serve as the foundation for the program. These are: • To provide curricular or classroom opportunities for students to learn about leadership concepts • To provide co-curricular and experiential opportunities for students to “learn by doing” • To provide opportunities for self-discovery and personal growth • To develop strong moral judgment, creativity, and initiative in the practice of leadership • To teach Plemmons Leadership Scholars to help others experience and exercise effective leadership • To create and understanding of the increasing complexity and challenges of leading diverse organizations • To assist participants in understanding the importance of continued growth and development


Meet the Current Plemmons Scholars 2016 First-Year Scholars

Rachael Beller

Caleb Edkins

Tierney Edwards

Major: Management

Francisco DelacruzHernandez

Major: Music Therapy

Major: Communication Sciences and Disorders

Marie Garner

Nicholas Guthrie

Elliot Hirn

Kennedy Little

Major: Music Therapy

Major: Marketing

Major: Sustainable Technology

Major: Journalism

Brandon Moore

Kimberly Nelson

Major: English, Secondary Education

Major: Journalism

Major: Cell/Molecular Biology


Meet the Current Plemmons Scholars Second-Year Scholars

Evan Atkinson

Casey Black

Major: Journalism

Major: Elementary Education

Major: History, Secondary Education

Alexis Fegan

Andrew Hall

Molly Horton

Audrey Hyers

Major: Criminal Justice

Major: Accounting

Major: Psychology

Major: Accounting

Molly Sims Major: Elementary Education

Sean Damrel

Ana Dell Major: Music Industry Studies


Meet the Current Plemmons Scholars Third-Year Scholars

Lauren Anderson Major: Geographic Information Systems

Peyton Beane

Derek Hamilton

Erin Kiker

Major: Middle Grades Education

Major: Accounting

Major: Biological Anthropology/Religious Studies

Corrine Sullivan

Madison Vaughn

Luke Weir

Dominic Ysidron

Major: Biology & Anthropology

Major: Elementary Education

Major: Communication, Advertising

Major: Psychology


Meet the Current Plemmons Scholars Fourth-Year Scholars

Kai Des Etages

JC Knox

Jonathan Mauldin

India McWhorter

Major: Entrepreneurship

Major: History, Secondary Education

Major: Accounting

Major: Sustainable Technology

Jordan Parkhurst

Rachel Sledge

Brandon Winbush

Rachel Wynn

Major: English, Creative Writing

Major: Exercise Science

Major: Piano and Music Education

Major: Accounting


Student Profile: A Freshman in the Outdoors

Pictured above: Elliot Hirn (in yellow shirt) returning from an Outdoor Programs event

My name is Elliot Hirn and I am a freshman all the way from Tampa, Florida planning to study sustainable technology. The reason I chose to leave the sunshine state was because- like many of the people that come to Boone- I wanted to enjoy the beautiful landscape and amazing culture that the Appalachian community has to offer. As a freshman, starting my college career was a bit intimidating, especially being so far from home, but almost immediately I felt that I had found my place. I’ve had the opportunity to get involved with a number of amazing organizations that have all sparked my interests in one way or another. One of the main things that pulled me to App State was that I wanted to get involved with the outdoors community, something that was not as prominent back home. My first experience with outdoor programs was before school even started. I had signed up for First Ascent, which is a program that allows incoming freshman students to go on three to seven day backpacking trips in the Appalachian Mountains. While on this trip, I met many incredible friends and role models which encouraged

me to get further involved with Outdoor Programs. Through a semester long workshop called Instructor Development Program (IDP) Outdoor Programs taught me numerous outdoor leadership and risk management skills to better prepare myself in leading students in trips such as backpacking, overnight caving, rafting, and many others. Another interesting experience I had this year was leading guided meditations for the AppSits meditation club which I joined the club about halfway through fall semester. The club is entirely focused on stress relief and helping students relax their mind from all the chaos that might be going on in their life. The club has taught me many different ways in which to practice limiting stress and it was a great experience to lead a group of students in a thoughtful meditation. Overall, my first year at App State could not be better. I have competed in mountain bike races with the App State cycling team, participated in service projects with the Plemmons and ASE, and met a number of passionate friends and faculty.


Student Profile: Seizing Opportunities When I arrived in Boone in August of 2014, I truly had no idea the opportunities Appalachian would offer, or the growth I would assume through my experiences. During my first semester, I joined an organization that would become my family on campus, full of challenges, adventures, and endless support; while I did not realize it immediately, Club Council became one of my primary support systems on Appalachian’s campus. As a first-generation college student from a small, rural, blue-collar town with an under-supported public school system, I had been offered few leadership development opportunities; I faced a steep learning curve to personally and academically develop to the level of a high-performing student at a larger university. The pinnacle of this curve came at the beginning of my second year at Appalachian, when I was asked to serve as President of Club Council. While I was still figuring out my leadership style, my role at Appalachian, and how to best utilize my time at this institution, I took a few leaps out of my comfort zone and accepted the responsibility. After a short period of trepidation and ignorance to my new role, my skill to “fake it ‘til you make it” took over, and I was soon leading a governing body on our campus. As I finish my second year in this position and move to conclude my undergraduate career in May, I have heavily reflected on the great opportunity with which my nineteen-year-old self was faced and the strides I have made in both my leadership and personal development. In a short three-year period, I have been allowed some of my greatest experiences, such as seeing our 400th organization approved, representing Club Council and our university as part of Homecoming Royalty, and the ability to build life-long friendships with a wide array of Appalachian’s most unique and phenomenal students and staff. My time in organizational life at Appalachian has profoundly impacted my ability to navigate group dynamics, facilitate and contribute to difficult conversations, and to influence positive and effective change for my greater community. My greatest goal coming into Appalachian was to leave a sustained impact on our campus; while I feel

Pictured above: Jonathan Mauldin at Club Council events

I have achieved this goal, I firmly believe that Appalachian has left an even greater impact on my life and future. The opportunities I have received as a Plemmons Scholar at Appalachian have forever left a mark on my life, and I would be a drastically different person if I would not have been afforded the incredible opportunity as a scholar at Appalachian.

-Jonathan Mauldin


2016-2017: Student Reflections Lauren Andersen

I was nervous about the unknown when I began at Appalachian. Now, as a senior, I reflect on my time as an undergraduate and cherish my memories at Appalachian. The Plemmons Program has provided me with the confidence to pursue academic, research, and leadership opportunities, as well as a platform for voicing my concerns about campus issues. As we welcome a new class of Plemmons, I know that this program will continue to provide students with the confidence and accountability that it has provided me and foster a passion for leadership that will persist in the future.

Rachel Sledge

This year has been full of exciting travel, athletic and academic endeavors. I have been serving as Editor in Chief of IMPULSE: The Premier Undergraduate Neuroscience Journal since last May. This summer, I presented at the FENS (European Neuroscience) conference in Copenhagen, Denmark on the success of students who participate in the Journal. In the fall, I started working on my Honors thesis in the Exercise Science department. I am evaluating the use of biofeedback to enhance the brain’s ability to regulate balance. Concurrently, I’m working on a service- based research project designing a physiology lab for Mabel Elementary third graders.

Ana Dell

During my time at Appalachian I have been grateful for all of the opportunities that were offered to me. I took on a position as Secretary for the Hispanic Student Association and became a Sister of the Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority. Currently, I am their Public Relations Chair, utilizing my creative abilities to advertise events. I am also the incoming Cultural Awareness and Student Engagement Chairperson for APPS along with being on their rebranding team for the 2017-2018 academic year. While being heavily involved, I am constantly aware of all the skills and assets I have gained from each unique position. Plemmons has encouraged me to be confident in my abilities and to take experiences as room for growth.

Rachael Beller My first year at Appalachian so far has been filled with exceptional experiences thanks to the Plemmons Program. Through the knowledge we gained from our Principles of Leadership Class, we have been encouraged and expected to put what we have learned into action. From the connections that Plemmons has given me, I have been able to take on various leadership positions within my sorority (Kappa Delta), at church, and within other various humanitarian rights clubs as well as networking for possible future internships.


Get to Know the Directors

Jeff Cathey, Director of the Department of Student Engagement & Leadership

Jeff Cathey has been with Appalachian State University since August of 2014. Jeff previously served as Associate Dean of Students at both the University of Tennessee and Colorado College. He has worked with leadership development programs for 18 years Jeff received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and his Masters of Education in College Student Personnel from the University of Tennessee. His career expertise has centered around the development of learning experiences that both prepare students for leadership and which serve to develop engaging and inclusive communities for our students while at Appalachian State. Jeff and his wife Maureen have been married for almost 18 years. They have two school age children. As a family, the Cathey’s spend significant time hiking, camping, hosting friends and family and traveling to soccer games. Jeff ’s passion for his work with young leaders stems from his desire to help prepare students who have the academic preparedness, self-awareness and determination to take on the increasingly complex challenges facing our communities.

Heather Jo Mashburn, Assitant Director of the Department of Student Engagement & Leadership

Heather Jo serves in the foundational area of Appalachian & the Community Together (ACT) directing the Alternative Service Experience program. Under Heather Jo’s leadership, the Alternative Service Experience program was recently named one of the 10 largest alternative break programs in the country. Heather Jo received her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Georgia Southern University, graduating Cum Laude and with Honors. She also received her Masters of Education in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University. Heather Jo is a current doctoral student in Educational Leadership at Appalachian State University. Heather Jo’s passion for her work with student leaders flows from her belief that education can be a powerful tool for positive social change. She believes that the service and leadership experiences students have while in college can be a vehicle for affecting change in their communities. Heather Jo and her husband Mark moved to Boone because of their love for adventure and the outdoors. They love to travel, cook, and spend time hiking with their two dogs.


How to Give to the Plemmons Program

Since its formation in 1994 the Plemmons Leadership Scholars Program has been committed to providing students with out-of-class experiences that complement their in-class learning and investing in their potential to become the next generation of leaders. Each Plemmons Scholar was chosen based on their aptitude for leadership and successful involvement in their high school and community. We have witnessed those bright minds, utilize resources provided by the Plemmons Leadership Scholars Program to grow as leaders and achieve great things on campus and all over the world. Appalachian is passionate about our academic mission and committed to ensuring broader access to the transformational Appalachian experience. Scholarships are critical to providing these opportunities to our students. For many, higher education would not be an option without scholarship support. Your gift to the Plemmons Leadership Scholars will help attract to Appalachian students who are eager to acquire and create knowledge, act with passion and determination to reach their highest potential and who will thrive in Appalachian’s close-knit academic community. To give now, Click Here

Plemmons Scholars Newsletter - Spring 2017  
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