Healthy Connections Newsletter
Summer 2018 Volume 3 Issue 2
From the Dean’s Office
Hello and happy June! Even though summer does not officially begin until June 21, summer weather has arrived on campus on the heels of one of the wettest springs in history. The rain also caused a lot of flood damage in and around Boone. Happily, our new building has remained above the flooding waters, giving our tag line of “taking health to new heights” a whole different meaning! The construction of the building is continuing full speed ahead, and we look forward to teaching many of our classes in Leon Levine Hall this fall semester. I hope you enjoy our summer newsletter dedicated to our current and past students, as we celebrate their many accomplishments! The stories featured here are only a small sample of the activities in which our students and faculty are engaged. Over 600 undergraduate students and 92 graduate students were recognized at the Beaver College of Health Sciences’ commencement ceremony last month. The vast majority of our graduates are entering the workforce in their respective fields, or are matriculating into professional graduate programs. These students are truly interested in making a difference by helping to improve the health and wellness of individuals and families within their communities! I hope to see you at the building’s Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony scheduled for September 21 at 1:00 pm. The ceremony will take place on the grand staircase on the north end of the building, followed by a reception and self-guided tours. We will have students and faculty stationed throughout the building, highlighting our labs and classrooms. On September 22, AppState will feature the Beaver College of Health Sciences at the football game at Kidd Brewer Stadium, when the Mountaineers take on the Gardner Webb Bulldogs. As I have mentioned in earlier newsletters, our Director of Development, Jenny Ward, is working hard to increase support for the building so that we may purchase the equipment and supplies necessary to meet our teaching and laboratory needs in the new spaces. We are also committed to increasing student scholarship support to enable our students to achieve their educational and professional goals. If you would like to learn more about how you can support the Beaver College of Health Sciences, you may contact me directly or email Jenny Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your commitment and interest in the Beaver College of Health Sciences. I hope to see you on campus this fall! Most Sincerely, Marie Huff, Ph.D. Dean, Beaver College of Health Sciences
Departments, Programs & Degrees Communication Sciences & Disorders
Taking Health to New Heights
B.S. Communication Sciences & Disorders M.S. Speech-Language Pathology
Health & Exercise Science B.S. Exercise Science B.S. Athletic Training B.S. Public Health M.S. Exercise Science
Nursing B.S.N. M.S.N.
Nutrition & Health Care Management B.S. Health Care Management B.S. Nutrition and Foods M.S. Nutrition M.H.A.
Recreation Management & Physical Education B.S. Recreation Management B.S. Health & Physical Education
Social Work B.S.W. M.S.W.
Architectural rendering of Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences
Mark your calendars! The Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences will be Friday, September 21 at 1 p.m. Reception and tours will follow.
About the College The Beaver College of Health Sciences seeks to be the most comprehensive academic center for health professions in western North Carolina. It provides transformative education, interdisciplinary research opportunities, and service to local and regional communities. The faculty across six departments, ten undergraduate programs, and six graduate programs equip high quality graduates for successful careers or advanced study.
For more information about the Leon Levine Foundation visit: www.leonlevinefoundation.org.
For more about the college, visit:
Follow the progress of our new building - view a live stream of the construction site.
BCHS Student Awards Ceremony
Honors College graduate Aakriti Agrawal ’17 at work in the physical therapy program at Duke University of Medicine. Photo submitted.
Honors College grad enjoys holistic aspect of physical therapy Q&A with Aakriti Agrawal ’17 By Linda Coutant
Aakriti Agrawal graduated in 2017 with a degree in Exercise Science (BS) – PreProfessional from Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences. She was also a student in Appalachian’s Honors College, which offers an enhanced academic experience to prepare students for success in graduate or professional school and for leadership roles in their lives, communities and careers. Originally from Cary, Agrawal is now in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Duke University School of Medicine. She completed her honors thesis, titled “Initial Validation of Withings Pulse Wave Velocity and Body Composition Scale,” with mentor Dr. Scott Collier. Read the full story.
On April 11, 2018, the Beaver College of Health Sciences held the annual Student Awards Ceremony and honored a total of 26 students for their leadership in their degree programs and their academic achievement. These students represent the cornerstone of what the university is about: academic performance and scholarship. Approximately 150 guests were in attendance, including student award recipients, their guests and families, and Beaver College of Health Sciences Faculty and Staff. During the ceremony, Associate Deans Denise Levy and Gary McCullough read information about each student, including their accomplishments while at Appalachian, their most memorable faculty member and course, and their post-graduation plans. Students received sunflowers from Dean Marie Huff, which represent their loyalty, longevity, intelligence and happiness. At the end of the ceremony, the guests and students raised commemorative Health Sciences glasses in a toast to the students. It was certainly a special occasion to honor the best and brightest students in the Beaver College of Health Sciences! Read the list of winners and view additional photos here.
Making a Difference
Eric Eberspeaker (pictured in middle) at his commissioning in May, 2018. Photo submitted.
Pragathi Ranganathan is a senior health care management student with a passion for public health. As an ASE (Alternative Service Experience) Peer Leader with the Appalachian & the Community Together (ACT) program and through her own research, Ranganathan found a need to address women’s health as related to their menstrual cycle. Due to poverty or homelessness, Ranganathan found that an increasing number of women in the Boone area may not have access to feminine hygiene products, thereby possibly increasing the risk of infection and further complicating their lives if they have no access to health care. Through a grant from the Clinton Global Initiative, Ranganathan is partnering with Oasis, Hospitality House and Watauga High School to provide women with safe practices during their period. The goal is to create pantries that are accessible to women on an ongoing, as-needed basis. Ranganathan feels all women, regardless of their socioeconomic status should be able to deal with their menstrual cycle in a healthy way. She feels that providing them with feminine hygiene products that are easily accessible allows them that dignity. Her goal now is to find local organizations that will help keep this initiative sustainable after she graduates in December.
Appalachian is all in the Family
A Mind to Serve Eric Eberspeaker graduated in 2015 with a degree in Health Care Management (BS) from Appalachian’s Beaver College of Health Sciences. As he began looking at career opportunities in the medical field his senior year, Eberspeaker followed his interest in serving in the armed forces to the U.S. Navy Medical Service Corps Health Service Collegiate Program. In this program, the Navy would pay him to attend graduate school and earn a Masters of Healthcare Administration (MHA). In the fall of 2016, Eberspeaker began his graduate studies in the Masters of Healthcare Administration program at the University of Minnesota. For his summer internship, he worked at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio. This experience, along with the healthcare professionals at Watauga Medical Center and the faculty at Appalachian, helped prepare Eberspeaker for his next role — Healthcare Administrator. In May of 2018, Eberspeaker graduated with his MHA from the University of Minnesota. On the day he graduated, he was also commissioned as a Lieutenant Junior Grade (O-2) in the United States Navy Medical Service Corps. On July 6, 2018, he will graduate from the Navy’s Officer Development School (ODS) in Newport, Rhode Island. Upon graduation from ODS, he will begin his career as a Healthcare Administrator at Naval Hospital Bremerton located in Bremerton, Washington. According to Eberspeaker, “It is currently my intent to make the Navy my career, but I plan to keep an open mind to other opportunities. I am excited about continuing to spread the good word of Appalachian State University across the country and the world!”
Andrea Yontz pictured with son Joshua, a sophomore in Health and Physical Education and Emily, a graduate student in Mathematical Sciences. Photo submitted.
Andrea Yontz graduates this August with a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. Yontz has been a nurse for over 23 years. When she decided she wanted to further her education to pursue her passion in rural health care, Appalachian was one of the first places she researched. According to Yontz, “I’m a big Appalachian fan, and I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the exceptional graduates from App’s nursing program. I also have family (her son and daughter currently attend Appalachian) and friends who went to Appalachian and loved the community atmosphere and quality of education they received.” The most important reason for Yontz choosing Appalachian was the emphasis the program places on rural and global health. “Appalachian’s MSN program recognizes the need to take health care outside the hospital walls and provide care to those in the community and beyond, especially to those in more high risk areas. That focus spoke to my passion,” said Yontz.
Eberspeaker reflected on his time at Appalachian, “I will be forever thankful for my time at Appalachian. My academic courses helped prepare me for the rigorous MHA program at Minnesota and for my internship at the Cleveland Clinic. I made many friends both inside and outside of the Health Care Management program and I was fortunate to meet several healthcare professionals at Watauga Medical Center and faculty at Appalachian who mentored me and with whom I continue to stay in contact with. I am a Mountaineer for life!”
Here’s to the Class of 2018 The Beaver College of Health Sciences held our commencement ceremony May 11, 2018, to honor 624 undergraduate students and 92 graduate students. Three students were featured as guest speakers.
Amin spoke about those who helped him with his journey to graduation — his mother, professors, administrators, and fellow peers and classmates all helped him realize Appalachian was exactly where he was supposed to be. He challenged everyone to take the time and thank those who have helped them over the past few years. Amin also reflected on some of what all the graduates share, “We all attended this university to fulfill a dream. Most importantly, what we all have in common are our disciplines associated with the Beaver College of Health Sciences. I call us the ‘help professionals’. We have been equipped through our specific disciplines with the tools to nurture, influence, build, teach, innovate and restore. And at the end of the day we are always going to be students, students in this class called life. AppState Class of 2018, we stand for something much more than ourselves. We are representative of those who have paved the way before us and we are pillars for those who will walk the road after us.”
Pictured from left to right: Al-Amin Bidemi Aminu, Dean Marie Huff, Dr. Denise Levy, MaryClare Gabel, Madelyn Elliott, Dr. Gary McCullough.
MaryClare Gabel from Decatur, Alabama was the welcome speaker. Gabel received a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health with a minor in Leadership Studies. She also received the 2018 Public Health Leadership Award. While at Appalachian, MaryClare researched the reading levels of popular health education websites discussing pre-eclampsia, and she presented the findings at the Celebration of Student Research and Creative Endeavors. MaryClare interned for the local non-profit, Western Youth Network and the national non-profit MAPSCorps, and mapped community assets that strive to improve the human condition. She served as a Red Flag Educator on campus and co-founded the Appalachian State Chapter of the American Mock World Health Organization. Following graduation, MaryClare plans on returning to Alabama and working in the public health field before attending graduate school. Al-Amin Bidemi Aminu, our undergraduate speaker, was born in Lagos, Nigeria and moved to America when he was five years old. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Chemistry. Among his many accomplishments at Appalachian, Amin is a Diversity Scholar; he is involved in the Minority Men’s Leadership Circle; he is on the Chancellor’s Student Advisory Board for Diversity and Recruitment; and he has played an active role in Student Government Association, where he served as the Director of Student Affairs. While in this role, he helped establish a student food pantry and increased awareness of National PanHellenic plots. In the summer before his senior year, Amin participated in the Medical Education Development Program at UNC Chapel Hill. The experience sparked his interest in ultimately earning his medical degree in the future. However, his immediate plans for after graduation are to join Teach for America in eastern North Carolina where he will be teaching high school science.
Madelyn Elliott, our graduate speaker, is from Greensboro, North Carolina. She received a Master of Science degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She also completed her undergraduate degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Appalachian. Madelyn was a Lovill Fellowship Recipient (2016-2018) and was the 3-minute Thesis winner (2016) from the Cratis D. Williams Graduate School. She served as a Graduate Research Assistant Mentee (GRAM) to Dr. Kim McCullough in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department for two years. Madelyn completed her graduate thesis titled, “Cognitive Intervention for Individuals With Probable Mild Cognitive Impairment.” Upon graduation, she will begin a position as a clinical fellow with a private pediatric speech-language pathology practice in Durham, North Carolina. Madelyn spoke about her decision to come to Appalachian. She had never toured the campus, knew nothing about Boone and wasn’t following friends. She just remembered thinking, “They want me there.” She further elaborated on her sense of belonging to Appalachian, “No matter where you find yourself or what you experience in the years to come, never forget that there is a community here that wanted you and knew that you were worth it — worth admitting, worth coming to work every day for, worth investing in, worth teaching, worth befriending, and worth handing you a degree here today. My hope and prayer is that Appalachian will forever be woven into the fabric of your life in a way that transforms and encourages your identity and your value. And that you never forget that you are loved and you will always be a Mountaineer.”
Working for Others
Oh, the Things You’ll Do!
Carter Crawford pictured at VCU. Photo submitted.
Keila Hernandez-Sullivan (right) pictured with Dean Marie Huff receiving the Leadership Award for Social Work.
Keila Hernandez-Sullivan is a Social Work major who will graduate this December. She is also a mother of two daughters and works three jobs while attending school full-time. To say she has a full plate would be an understatement! Hernandez-Sullivan understands hardships and has struggled herself to stay strong while managing all of her very important roles. However, it is through determination and compassion that she is able to maintain her roles and still be able to help others. Hernandez-Sullivan’s desire to work with children and families has kept her focused on her dreams of being a “broker” that connects people in need with available resources. She is currently finishing her training to be a state certified interpreter for North Carolina, where she hopes to continue to be an on-call interpreter and work for a prison ministry/felon re-entry program or work in collaboration with others to create a more tangible resource network for undocumented citizens — particularly Latinos. She feels an established support system for families that are stigmatized or marginalized, due to serving time in prison or homelessness, needs to be able to provide intervention to keep them encouraged and supported. Serving in that capacity would be her ideal role. In May, Hernandez-Sullivan was selected as the recipient of the State Employees Credit Union Foundation Internship Fellowship for Fall 2018. This scholarship is to support her associated educational expenses incurred while completing her internship with King Street Church Prison Ministry located in Boone. She is excited to have this opportunity and appreciates that this scholarship will give her the freedom to focus and enjoy a true learning experience. According to Hernandez-Sullivan, “This internship will not only open doors for me, but it will allow me the ability to learn how to achieve my dream of being a resource broker for those in need.” Perhaps now she can at least give up one of her three jobs. Regardless of how she spends her time and efforts in the future, on thing is certain — Keila will go on to make a difference in the lives of those around her and in her community. In fact, she already has.
Carter Crawford graduated in 2015 with a degree in Health Care Management (BS) from the Beaver College of Health Sciences. He then went on to Virgina Commonwealth University for his Masters of Healthcare Administration. Crawford was recognized for outstanding academic achievement during graduation from VCU in May. He gave Dr. David Williams and the entire Health Care Management (HCM) department credit for his academic success, “My recognition was without a doubt, a true reflection of the guidance and development the HCM department provided me during my studies at Appalachian.” He also added, “Appalachian’s unique environment, both academic and geographic, make for a once in a lifetime experience. Appalachian helped me discover my passion and provided me the foundation to be successful in pursuing it.” Crawford begins his new role as Project Manager for Roper St. Francis Healthcare in Charleston, South Carolina in May.
Jessica Manning Goff pictured with husband Bobby and daughter Katie. Photo submitted.
Jessica Manning Goff graduated in 2011 with a degree in Nutrition and Foods (BS). She was also our first commencement speaker for the Beaver College of Health Sciences. Goff works as a Dietician for Healthy Diets, Inc. in Cary, North Carolina. She has also worked with some of the nutrition undergraduate students in their internship programs and would like to maintain that relationship with BCHS. Goff expressed her gratitude for her time at Appalachian, “My experience at Appalachian fully prepared me to enter the professional world of dietetics. I had caring professors who placed countless hours into my education and for that I am so grateful.”
Two Honor Students Awarded Highly Competitive Summer Medical Internships
By the Numbers... 3,425 Undergraduate & Graduate Majors
150 Highly-Skilled Faculty and Staff Two Honors students, both Appalachian Student Ambassadors and exercise science majors, have been awarded highly competitive summer medical internships. Junior Megan Campany, a Dean’s Scholar in the Beaver College of Health Sciences, is headed to Nebraska for a Women in Sports Medicine medical internship and senior Austin Lubkemann is headed to Vanderbilt for a research internship. The Appalachian Student Ambassadors are a selective group of 50 undergraduate students who serve Appalachian State University as student representatives for the Office of
100% Of Tenure Track Faculty Hold Terminal Degrees
Admissions, the Alumni Association and the Office of the Chancellor. Campany and Lubkemann have been working in Appalachian State University’s Vascular Biology and Autonomic Studies Laboratory under the direction and mentorship of Dr. Scott Collier. Both presented their current research in February of this year at the Southeast American College of Sports Medicine conference in Chattanooga, TN. Campany presented, “Investigation of Sex Differences Between Nokia Body Cardio and Sphygmocor Applanation Tonometry,” and Lubkeman, “A Comparison of Nokia Pulse Wave Velocity Scale Verses Gold Standard Applanation Tonometry in a Young Healthy Population.” Both Campany and Lubkemann credit their training and success to their experience in Dr. Collier’s lab. “The opportunities that I have had within the Department of Health and Exercise Science have provided hands-on, unique experiences with cutting-edge diagnostic equipment that has not only prepared me for the experiences I will undertake this summer, but those that I will have throughout my time in the medical field,” Campany said. “This laboratory has given me the opportunity to work with state-of-the-art equipment and also reinforce classroom concepts that can’t be grasped with text and lectures. This has enabled the development of the skills necessary to be successful within my internship at Vanderbilt University,”
Increase in students since 2009
16 Undergraduate and Graduate Degrees
Help us continue to take health to new heights! Donate here If you would like additional information on student scholarships, naming opportunities, or adding BCHS to your estate plan, please contact Jenny Ward, Director of Development, at email@example.com or 828-262-7791.
Share your stories!
Do you have a story to share about a student, faculty, staff member or alum of the Beaver College of Health Sciences? Please contact Audrey Gurkin, Communications Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-262-7798. Stay connected with us! facebook: @BeaverCollegeofHealthSciences twitter: @bchsappstate