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Fall 2018


Welcome to the Wilson Scholars Class of 2022! Annie Manges Global Studies/ Political Science Charlotte, NC “My heart lies in volunteering, and I hope to find a career where I can use my education at Appalachian to better the global community.”

Hannah Lancaster Special Education Asheville, NC “Campus feels like an extension of home. I’m really looking forward to being surrounded by people with a passion to teach.”

Kara Haselton Sociocultural Anthropology Raleigh, NC

Mollie Donovan Sociocultural Anthropology Pensacola, FL

“I believe that ignorance breeds conflict and education is the remedy for ignorance.”

“I want to explore, research, and absorb knowledge about as many cultures as possible!”

Nataly Jimenez Criminology, Deviance, and Law High Point, NC

Rachel Ramakrishnan Nursing Franklin, WI

“I am determined to one day become a lawyer and contribute to an immigration reform movement that needs to happen in this wonderful country.”

“I knew App would help me grow into a well-rounded person who never goes through the motions, but truly takes their knowledge, skills, and voice into the world to make a difference.”


An Appalachian Legacy to go higher, “You get the support “Take risks! Explore yo g n ri e e ch ur le p o e p as and you have these p si o n s, connect with people, ase your ch u yo g in lp e h d an n you o and enjoy this experie nce!” s” dream -Juliet Irving e g d ri ld A ah -Sar

pathy m e h it w t c “Always a pursuit e h t in y t li na and intentio sions.” of your pas ovitz -Emma Lab

“Organization and passion are all that’s needed to turn dreams into reality.” -Lily Shaw


Updates from Current Wilson Scholars Fahiima Mohamed

This semester was full of moments in which I felt like I was growing up a bit more. I signed a lease for an apartment, traveled around Havana, Cuba, and I turned 20! I have always been interested in Cuban culture and Cuban politics, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to go on a Faculty-Led Study Abroad experience with the help of the Wilson Scholars Program’s Experiential Learning Fund. This trip was everything I could have dreamed of, and I now have memories that will last me a lifetime. This past semester seemed to be the appropriate compliment to my months of renewed self-realization from the Fall. I am still trying to solidify what I want to pursue career-wise, especially now that for the first time in almost 20 years my possible future won’t be occupied by a career in medicine. I know that I want to work in public policy and public health, and I am making sure to prepare well for this career path. I am still firm in my decision to discontinue my pre-med courses, and I have ventured out to apply to policy related internships and summer programs. The uncertainty of my decision to drop pre-med has been replaced with the determination to carry out my aspirations.

“Anyone who has caught the Appalachian spirit knows that we can’t truly do well unless we’re also going to do good. Service runs through our veins.” – Brad Wilson ‘75 Working at PwC was an incredibly rewarding experience. I was able to use all the things that I learned at Appalachian and deepen my understanding with real world experience. Because I am a double major with Accounting and Finance, it was also an excellent opportunity to get experience working in the accounting profession so that I can make a better decision between working in accounting or in finance after I graduate. The rest of the semester was a blur of papers, projects, and exams. I found out that I was accepted into the Bowden Investment Group for my senior year. I was asked by my thesis director to help co-author a chapter on Financial Literacy for a book on Inequality in America, and I served my last year as President of the Finance Student Association. And on top of all of that, I got my first taste of my professional dreams. This past semester was the perfect end to my junior year.

Madeline Hamiter


A Summer to Remember by Syd Shadrick

My story starts on May 22, the day I left to go to Madrid, Spain for a full month. Full of excited nerves, I embarked upon my first journey to another continent across an ocean. On our first day in Spain, my roommates and I took a taxi to a cute, little apartment building right next to Retiro Park. Our host mom, Magda (pictured above, right), was waiting for us at the curb. She welcomed us with open arms, thrilled to invite yet another group of students into her home. Magda cooked the greatest tortilla patata, pisto, and ragu, among many other things. She was understanding when we would need to work through things we did not know how to say in Spanish and would joke around with us, teaching us new things through all hours of the day. Each Friday, our class visited a different Spanish city. Segovia was one of my favorites, with a stunning, ancient castle, which felt magical to visit. We also visited a gorgeous church and had a chance to explore the city and eat lunch together. This was our first bonding activity as a class - a fabulous experience! During the weekends, we traveled. One of my very favorite trips was to Cádiz, located in Andalucia in southern Spain. This trip was, very memorably, one of the happiest moments of my Spain trip. We had a fun, relaxing weekend where we had the opportunity to truly bond as a group of students from Appalachian. I was more sunburnt than I ever have been, but I would not trade a moment of that trip for anything. By the end of our trip I managed to tear a ligament and a tendon in my ankle, but I did not let that stop me from experiencing the magic and beauty that is Spain. I have wanted to return every day since, and most definitely plan to return one day. Back in the United States in early July, I attended the William’s Syndrome Association Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. There, Dr. David Koppenhaver (pictured above, left) and I gave two presentations about research we had been conducting throughout the past year. After the conference, Dr. Koppenhaver and I attended the Whispering Trails Music and Enrichment Camp in Oscoda, Michigan, where we conducted reading research with children and teens with William’s Syndrome. This camp gave me the fantastic opportunity to connect with people and parents of people with William’s Syndrome. I had so much fun reading with and spending time with these kids and cannot wait to see where this research takes us. I truly hope that our reading research will positively impact this wonderful community! Last, but not least, in early August, my dad and I traveled to Iowa, where I picked up my new puppy, Maisie. Maisie is a Biewer Terrier, and she is the most amazing pup I have ever met. A week later, my summer came to an end and I returned to Boone. My parents say that this was a “summer to remember,” and I undoubtedly agree. I am incredibly grateful to Brad and Carole Wilson, the Wilson Scholars Program, and everyone that helped and encouraged me to embark upon my travels this summer. This was, by far, the greatest summer I have had to date.


Farther Along the Trail... {August 14-16, First-Year Outdoor Leadership Experience} There were times that I wanted to give up, take a break, but somehow I kept going--I knew that this trip was meant to be challenging and that I should push myself beyond what I felt I was originally capable of. Seeing where the trek took us, both farther along the trail and closer to one another, always blew my mind. I found you grow the most when you allow yourself to try new things, allow yourself to be vulnerable and see things from a new perspective--lessons that I think will serve us well, now and in the future.

-Kara Haselton From an acquired taste of personal hygiene standards in the woods to purifying creek water with iodine, I was humbled to refocus my emotions on my surroundings and the insights of my fellow scholars. One of my favorite moments of the entire trip occurred the second night as I rolled over in the middle of the night to the sound of a rushing river, felt a boulder, and looked up to see the stars, untouched by lights. From this trip, I have realized that there are infinite experiences, people, beliefs, and places to learn from. There is something special about the isolation of each other, and the woods, that creates a truly unique bond.

-Rachel Ramakrishnan Spending three days with a small group of people allows you to get to know them pretty well, but spending those three days in an environment with no distractions brings you so much closer. We helped each other break mental barriers of fear and self-doubt, we were honest and open about pain and insecurities, and we supported and encouraged each other during the entire eighteen mile trek. We all just embraced it and laughed at each other, shivering and sopping wet, some of us with blistered feet, but all of us with massive grins stretched across our faces.

-Hannah Lancaster I felt as if I had discovered this new part of me that I didn’t know I had. I was amazed at myself for feeling daring enough to climb on a boulder just to get to see the absolutely incredible view of Grandfather and Grandmother Mountain. I overcame all of my preconceived notions about my physique--that I wasn’t fit enough to hike the trail or that my body couldn’t take the physical strain. I learned that your barriers are mental. I realized that even at your lowest moments, when you feel like you just can’t push yourself any further, you can.

-Nataly Jimenez


Sarah Aldridge, Political Science

I felt prepared and ready to take on the mountains. Hiking close to eight miles the first day, my expectations were quickly shot down, and I had to reevaluate my goals. Pushing myself is something that I am used to; what I am not used to is pacing myself. I’ve learned that to reach your goals you have to pace yourself, have a good support network, and take the time to reflect on your surroundings. I feel like I have found a new challenge for myself in college, and that is to be mindful of my body, my friends, and my environment.

-Mollie Donovan I sat beside a waterfall in silence, and focused on the Earth around me; the surrounding scene was extremely overwhelming and powerful when looked at as one piece, but when I focused on each element individually, such as the texture of the rock under me, or the sound of the water, everything seemed manageable and even peaceful. Coming into college, I am applying the same mentality; when overwhelmed and scared, I break down my environment and find peaceful moments within the mess.

-Annie Manges

...and Closer to One Another

Lily Shaw, Sociology & Spanish


About the Wilson Scholars Program The Wilson Scholars Program embodies and exemplifies the Appalachian spirit: a rich blend of academic excellence, leadership, and service. This scholarship program attracts truly passionate students--individuals who care deeply about issues they see in their own lives and in the lives of those around them--instills in them a commitment to change the world for the better, and provides the resources and support for students to do so, innovatively, intentionally, and empathetically. Wilson Scholars receive a personalized, educational experience inside and outside of the classroom, designed in partnership with their faculty director. Scholars learn to incorporate their vibrant passions into their lives and career goals as they participate in specially designed seminars, engage in international experiences, and design capstone service projects. Wilson Scholars explore a life-long love of learning and act with passion and determination to create a sustainable future for all. The Wilson Scholars Program was established in 2013 and was only made possible through the generous support of Brad and Carole Wilson, both graduates of Appalachian State University. The program has grown to 22 students who have the heart, drive, and now the resources to impact the world in significant and meaningful ways.

The Wilson Scholars Family at the 2017 Senior Send-Off event

“Making a difference is the only thing that matters.” – Carole Wilson ‘75 For more information about the Wilson Scholars Program, visit: wilsonscholars.appstate.edu

Profile for Appalachian State University

Wilson Scholars Fall 18 Newsletter  

Wilson Scholars Fall 18 Newsletter