The Appalachian Experience encompasses everything that makes this place so extraordinary: the engaging academic environment, the dynamic and integrated arts programs, championship-winning Mountaineer athletics, and our two best natural resources - the people and the mountains. Students are provided the opportunities to develop as unique individuals within the support of the Appalachian Family.
For Appalachian State University computer science major Bryan Hill, of Summerfield, the Appalachian High Achievers in STEM scholarship program has created unexpected opportunities to engage with his department and prepare for his future career.
“In computer science, there is so much room for creativity in what problem you want to solve and how you want to solve it,” Hill said.
Appalachian State University alumnus Maleek Loyd ’18 considers himself a storyteller, traveling the world directing and editing videos. He graduated cum laude in December 2018 with a B.S. in communication, electronic media/broadcasting, yet began his professional career long before he had a degree in hand.
Lacy Martin ’18, of King, faced many challenges through her young adult life. She believes her perseverance has made her a stronger person and a better teacher today. “It’s not the struggle that makes or breaks you,” she said. “It’s what you do in the situation. Make your story — don’t let it make you.”
Martin, who received a B.S. in English, secondary education from Appalachian State University in 2018, is pursuing an M.A. in English at Gardner-Webb University while teaching ninth grade English at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem.
Growing up in Indian Trail, Appalachian State University junior Jordan Moore knew the power of education: her mother and father worked as an elementary school teacher and an assistant principal, respectively. She embraced their love of learning early on and is now pursuing a B.S. in chemistry at Appalachian, with concentrations in biochemistry and certified chemist.
Moore hopes to expand her education even further in medical school. Her ultimate goal is to become an anesthesiologist who works in rural villages of developing nations — providing compassion and care to those around her, and passing along the importance of education.
Appalachian State University’s Office of Nationally Competitive Scholarships recently announced Hannah Godfrey, a senior psychology major from Cary, has been awarded a David L. Boren Scholarship to study Bahasa — Indonesia’s official language — during the 2019–20 academic year. She is one of 244 undergraduates nationally to receive the Boren award, allowing her to acquire language skills and cultural experience critical to U.S. national security.
Godfrey is the first Appalachian applicant to apply for and receive a Boren Scholarship since 2007.
Grace King, who is on track to graduate from Appalachian State University in August with a B.S. in communication, electronic/media broadcasting, has been selected to participate in the Television Academy Foundation’s 2019 Internship Program. King, of Dunn, is one of 50 students chosen nationally for the program.
She will be interning this summer in the comedy scriptwriting department at ABC Entertainment in Burbank, California.
Emily Sedlacek ’19 combined her two passions — travel and literature — and graduated summa cum laude from Appalachian State University with a B.A. in English and a B.A. in languages, literatures and cultures with a concentration in French and Francophone studies. She will pursue her master’s degree in English at Appalachian this fall.
After more than a decade in retail management and marketing analytics, Jordan Greene returned to college and shifted his focus to the skies. He enrolled at Appalachian State University in 2018 and has recently been awarded a $7,000 North Carolina Space Grant Scholarship.
When Nathaniel Scott first toured Appalachian State University as a prospective student, he had an experience that would alter the course of his life.
Dr. Jennifer Burris, chair of and professor in Appalachian’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, described Scott’s experience: “I was showing Nathaniel our Biophysics and Optical Sciences Facility (BiyOSeF) and his whole face lit up. He was so interested and excited, I could tell from his questions and enthusiasm that he would be an excellent researcher.”
Kayla McDougle’s grandfather taught her to always “measure twice, cut once.” Now she applies his woodworking advice — along with her Appalachian State University education — to real-life projects as she majors in interior design with a minor in building science.
As the first recipient of Appalachian State University’s National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) Divine Nine Leadership Award, Travian Smith is gaining valuable experience to pave the way toward a career in government as a public servant.
The NPHC — often called the “Divine Nine” — comprises nine historically black Greek-letter organizations, seven of which have chapters on Appalachian’s campus.
Payne, a first-year student who plans to major in biology with a concentration in cell/molecular biology, shares how her Appalachian scholarship has empowered her to achieve her dreams of becoming a veterinarian.
Dr. Benjamin “Ben” Powell, associate professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Management, has been named one of three 2019 Academic Affairs Faculty Fellows by the University of North Carolina System. As part of the fellowship, he will spend one year researching academic affairs.
Thirty years ago, Diana Wilcox’s high school guidance counselor suggested seniors interested in attending Appalachian State University should apply for a new scholarship offered by New River Light and Power (NRLP) for Watauga County students. Wilcox applied, was awarded the scholarship and graduated from Appalachian in 1991 with a Bachelor of Science in computer science and minors in mathematics and physics.
Prior to enrolling in Appalachian State University’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.
An international student’s decision to study old-time music at Appalachian State University has influenced not only their life but others’ as a local community begins to see itself and its traditions from a new perspective.
Appalachian State University alumna Johnna Reisner ’15 ’17, a Charlotte native, has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Award by the Polish-U.S. Fulbright Commission to teach practical and specialized English language classes at a higher education or other academic institution in Poland for the 2018–19 academic year.
For the third consecutive year, an Appalachian State University student has been selected to receive the Celia Moh Scholarship. Ryan Decker, a senior industrial design major from Hendersonville, is the newest Moh Scholar. This prestigious scholarship will pay Decker’s full tuition, room, board, books and fees for the 2018–19 academic year.
Appalachian State University alumna Dani Iris, a Swansboro native who majored in studio art, was recently awarded a $15,000 Windgate Fellowship — one of the most prestigious national honors for graduating art students. The fellowship is awarded annually to 10 students nationwide by the Center for Craft in Asheville.
When Evan Atkinson was in high school, his parents told him to look at whatever college he wanted and they would nd a way to pay for it.
Jordan Boles is a first-generation college student in the Appalachian Commitment to a College Education for Student Success (ACCESS) program. ACCESS provides scholarships and support that allow students to graduate without debt.
A James Patterson Scholarship recipient, Judson MacDonald majored in Spanish education and was named Appalachian’s 2016-17 Outstanding Student Teacher of the Year. He also received the first-ever College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Student Teacher of the Year award in May. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Romance languages and is from Cary.
The opportunity to be part of the Appalachian Community of Education Scholars (ACES), a residential learning community for future teachers who live, learn and perform community service projects together, brought MacDonald to Appalachian.
Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Maheder Yohannes is a first-generation college student majoring in accounting at Appalachian State University.
Having immigrated to America at age 10 under dire political and familial circumstances, the senior has excelled academically and as a student leader, especially as a 2017 Holland Fellow in the Walker College of Business (WCOB).
Exercise science major Sarah Miner of Charlotte has a passion for creating equity in health care — and a career plan to make it happen.
“Where you live, your socio-economic status, gender and race can all affect access to health resources,” said Miner, a Fleming Scholar and student in Appalachian’s Watauga Residential College.
Stellar scholars earn a rigorous, transformational and interdisciplinary Appalachian Experience – debt free.
Appalachian awards 10 students Diversity Scholarships for 2017-18.
Six outstanding students have been named Wilson Scholars at Appalachian State University.
Amber Daniel ’18 is one of the inaugural recipients of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Dean’s Scholarship for the Beaver College of Health Sciences, one of the most prestigious university scholarships. She majors in exercise science and aspires to work as a Physician’s Assistant.
Savannah Stevens, a scholarship recipient from the Hayes Endowment for Musical Excellence, is majoring in music therapy and plays the oboe. “If you think about musical excellence, the students who receive these scholarships have talent,” said Savannah. “Being around these talented people is nice and makes me feel accountable. It creates an environment where you are striving to learn more, where for the first time I’m around a bunch of kids who really want to be here.”
Appalachian State University lost a friend, colleague and contributor, Beulah Campbell, Nov. 12, 2016. Campbell first worked on the Appalachian campus in 1943 as an elementary teacher in the demonstration school of Appalachian State Teachers’ College. She returned as a professor in the College of Learning and Human Development from 1957 to 1981.
Luke Walling, founder of Temprano Techvestors in Newton, has established two new funds to support Appalachian State University’s Department of Art. The Cathy P. Walling Visiting Artist Endowment will honor the memory of his late mother, a 1978 Appalachian graduate, lifelong painter and clay artist. Additionally, Walling has provided support for the Wey Hall Renovation Fund with the goal of raising $1 million to improve the current facilities.
Hannah Adams ’14 is a member of the third graduating class of nurses from Appalachian State University's Beaver College of Health Sciences. Her first position out of college was in the oncology unit of Wake Forest Baptist Health in Winston-Salem. Two years later she has returned to work at Watauga Medical Center's radiation oncology department.
Author and entrepreneur alum shares thoughts on success, giving.
Brandon Broom, a nursing student in the Appalachian State University Beaver College of Health Sciences, found his calling shadowing his aunt at her job as a nurse in one of Charlotte’s larger health care facilities. He discovered the true value of his career choice during his clinicals this spring.
Melinda and Tom Cook aren’t Appalachian State University alums but they are long-time supporters: members of The Yosef Club, generous contributors, and Tom Cook served on the Board of Trustees from 2005 to 2009. The real family stamp of approval, however, is that the Cook triplets – Colby ’14, Connor ’14 and Cary – chose Appalachian for their undergraduate studies. Cary will graduate this year.
Appalachian State University sophomore Shannon Wells has dreamed of studying in Japan since fifth grade. As a recipient of a Study Abroad Scholarship funded by The Appalachian Fund, she is realizing that dream.
As a Study Abroad Scholarship recipient, Ronald Vargas spent 2015 in Angers, France. A challenging year for the French –Charlie Hebdo and the November terrorist attacks, an onslaught of refugees from Syria and concerns about the country’s financial stability – it was also a challenge for Vargas.
Donations from alumni and friends enhances student's Appalachian Experience
Chancellor’s Scholar and Wilkesboro native Corbin Ester uses his scholarship-sponsored time at Appalachian State University for academic accomplishment.
Boris Salvador says Appalachian State University has given him the opportunity and resources for him to be the best that he can be as a first-generation college student. A recipient of the Dean’s Club Scholarship in the Walker College of Business, he interned at BB&T’s corporate headquarters in downtown Winston-Salem as their multicultural markets intern in Summer 2014.
Many struggle to find a passion, however, Breanna Alston and Jamal Tiller have both invested hard work throughout the years, as many athletes do, to their passion. These seniors and veterans of the Appalachian State track and field team will not only be missed because of their extraordinary athleticism but also for their amazing personalities and leadership roles.
Allison Powers is a first-generation college student whose parents encouraged her to work hard. A chance encounter with a child at a restaurant led to a friendship that then led to her discovering a passion for working with children with special needs.
More than 100 students from 38 different academic programs at Appalachian State University performed in the campus production of “Kiss Me, Kate” at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts in April 2014. Among them was scholarship recipient Drew Griffin playing the part of Harrison Howell.
As one of the first members of his family to attend college, Appalachian State University sophomore Michael Obacha knows the importance of a quality education.
For Jasmine Otu, receiving a W.H. Plemmons Leader Fellow Scholarship and a Diversity Scholarship has greatly fostered her leadership development at Appalachian State University.
College can be daunting for any student, and even more so when that student is a first-generation college student and a single mother. But Latwanna Singleton was motivated to succeed for her daughter Alanna, and along the way, she found new meaning for the word family.
In her first two years, Appalachian State University choral music education major Carys Kunze covered a lot of ground: she travelled to Austria with The Honors College, landed a College Music Society internship in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was accepted to present at the 2013 National Conference on Undergraduate Research in Lacrosse, Wis. As a junior this year she’s focused on the academic side of her curriculum, learning the teaching methods she’ll need in front of the classroom in a few years.
Dustin Anderson knew he wanted to major in Exercise Science, and chose Appalachian because of the program's excellent reputation, as well as the mountain environment and small town setting.
The people at Appalachian were what made the difference for Colleen Choate. She had her choice of many colleges, but when she visited Appalachian, she knew it was the place for her. A Chancellor's Scholar in the Honors College, Colleen earned a full scholarship to Appalachian. She plans to major in Sustainable Development, and says, "My peers have helped me by supporting me in my goals and introducing me to new ideas that help enrich my own learning experience."
Julie Jean is a French citizen who came to Appalachian for a year-long exchange program, and ended up staying to complete her undergraduate degree.
During his tenure at Appalachian, Dr. Willie Fleming ’80 ’84 made a difference in the lives of African American students. As the first advisor for minority students, he helped hundreds of students successfully navigate their undergraduate academic careers.
Patrick McGuire was drawn to Appalachian by its mountain setting and small class sizes. Once here, he gained a broader understanding of the unique learning opportunities offered in University College.
A risk management and insurance major in the Honors College, Kacey Griffin fell in love with Appalachian’s beautiful mountain setting from the moment she arrived, but what made her stay was the community. “I loved the welcoming feeling I got every time I visited Appalachian,” she says.
When Tyler Branch landed a prestigious internship with the "Late Show with David Letterman," he was thrilled. Of the 400 applicants, Tyler was one of only 12 chosen to work on the show, and he knew it would be a life-changing experience that, combined with the skills he has learned in the classroom, could help him realize his career aspirations to be a television producer.
When Jared Fitzgerald learned that Appalachian’s nursing program had received approval, he immediately submitted his application. Originally a pre-professional biology major with his eye on medical school, Jared was ready to join the new nursing program from the minute he heard it might be an option.
Ashley McNeely has a passion for travel, and a love of math. Appalachian provided her with opportunities to combine these interests, and she came away from her undergraduate experience with a full knowledge of accounting, internship experience with multiple non-profit organizations and a strong appreciation for sustainable practices that she was able to explore further while studying abroad.
One might expect Appalachian students to intern in New York City to learn the ins and outs of Arts Management, but in the case of Dani Weishoff, it's the other way around. Dani is a Music Industry major at Northeastern University, but she opted for a six-month internship with An Appalachian Summer Festival.
As a pre-med major, Corianne Rogers ’12 fell in love with laboratory research. Her goal was to become a doctor, and after an internship at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Honors College student was well on her way.
Delvon Blue ’12 wants to care for underserved populations in North Carolina. "I want to help address the restricted health care access for minority populations," he says. A senior in the Honors College, Delvon appreciates the challenging academic environment, mentorship and internships that are preparing him for medical school.
As a high school student, Ivan Penado wasn’t really the type to join clubs or participate in extracurricular activities, but you would never guess that if you met him today. In fact, he never thought he would go to college - the expenses associated with higher education made college completely out of reach and beyond any serious consideration. But a field trip paired with a call encouraging him to apply for an ACCESS scholarship changed his life.
Brianna Oliver ’11 wanted to see the world, so she approached her education at Appalachian from an international perspective. An internship in Cambridge, England, led to an overseas trip to Ecuador, where her ability to connect with the local people was critical to her research on the impact of the oil industry on indigenous communities in the Amazon Rain Forest.
Michelle Kamen believes in the importance of teaching peace.
Every day, Lorelle Rau ‘09 applies the skills she developed both in class and as a Turchin Center curatorial assistant.
When her alarm goes off each day, Katie O’Brien ’05 thinks, “Who gets up at three in the morning?” But she loves her job.
When Chelsea Royall ’12 was an undergraduate student majoring in interior design, she joined the conceptual design proposal team for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon project.
Even if her mother hadn’t earned her master’s degree from Appalachian, Erin Weaver says she would have chosen to come here just the same.
As an undergraduate political science student, Mary Jordan ’07 ’11 enjoyed working at the university library so much that she decided to pursue a graduate degree in library science at Appalachian.
Hope Wolfe began dancing at five years old, but she says she didn’t really find dance until she came to Appalachian.