Message from the Chancellor

Appalachian seal


We are proud to welcome the biggest, brightest and most diverse first-year class ever to our campus and anticipate an extraordinary fall semester.

I hear repeatedly from visitors to our campus how thoughtful, respectful and engaged our students are, and we are thankful for the opportunity to prepare them for successful and sustainable post-college years. We are also appreciative of the trust you put in our staff and faculty, and we do our utmost to keep our students safe and well while they are in our care.

Just last week we celebrated our annual Safety Week, a series of events designed to educate our students on the myriad of resources available on campus and in the community to ensure their personal safety, health and wellness.

During the week, we host the annual, community-wide Walk for Awareness, a silent walk through the campus to commemorate lives lost to violence, and hold a day-long safety festival on Sanford Mall. At the festival, various university departments, clubs and community partners present events, displays and workshops to share resources beneficial to students’ well-being.

As one of our strategic initiatives, in 2015 the university created the Department of Wellness and Prevention Services to help students navigate their university years safely and successfully through education and training.

Wellness and Prevention Services takes a proactive approach to safety by promoting health awareness and active lifestyles with a holistic model that encompasses eight dimensions: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual.

To that end, this summer Appalachian joined The Jed Foundation Campus Program (The Campus Program), which is designed to help colleges and universities assess and enhance mental health, substance abuse and suicide prevention programming. Participating schools make a four-year commitment to work with The Campus Program to evaluate and identify opportunities to augment these activities on campus.

Additionally, Wellness and Prevention Services, led by Dr. Alex F. Howard, offers educational programs on topics such as nutrition, sexual health, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, stress and sleep. The goal is to provide evidence-based wellness and prevention training and education to the greatest number of faculty, staff and students, Howard said.

Our splendid fall leaf season is fast approaching and Homecoming is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 22. Please consider this a personal invitation to visit our campus sometime this fall and celebrate the young people, faculty and staff who make this such a grand community.

Walk for awareness
Students, faculty, staff and members of the High Country community join together for the 2016 Walk for Awareness, a silent walk through Appalachian State University’s campus to commemorate lives lost to violence and support victims and survivors of violence.
Up to me shirt
During the safety festival, various university departments, clubs and community partners are on hand to share resources beneficial to students’ well-being. Pictured above, foreground, is Traci Royster, interim director of Multicultural Student Development and former director of Parent and Family Services.

Photos by Marie Freeman, university photographer


SignatureSheri N. Everts

At Appalachian, we put students first, always, and together we are building a bright future. Ultimately, the reason Appalachian’s stellar faculty and staff come to work every day is to realize this vision.


University Housing

Housing movein

Joining our parent move-in volunteers, over 800 faculty, staff, students, and community members helped move all our freshmen in during move-in weekend. Thanks to everyone who helped make the event so successful! Now that everyone is here, fall semester is a busy time in University Housing. Please read below to learn more about all the processes that will happen between now and December.

Helping Your Student Navigate Roommate Relationships

Back in July, all our residence hall students were anxious to hear who their roommates would be for the upcoming year. Now, everyone is settling into the halls and learning how to live with each other. For some, this will be an exciting experience with more highs than lows. For others, it can be frustrating or overshadowed by anxiety. Whatever your student’s experience may be, you can help him or her create a positive roommate relationship.

  1. Set Expectations – The first step in creating a positive living environment is to create expectations. University Housing requires all roommates to complete roommate agreement forms. The purpose of these forms is to initiate conversations between roommates about the “rules” for their room. Are guests allowed over? If so, how long? How late can the TV be on each night? What things can we share? What is off limits? Some questions may seem silly to residents, but unless they have a conversation, they are not going to know the other person’s perspective about a situation. Maybe one roommate comes from a home where he has 5 siblings and shared everything, but his roommate is an only child who hasn’t had the opportunity to share his space with anyone. These two students will likely need to compromise to create a living environment that is comfortable for both of them.
  2. Embrace Conflict – There is no better way to learn and develop in college than through conflict. As parents/guardians, we want the best for our children and hate to see them struggle. It feels really good to jump in and solve their problems; however, that doesn’t always teach our students the skills they’ll need to be successful in life. When your student is struggling with her roommate, challenge her to embrace the conflict. Has she spoken to her roommate about the problem? Does the roommate understand her perspective and does she understand the roommate’s perspective? Have they been able to develop a plan to address the situation? What are their next steps? How will they know the conflict is resolved? By helping your student through this process, you’ll not only be helping her resolve the situation, but you’ll also be teaching her problem solving skills.
  3. Ask for Help – Sometimes roommates need help solving their problems. Oftentimes, they will come to you for guidance and support. Your support is invaluable to them. It’s important to know that you have a team in each residence hall that is on your side in supporting your student. Each student has a Resident Assistant (RA). The RA’s primary job is to care about your student. The RA can talk to your student about the problem, offer advice, listen, mediate conflicts, offer campus resources, explain room change processes, or anything else your student may need. The RA lives on your student’s floor and can be reached daily by stopping by his/her room. There are additional RAs available each night at the front desk from 8pm-12am. If the roommates cannot solve the problem with the assistance of the RA, there is a Hall Supervisor that lives in each building who can provide additional resources and support. Hall Supervisors hold office hours in the building each week. Encourage your student to use the staff who are there to support them.
  4. Communicate – The most important skill in any situation is communication. Encourage your student to maintain open communication with his roommate. This will help avoid many conflicts, and when needed, it will help solve them. As our students work to become independent adults, they will continuously develop their communication skills. Encourage this development while embracing the conflict that is providing the opportunity to grow!
 Read more

Office of Financial Aid Update

The Office of Student Financial Aid is excited to welcome students back to campus. Our experienced staff is dedicated to assisting students and their families in making informed financial decisions.

Should any questions or concerns arise regarding your student’s financial aid, we encourage you and your student to contact us. Our contact information can be found on our website. If your student is on campus, they are welcome to visit our office on the 2nd floor of the John E. Thomas building, room 265. We are open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except for University holidays. For more information about counselor meeting hours, please visit our website.

A crucial element to ensure the clearest communication regarding your student’s financial aid is to have them set you up under their Parent Access portal. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) prohibits our office from discussing most information with any parent or guardian not authorized under Parent Access. For more information on setting up the Parent Access portal, please visit the Registrar’s Office website.

 Read more

Supercharge Your September is here!


Now that your student has had a few weeks to settle into university life, encourage them to get involved! Students are invited to Supercharge their September by engaging with the many departments offering programs on-campus. There is something going on almost every day of the week. Each event during Supercharge Your September aligns with at least one of the Eight Dimensions of Wellness (emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social, spiritual), so while your students are having fun doing new things, rest assured that they are also doing something positive for themselves to keep them feeling great. Visit the Supercharge your September AppSync Portal to view upcoming events.

Join the Food Services Campus Announcement Group


Are you interested in receiving emails from Appalachian Food Services? Join the Food Services Campus Announcement Group! Being a part of this group is a great way to keep up-to-date with what’s happening with Food Services.

Food Services sends emails regarding news, schedules, events and more as well as information about AppCards, Meal Accounts and Express Accounts. You will also receive our monthly newsletter.

The Food Services Campus Announcement Group is open to all. Click here to visit the new Campus Announcements page and opt-in to receive messages from Food Services.  You can also choose to opt-out whenever you wish.


House Calls 2016: Creating Connections With Off-campus Students

2016 Magnet

On August 31, 2016, more than 60 volunteers (primarily App State faculty and staff) visited over 1,900 off-campus student apartments to greet and welcome students to the community as part of House Calls, an annual event that has been taking place at the beginning of fall semester since 2006.

Each apartment we visit is provided with an AppCares refrigerator magnet printed with 24 hour safety resources. We estimate that this year's event reached over 5,000 off-campus students! The 2016 safety magnet features the newly redesigned "It's Up to Me/ Us" theme, part of our campus-wide campaign to promote awareness and involvement by all members of the App State community in wellness, prevention, and safety issues. For more information, visit the Appalachian Cares website and our Wellness & Prevention Services site.

House Calls is just one way that Appalachian State works to connect with off-campus students, who are a large and important part of our community. The Off-Campus Student Services Office (located in the Dean of Students Suite in Plemmons Student Union) will be sponsoring other events, activities, and opportunities for off-campus students to get involved and give feedback on their off-campus experience in the coming semester and academic year.

Career Development Update


The Career Development Center helps all Appalachian students with their career exploration and planning. This fall, we have events that are tailored to the unique needs of first and second year students.

  • Majors Quest on October 4th is an event designed to help your student explore majors, minors, and concentrations; meet faculty and students in that major; and learn about careers related to that major.
  • Leadership and Career Quest on October 5th will provide students an opportunity to connect with AppState alumni and learn about career paths and industries for all majors.

In addition to these events, the following programs are designed to help all students prepare their resumes, practice interviewing skills, speak with employers, manage their online presence, and learn about graduate school options:

 Read more

Office of Sustainability Update

Green YosefThe Office of Sustainability has many new initiatives for Fall 2016 as well as updates and improvements to existing programs.

New for Fall 2016, the office is housing a food bank and free store. Open during regular business hours (8:30am ­ 5:00pm), these resources are open to the Appalachian community. Anyone wishing to donate to either of these ventures or arrange a food drive is encouraged to do so, please contact our office for more information.

Now in its second semester, the Green Yosef workplace certification program recognizes campus work spaces that have taken extra steps to have greener operations and lower their daily carbon footprint. Certification is contingent on completing all prerequisites and the questions in each of seven categories. This certification is completely voluntary, and the Office of Sustainability will offer advice and assistance if requested.

As football season kicks off, so does the Zero Waste Stadium program, which strives to divert stadium waste from the landfill to recycling and composting efforts. Last season Mountaineer fans helped divert an average of 78% of stadium waste ­ help us beat that mark in 2016! Be on the lookout for student interns and Zero Waste stations within Kidd Brewer Stadium.

Also for football season, the Office will be hosting tailgates prior to each game at the Yosef Statue beside the Duck Pond. During the year we’ll be joined by sustainability minded student groups and various community organizations. Come by to get tips on greener tailgate practices,sign up for giveaways, get recycling bags for your tailgate spot, and get our cool “Green Yosef” sticker to display on your cooler.

 Read more

You Are Taking a Class in WHAT?!

Student library

Prof. Martha McCaughey, Coordinator, First Year Seminar

As the fifth child my parents sent off to college, I had to find my own ride to my new campus and move in by myself to my new dorm. Once I got to campus, no portable communication devices enabled me to stay in touch with family. The year was 1984. The telephone on my dorm wall did not even have an answering machine. Thus in my case, due to having relatively relaxed (or perhaps exhausted) parents and technology that now seems positively Paleolithic, my parents had little idea of what courses I was taking, or what books I was reading, until I came home for the Thanksgiving break.

There’s no question that parents and family members today are more involved with their college student’s education than ever before. I applaud the support and connection of family members many of our students enjoy today. The downside of this, as I’m sure you’ve heard, is “helicoptering.” A more nuanced feature of greater family involvement is students sometimes feeling pressure to justify the classes they’re taking and feeling pressure to major in something “practical” that promises to pay their bills.

As the Coordinator of First Year Seminar, the first course of the 44-credit hour General Education curriculum, I want to share with parents and family our vision for your student. We want to offer an immersive, transformational educational experience. To do this, we expose students to a variety of teaching and learning styles, perspectives, debates, and opportunities for engaging in learning both inside and outside the classroom. Not every course they take will point clearly to a specific career.

 Read more

Transfer Student Mentors help welcome new transfers

The Office of Transfer Services works closely with ten Transfer Student Mentors to aid other transfer students through the transitional process of transferring to Appalachian as part of the Jump Start Appalachian program. Each mentor is a transfer student themselves so they understand the questions, concerns, and needs of new transfer students.

The Transfer Student Mentors help welcome admitted transfer students during Transfer Pre-Orientation Program (T-POP) and Orientation during the summer, answer questions and concerns on our Jump Start Facebook page, reach out to new transfer students in their first few weeks of classes, attend Transfer Services student events, and call new newly admitted students  admits from our partner community colleges the semester before they transfer. This personal attention helps ease the barriers transfer students sometimes encounter as they make their way to a new academic environment. Our Mentors will even meet new transfers that may have questions or are having trouble connecting socially for coffee or a meal.

The ultimate goal is to ensure that every new transfer student makes a successful transition to Appalachian and becomes an happy Mountaineer! Your student can connect with our mentors through Facebook or Jump Start at Appalachian State.

Fall 2016 Flu Clinics

The semester is rapidly approaching and we want your students to perform at their highest academic potential. Health related illness, like Influenza (Flu), can cause students to miss classes, exams, and major projects resulting in poor grades. Influenza is a respiratory illness that infects the nose, throat, and lungs. According to the CDC, flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle or body aches, as well as fatigue and can last one to two weeks at a time. The flu is highly contagious and poses a true threat to college students as they live in close proximity to one another in residence halls and apartments.Flu season typically lasts from October to May with an influx of cases during the colder months.The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated.

With the help of University Housing, Student Health Services and Wellness and Prevention Services will offer Flu Clinics in various residence halls on-campus. This will provide an easy access opportunity for students to get vaccinated. Please view the details below:

 Read more

Walker College of Business Update

2016 FALL PDS EVENT SERIES webimageThe Walker College of Business provides students not only a high quality business education (read more in Dean Heather Norris' most recent update), but also the professionalism and leadership training necessary to stand out in the job market after graduation. The college's BB&T Student Leadership Center is in the midst of its 2016 Professional Development Series, which provides presentations by subject matter experts on current career, professional and leadership development topics.

Parents: encourage your student to join in the discussion and learn how to land a dream job and prepare for a successful career after college. Approaching sessions include: Professional Dress (Sep 13), Open Interview (Sep 20), How to Work a Career Fair (Sep 27) and Cover Letters (Oct 18) For a complete listing, view our website events calendar:

Download: 2016 Fall PDS Event Series

New Webinar Series on Student-Of-Color Mental Health

Family Help In Coping with Stress Fosters Success of Students of Color

The Steve Fund will host a three-installment webinar series for parents and families addressing the mental health of college students of color. The Steve Fund’s mission is to support the mental and emotional well-being of college students of color. It works in partnership with colleges and universities, non-profits, researchers, practitioners, and groups serving diverse populations.

As young people of color transition to the college and university environment, they are faced with serious challenges to their mental and emotional well-being. This webinar series grows out of an ever increasing need to inform and support parents and families of color as a critical resource in the emotional well-being of their children.

The webinar series will focus on aspects of mental health and well-being for the student, discussing topics ranging from the unique pressures and challenges faced by students of color, to potential strategies for positive change. The presenter is Dr. Meeta Kumar, Director of Outreach and Prevention Services at the Counseling and Psychological Services as well as adjunct faculty at the University of Pennsylvania. She will discuss challenges faced by students of color during college and emerging adulthood and ways in which parents and family members can help their child thrive within this environment. We hope that this conversation will prompt dialogue and build knowledge around this issue among families, college leaders and service providers, and promote innovative solutions for this population.

The webinars will be of interest to parents and family members, college and university leaders, faculty, researchers, student services staff, college counseling professionals, and students and peers. They are ideal for families who seek to support the success and emotional well-being of students of color. They are also valuable to all mental health and student services professionals who would like to learn more on the subject from outstanding thought leaders in this area. Please join us as we discuss challenges faced by this group of students, opportunities for families to serve as impactful advocates and supporters of their students’ mental health, and institutional approaches for supporting program improvement.

Following the live webinars, access to view the recorded content will be available at the Steve Fund’s Knowledge Center on

RSVP TODAY!  Thursday, September 22, 2016 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM EDT - RSVP HERE

 Read more

Smalls Talk Episode #1: Identity

Wellness and Prevention Services and University Communications introduces the Smalls Talk Podcast. This podcast is designed for college students at App State and focuses on the 8 dimensions of wellness (Emotional, Environmental, Financial, Intellectual, Occupational, Physical, Social, and Spiritual).

Hosted by Saray Smalls, Wellness Coordinator for Student Programs, each episode will feature a member of the AppState Community. Visit or your SoundCloud App to listen.

Grocery Store Tours Fall 2016

Appalachian State Grocery Store Tours are designed to enhance food shopping skills as a means to improve nutrition related behaviors. Sponsored by the Department of Wellness and Prevention Services and facilitated by the department’s Registered Dietitian and Wellness Coordinator, students will have the opportunity to have a guided tour of local grocery stores as a means to increase raw fruit and vegetable intake, learn to reach food labels, and utilize savings opportunities.

Grocery Store Tour #1
Date: Wednesday September 28th
Time: 10am-11am
Location: Walmart
Click Here to Register

Grocery Store Tour #2
Date: Wednesday October 19th
Time: 12pm-1pm
Location: Harris Teeter
Click Here to Register

Grocery Store Tour #3
Date: Tuesday November 15th
Time: 10am-11am
Location: Food Lion
Click Here to Register