A MESSAGE FROM THE CHANCELLOR | August 15, 2019
Campus is bustling as we welcome new and returning students for the 2019–20 academic year. This is an exciting time, and an opportunity to reflect on the past that has brought us to where we are today. This year, we celebrate Appalachian’s 120-year legacy of innovation and educational leadership. Here are a few recent examples:
The North Carolina Police Executives Association named the Appalachian Police Department as the Law Enforcement Agency of the Year, primarily for its Appalachian Police Officer Development Program — the second of its kind in the nation and the only such program in North Carolina. Students who complete this two-year program become sworn police officers while simultaneously earning their bachelor’s or master’s degrees.
We recently hosted the eighth annual Appalachian Energy Summit, during which experts, policymakers and students from across North Carolina and beyond discussed and strategized sustainability goals. As a result of the collective efforts of this group, campuses of the UNC System, together with industry partners, have avoided more than $924 million in utility costs — a significant savings for our state’s taxpayers. During the summit, Appalachian students also had the opportunity to present research to and network with industry leaders and potential employers.
Students in Appalachian’s Reich College of Education put their classroom work into practice at the university’s Lucy Brock Child Development Lab School (LBCDLS), where they have a front-row seat from which to study how children learn through play. Our future educators recently helped our youngest Mountaineers create a multifaceted research project about the human body. The LBCDLS students created life-size tracings, a mixed-media sculpture and a complementary song they wrote with Emily Wills ’19, a graduate student in Appalachian’s master’s music therapy program.
Geography professor Dr. Baker Perry, along with faculty researcher Dr. Anton Seimon, scaled Mount Everest to conduct climate research as part of a National Geographic expedition. Dr. Perry helped install the two highest operating automated weather stations in the world, which will improve weather forecasting across the globe. Dr. Seimon was on the team that recorded what we believe to be elevation records for at least two insect species.
Our respected educators use their scholarship to engage students in real-world research projects. Kara Snow, a physics major with a concentration in applied physics, used her undergraduate research experience at Appalachian’s Dark Sky Observatory as the foundation for her North Carolina Space Grant internship at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.
I am proud of Appalachian’s commitment to innovation and leadership in every facet of our university — from safety, sustainability and service to academics and research.
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.