Appalachian State University is known for close collaboration between faculty and students, and superb faculty mentorship. In this piece from May 2016 Commencement, students share their memories of their favorite professors, and faculty share why they are passionate about imparting knowledge.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls about 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.
Student 1: We just want to say thank you, Dr. DeHart. You’ve really given us world experience that we never really would’ve gotten. And so, we’ve been forced to go to different activities on campus that opened us up to networking and all of that.
Student 2: Mr. C…Charles Ciaramita…was the first professor to tell me that I could do anything that I wanted to do in life. And he actually went above and beyond the expectations and actually helped me get a job after college. So I will forever be grateful for Mr. C.
Student 3: Honestly, he just made me feel like…that was the first teacher that I really felt like sincerely cared about me. And he just really taught me a lot and just made me a better person in general. He really just made me want to step my game up and become a better person. I appreciate him for that.
Student 4: Well, we had the absolute pleasure of being in class with Dr. Wood for two years. He changed the way we learn. He inspired us, he wanted us to be the best we could be, and we love him so much. He’s a great professor.
Student 5: I just want to thank Dr. Ferrell for all his commitment to everyone at the university and me specifically. He’s been here for three years and has made a bigger difference than any other professor I’ve ever had. I just want to thank him for being really engaging and actually caring about me and about us as students.
Student 6: So Leigh Dunston was definitely my favorite professor. I had him for an International Transactions class, and he just…it opened my mind to so many things.”
Student 7: My favorite professor is Dr. Sandra Vannoy. I first met her about three years ago when I did a study abroad trip to Brazil with her and Dr. Meznar, who is also a great professor. And the one thing I appreciated most about her is that she treated me like an equal.
Student 8: Alright, we just want to say thank you to Susan Lutz because she is so awesome. She helped us through our capstones, she helped us through composition and improv and she’s just an all-around great person and always believes in us and loves her students.
Professor 1: I like to teach because I really feel I can make a difference.
Professor 2: Why I teach? I have to teach! I love teaching, I love helping kids learn.
Professor 3: I love this job because it’s very rewarding to see growth and development, to see the students interact. I’m always learning. It’s just a tremendous learning and growing environment for everyone involved.
Professor 4: I teach because I love students, and I love being able to see them grow and to share what I’ve gotten from all my teachers in the past.
Professor 5: I love teaching because it changes people’s lives, and I believe it has the capacity to be transformative. And to make a difference in the world.
Professor 2: It’s part of my psyche down deep. And I’ve been doing this for 21 years now, 15 years at App State, and there’s not a better job in the world…honestly.
Professor 1: It’s a great profession. I highly recommend it.