Appalachian’s College of Arts and Sciences announces new department chairs
By Ellen Gwin Burnette
Posted April 30, 2018 at 3:47 p.m.
BOONE, N.C. — Four new department chairs in Appalachian State University’s College of Arts and Sciences will begin their positions in fall 2018.
These include the college’s current associate dean, Dr. Jennifer L. Burris, who will chair Appalachian’s Department of Physics and Astronomy; Dr. Rose Mary Webb, who will become chair of the college’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology; Dr. Cameron Lippard, who will assume the interim chair position in the Department of Sociology; and Dr. Tammy Wahpeconiah, who will serve as interim chair in the Department of English.
Dr. William Anderson, professor in the university’s Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, and Dr. James Fogelquist, professor of Spanish in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, have been renewed by their departments to serve additional three-year terms as chairs.
“After internal and external processes, I am pleased to announce that two of our new chairs have been chosen by their colleagues and the two interim chairs appointed by the dean. I look forward to working with each of them as they step into these key leadership roles,” said Dr. Neva J. Specht, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Dr. Jennifer L. Burris
Department of Physics and Astronomy
Burris joined the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Physics and Astronomy at Appalachian in 2007. She received her Bachelor of Science in applied science-physics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.S. and Ph.D. in physics from Colorado State University. Burris has served as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and as the graduate program director for the M.S. in engineering physics program in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. She sits on the board of the North Carolina BRIDGES Academic Leadership Program and has previously served as the program’s chair. She is currently helping to lead an effort to create a North Carolina ACE Women’s Network.
Burris received both the 2015 UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching and the 2013 Appalachian State University’s Harvey R. Durham Outstanding Freshman Advocate Award. She is active at the national and state levels of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT), has served as an assistant editor of the journal The Physics Teacher and currently sits on the journal’s editorial board. Burris’ teaching extends outside of the classroom. She regularly mentors STEM students and actively recruits and collaborates with students in Appalachian’s Biophysics and Optical Sciences Facility. Burris’ multidisciplinary research involves optical engineering and studies of biological systems.
Dr. Rose Mary Webb
Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology
Webb joined the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology in 2005. She received a B.S. in mathematics and a B.S. in psychology from Arkansas Tech University, and she holds an M.S. and a Ph.D. in quantitative methods in psychology from Vanderbilt University. She has served as director for the M.A. in experimental psychology program and as assistant chair. Within her department, she has served on strategic planning, curriculum, assessment, as well as numerous other committees. At the university level, she has served on general education subcommittees for quantitative literacy and for social sciences, the CAS Scholarship Committee and the Dean of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council. In 2016-17, she was selected to participate in the Chancellor’s Academic Leadership Development Program.
Webb’s current research focuses on how the personality and competence of people are perceived by oneself and by others, with a focus on the convergence and divergence between reporters and the behaviors that those individual differences predict. The primary aim of her research is to inform behaviorally based measurements of individual differences. She teaches courses in research methods, measurement, and personality and individual differences at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Dr. Cameron Lippard
Department of Sociology
Lippard is an alumnus of Appalachian, graduating with a B.A. in psychology and a B.A. in sociology in 1998. He completed his Ph.D. at Georgia State University in 2006. He returned to Appalachian and joined the College of Arts and Sciences in 2007 in the Department of Sociology. Lippard’s interest in teaching lies with engaging students in lively debates to develop their critical thinking skills on issues of race and racism, immigration, war and research methods. His research has been focused on examining and documenting the treatment and social integration of Latino immigrants in the American South. He has published two books on the subject, “Building Inequality” (2008) and “Being Brown in Dixie” (2011). His most recent publication, “WAR: Contemporary Perspectives on Armed Conflict around the World” (2018) was a collaboration with colleague Dr. Pavel Osinsky, professor of sociology at Appalachian.
In 2008, Lippard was inducted into the College of Arts and Sciences Academy of Outstanding Teachers. In 2009, he received the college’s Teacher of the Year Award, and in 2013, Lippard received a UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching in Excellence at the college level. He has served as the sociology department’s undergraduate program director from 2013-16, on the General Education Council since 2013 and is chair of the Social Designation Committee.
Dr. Tammy Wahpeconiah
Department of English
Dr. Tammy Wahpeconiah joined Appalachian’s Department of English in 2004, where she has served as assistant chair since 2009. She received her B.A. in English from the University of Miami and her M.A. in English and Ph.D. in literature from Michigan State University. Her teaching and research interests include Native American and American ethnic literature as well as science fiction. Her recent publications include “‘An Evening’s Curiosity’: Image and Indianness in James Welch’s The Heartsong of Charging Elk,” which was published in the journal Transmotion, and “‘That We May Stand and Walk Ourselves’: Indian Sovereignty and Diplomacy after the Revolutionary War,” which appears in the Routledge Companion to Native American Literature.
Wahpeconiah has served on the Academic Integrity Board, the Student Conduct Board and on various search committees in the College of Arts and Sciences and the English department. She served on the original General Education Task Force in 2010-11. Currently, she serves on the editorial board for Cold Mountain Review, a biannual literary journal founded by alumnus R.T. Smith that is among the oldest in continuous publication in North Carolina.
To learn more about the College of Arts and Sciences and its many departments spanning the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences, visit https://cas.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Physics and Astronomy
The Department of Physics and Astronomy’s curriculum has an applied nature that includes a core of fundamental physics courses and laboratory experiences. The department prepares graduates for a variety of scientific, teaching or engineering professions, as well as future educational endeavors. Learn more at https://physics.appstate.edu.
About the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology
Appalachian’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology serves more than 1,000 undergraduate majors seeking the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, as well as 80 graduate students in three master’s programs (experimental psychology, school psychology, and industrial-organizational psychology and human resource management) and the clinical psychology (Psy.D.) doctoral program. Learn more at https://psych.appstate.edu.
About the Department of Sociology
The Department of Sociology offers a Bachelor of Arts and seven Bachelor of Science concentrations (applied research methods; criminology; families and intimate relationships; health and aging; power and social change; social inequalities; and individually designed, which requires departmental approval). The department also offers minors in sociology and health and aging, plus two online graduate certificates: aging, health and society, and sociology. Learn more at https://soc.appstate.edu.
About the Department of English
The Department of English at Appalachian State University is committed to outstanding work in the classroom, the support and mentorship of students, and a dynamic engagement with culture, history, language, theory and literature. The department offers master’s degrees in English and rhetoric and composition, as well as undergraduate degrees in literary studies, film studies, creative writing, professional writing and English education. Learn more at https://english.appstate.edu.
About the College of Arts and Sciences
The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) at Appalachian State University is home to 17 academic departments, two centers and one residential college. These units span the humanities and the social, mathematical and natural sciences. CAS aims to develop a distinctive identity built upon our university's strengths, traditions and unique location. The college’s values lie not only in service to the university and local community, but through inspiring, training, educating and sustaining the development of its students as global citizens. More than 6,400 student majors are enrolled in the college. As the college is also largely responsible for implementing App State’s general education curriculum, it is heavily involved in the education of all students at the university, including those pursuing majors in other colleges. Learn more at https://cas.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The 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 to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.