University Communications' resident goofy goober, Dave Blanks, and UComm intern Alyssa "The Juggernaut" Rodriguez interview students on Sanford Mall to find out why they chose to attend Appalachian State University.
Dave Blanks: Hi, Alyssa!
Alyssa R.: Hi!
Dave Blanks: Hey folks, my name is Dave Blanks, and this is Dave by the Bell, and we are — Yes! Alyssa's excited ... Alyssa our intern. On this edition of Dave by the Bell, we're going to ask people why they came to Appalachian State University. Why did you come to Appalachian State University, Alyssa?
Alyssa R.: OK, so it was my senior year of high school, I was applying to colleges, and I got this email from App State, and it was like, "Hey, we'll waive your application fee if you apply," and I was like, "Wow, that's cool. Like, I'm broke. I'm totally going to apply". So I applied, but I didn't really know anything about App State. So I started researching.
Dave Blanks: Because you're from the coast.
Alyssa R.: Yeah. Then I started researching, and I visited App's campus and I just loved it, even though it was so far.
Dave Blanks: Was your family sad that you were going so far?
Alyssa R.: I think they were sad, but they were also really happy for me too.
Dave Blanks: I'm happy for you. I'm happy you're here.
Alyssa R.: I am too.
Dave Blanks: I'm happy all the students are here. Let's go talk to some of them, because we're ...
Alyssa R.: At the bell.
Dave Blanks: By the bell.
Alyssa R.: The bell.
Dave Blanks: Alright, so Alyssa, we're actually doing something different with this Dave by the Bell because we're taking over the Snapchat with this Dave by the Bell. So you're actually snapping as we're doing this.
Alyssa R.: Yeah, I'm snapping, I'm also taking pictures, too. I'm trying to be on my A-game.
Dave Blanks: A-game! That could be the name of your podcast, because your name starts with an A.
Alyssa R.: We'll think on it. We'll table that.
Reese Kennedy: I'm Reese Kennedy. Well first it was the location. It's kind of hard to look around and not want to hang out up here. Then, you know, all the people that I met that guided me through and brought me on tours and orientation, they're all great people.
Dave Blanks: So you like the people and obviously the location.
Reese Kennedy: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: So you don't regret your decision to come to App?
Reese Kennedy: Not at all.
Dave Blanks: You think anybody that I'm gonna interview is going say, "Yeah, yeah I regret it"?
Reese Kennedy: No, nobody's going to tell you that.
Dave Blanks: Thanks, Reese, I really appreciate it.
Reese Kennedy: You have a good one.
Dave Blanks: You too.
McBarret Good: I'm McBarret Good. I wanted to study Russian history, and they have a Russian language program, too, or we have a Russian language program.
Dave Blanks: Right. Now part of it. So it's we.
McBarret Good: Yeah, so I got to do both. I got to study under ... my thesis adviser is actually a Georgian refugee from the Soviet Union. Awesome connection there. My Russian professor grew up outside of Moscow, so I'm just getting a great education from both sides, language and history.
Dave Blanks: Awesome!
Annika Merkh: I'm Annika Merkh. The mountains and the beautiful area ... I'm from New Jersey, so it's nothing like this, but it's beautiful here. So, that and academics.
Dave Blanks: What are you studying?
Annika Merkh: Marketing.
Dave Blanks: Oh, OK. So did you consider other options and it was pretty much just how beautiful the area is that brought you here?
Annika Merkh: Yeah, I had other options up north, but this just doesn't compare to any of them. It was an easy pick.
Dave Blanks: Well, thanks. I'm glad you're here, Annika.
Annika Merkh: Yes, thank you.
Dave Blanks: All right, and what is your name?
Markie Khan: My name is Markie Khan.
Dave Blanks: So Markie, do you go to App?
Markie Khan: Yes, I do go to App.
Dave Blanks: So why did you choose to come to Appalachian State?
Markie Khan: App was actually a last choice pick for me. I really wanted to go out west, I thought. I wanted to be colder and I wanted to be in the mountains, but I like wanted to get on the West Coast, and then I looked to run for App. We both ran.
Dave Blanks: Runners! So the running thing brought you too, Annika.
Annika Merkh: Yes.
Markie Khan: I quit last year. I really didn't like App when I first came. It wasn't really where I wanted to be, but I love it. I have fallen in love with the mountains, and I really think about people who have gone to the other schools and I'm like, "What do you do on an afternoon? Like go out on Main Street?" There's no mountains or parkway, and the sun and snowboarding.
Dave Blanks: Being outside, obviously, is a big part of your life.
Markie Khan: Yeah, for sure.
Dave Blanks: Makes sense. Well thank y'all both!
Markie Khan: Yeah, absolutely!
Aayanah M.: I'm Ayanna McCreary. I thought about going to Charlotte or Greensboro, but App was the most competitive school that I applied to, so I just came here.
Dave Blanks: OK, cool. What are you studying?
Aayanah M.: Film studies and East Asian studies.
Lizzie Botwick: I am Lizzie Botwick. Honestly, it's three and a half hours away from home, and that's kind of what I wanted. My brother and sister both go to school close to home, so I just kind of wanted to get away. I didn't even come here until I moved in.
Dave Blanks: So you took the plunge.
Lizzie Botwick: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: What are you studying?
Lizzie Botwick: Elementary education.
Dave Blanks: Oh, well App's great for that. Cool, so how do you like it?
Lizzie Botwick: I love it. I feel like it's the perfect school for me.
Dave Blanks: Good. I'm glad you're here.
Lizzie Botwick: Thank you.
Dave Blanks: Thanks for your answer.
Lizzie Botwick: Yeah. You're welcome.
Sydney Powell: I am Sydney Powell Jr.
Dave Blanks: Oh, you're Sydney Powell Jr.?
Sydney Powell: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I came to App State because I love the mountains, so I was deciding between the beach and the mountains, but I like the mountains better. I like to hike, and this is a place full of positivity, so I just felt like it was a good place for me to grow as a person.
Dave Blanks: How long have you been here?
Sydney Powell: Three years.
Dave Blanks: Have you grown as a person?
Sydney Powell: I have grown as a person, definitely. I definitely wasn't in touch with who I was back then, and I'm so in touch with myself and other people now. I found myself along the way, but that's definitely what I wanted to do. It took longer than I thought it would. It takes a minute, but once you finally get it, it's the best feeling ever.
Dave Blanks: Awesome, well you seem happy.
Sydney Powell: I am.
Dave Blanks: Well thank you very much for your answer.
Sydney Powell: No problem.
Dave Blanks: Keep going on the journey. More to discover.
Sydney Powell: I will.
Dave Blanks: See you later.
Alyssa R.: Is the wind messing up the microphone?
Dave Blanks: It's not good. It's not going to be great. Actually, this way would probably be better.
Alyssa R.: So we should go this way?
Dave Blanks: Yeah, let's go this way.
Jaylon Cureton: Jaylon Ciertan. I like the outdoors. I don't get enough of that back home and then I also have a bit of legacy 'cause my dad went here.
Dave Blanks: What do you like to do here at App, outdoors?
Jaylon Cureton: I like to hike. Go to the Parkway with friends.
Dave Blanks: What's your like go-to trail on the Parkway?
Jaylon Cureton: I don't know the name of it. I just know that I go right or left when I get to the exit.
Dave Blanks: Which way is the correct way? Go left or go right?
Jaylon Cureton: Go left.
Dave Blanks: Go left. Left, all the cool stuff's left, right?
Jaylon Cureton: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: Well thanks J.C. I appreciate it.
Jaylon Cureton: No problem, thank you.
Gabby Romero: My name is Gabby Romero. Money. App gave me a scholarship.
Dave Blanks: So how did you find out about the scholarship?
Gabby Romero: One of the admissions counselors came to my high school and was like, "Oh, you should just apply for everything." So I did.
Dave Blanks: Then you got it.
Gabby Romero: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: Cool. So your encouragement to a high school student is would be "Apply for everything"?
Gabby Romero: Yeah. I think a lot of high school students self-select, and they feel like they're not good enough or they're not what admissions people are looking for, when it comes to apply to the Honors College, or applying for scholarships. If you don't apply, you're in the same boat as if you would've applied and they said no. So, just apply.
Dave Blanks: So do it. Thanks, Gabby.
Gabby Romero: No problem.
Kelsey Lam: I'm Kelsey Lam. I wanted a change of scenery. I live in the city, and I always go to the beach, so I thought the mountains would be pretty cool.
Dave Blanks: Right? Was this your first mountain sort of, trip? Had you been to the mountains before you came to App?
Kelsey Lam: A long time ago. So, basically no. So it's my first time.
Dave Blanks: So what do you like about it now that you're here? What year are you?
Kelsey Lam: I'm a junior, and obviously the weather is always nice.
Dave Blanks: How nice is this?
Kelsey Lam: Yeah. I'm enjoying it.
Dave Blanks: So you love the weather?
Kelsey Lam: Yeah.
Riley Cullen: My name is Riley Cullen and I'm a freshman, and this is actually my first semester here at App.
Dave Blanks: Welcome, Riley!
Riley Cullen: The reason why I'm here is actually because my mom told me she wasn't going to pay for me to go out of state, and this is the only in-state school I applied to, so I kind of got stuck here but, I'm actually really glad that's how it worked out because I think I've really found a community here and everyone's so nice. I just really like it so it's all good.
Dave Blanks: Awesome. What are you studying?
Riley Cullen: I'm studying ... so I'm double majoring in theater and political science.
Dave Blanks: Wow. What do you hope to do with your theater–political science degree?
Riley Cullen: I either want to be on Broadway or I want to be the president.
Dave Blanks: Well, either way, I'll see you soon.
Riley Cullen: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: What show would be your dream show to be on?
Riley Cullen: Oh my gosh, "Fun Home."
Dave Blanks: "Fun Home."
Riley Cullen: Have you heard of that?
Dave Blanks: No, I have not heard of the "Fun Home."
Riley Cullen: It's so good.
Dave Blanks: All right, I'll check out "Fun Home."
Riley Cullen: Do it.
Dave Blanks: All right well, Riley, thanks a lot for your answer.
Riley Cullen: Yeah, you're welcome.
I'm Tatiana Mcgee. I chose App because it was the only school in North Carolina I was interested in. I didn't apply to any other school in North Carolina. Yeah, App was the only one. So if I didn't get in here, I wouldn't have went to college immediately. I would have probably moved out west and gotten residency. I chose App not only because of its physical location, as a geography major, I do like the geography here. The activities that are present here, you can't find anywhere else. I know people who go to NC State or Chapel Hill and they're like, "I miss the mountains, like kayaking, climbing, everything." They don't have access to it.
Dave Blanks: What's the last super cool thing that was outdoor related that you did?
Tatiana McGee: I went climbing outside. I went to Blowing Rock Boulders, so not super extravagant, but it's something you can't do everywhere else.
Dave Blanks: That's awesome.
Tatiana McGee: Fifteen minutes-ish down the road.
Dave Blanks: Cool. Thanks, Tatiana.
Tatiana McGee: Thank you.
Dave Blanks: I'm glad you're here at App.
Tatiana McGee: I know. I love it. That's why I'm still here.
Dave Blanks: Stick around.
Ian Gungee: I'm Ian Gungee.
Dave Blanks: So Ian, what made you choose App?
Ian Gungee: Mountains and trees.
Dave Blanks: As simple as that.
Ian Gungee: That's about it.
Dave Blanks: Nailed it. Well, you got them right?
Ian Gungee: Yeah.
Dave Blanks: How nice is today?
Ian Gungee: It's perfect.
Dave Blanks: Are you doing anything outdoorsy today?
Ian Gungee: I'm about to go peep Sanford, maybe do some slacklining.
Dave Blanks: Yes.
Ian Gungee: Yeah, hang out with people.
Dave Blanks: Well, thanks for your answer, Ian.
Ian Gungee: Yeah, of course. Thanks for asking.
Anna Matthews: I'm Anna Matthews. I chose to come to Appalachian State University because I've always loved the mountains. I grew up visiting the area, but ...
Dave Blanks: Where'd you grow up?
Anna Matthews: I grew up outside of Raleigh in a town called Apex. Not too far of a drive, about three hours, but I just visited and I absolutely fell in love with the campus and the area, and I love how there's always something to do when you're done with your homework and everything.
Dave Blanks: Are you done with your homework today?
Anna Matthews: I'm not.
Dave Blanks: Oh, dang. I was going to ask what fun thing you were going to do, but it'll be homework, because you're responsible and you always do your homework before the fun.
Anna Matthews: Yeah, totally.
Dave Blanks: Well, Anna, good luck with your homework.
Anna Matthews: Thank you.
Dave Blanks: Alyssa.
Alyssa R.: Listen to all these reasons to come to App. There's so many reasons.
Dave Blanks: I know. Well, you know, it's a fantastic area.
Alyssa R.: We have some really awesome programs.
Dave Blanks: Yep, awesome programs, cool people.
Alyssa R.: Mountains and trees.
Dave Blanks: Right, we got mountains and trees and rivers and slacklining.
Alyssa R.: We love outdoors. We love Boone. We love App State.
Dave Blanks: Right, so we want you to come to App State too. So if you happen to be a high schooler considering what school to come to, then please consider Appalachian State! Put it in the running because it rules, and it's awesome, and it's wonderful, as you can hear.
Alyssa R.: I rate it an A plus.
Dave Blanks: It's on its A-game. Thanks, Alyssa.
Alyssa R.: You're welcome.
Dave Blanks: Alright, have a good one.
Alyssa R.: You too, Dave.
Dave Blanks: All right, bye. Oh, wait.
Alyssa R.: You always say some ...
Dave Blanks: Wow. I'm Dave Blanks, and this has been Dave By the Bell.
Alyssa R.: Exactly, that's how you do it.
Dave Blanks: Right? OK I'll do it like that. OK, let me, I'll do that.
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About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, 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 more than 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.