BOONE, N.C. — Caroline Davis ’16 ’19 spent last summer working as an intern for the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country (ATHC), setting the stage for her new position as the events and operations coordinator at Western Youth Network (WYN) in Boone.
Davis, who is from Winston-Salem, graduated magna cum laude from Appalachian State University in 2016 with a B.S. in psychology with a concentration in human services. She then earned a Master of Public Administration with a certificate in nonprofit administration, also from Appalachian, after completing her required internship this summer.
Davis was one of 7,869 Appalachian students who earned academic credit for an internship, practicum, student teaching or clinical experience in the 2018–19 academic year.
During her graduate studies, Davis learned about ATHC while conducting research on local nonprofit organizations for her capstone project. The ATHC organization was created to raise funds, renovate and manage the landmark theater in downtown Boone — a $10 million project which included over 500 volunteers and thousands of community stakeholders over a planning and construction period that spanned eight years.
“I saw the passion these folks had put into this project and the benefit it will bring to our community,” Davis shared. “I decided to inquire about an internship, knowing it would be a different type of experience than I’ve had previously, as most of my nonprofit work has come in the form of direct human services organizations.”
While at ATHC, Davis handled administrative duties and conducted research to see what other historic theaters were doing that might help the Appalachian Theatre plan for their first year in operation. She also managed the “Take-a-Seat Campaign,” a fundraising initiative in which patrons could sponsor a seat in the theater.
“This internship helped me operationalize many of the concepts I learned in my graduate program about nonprofit management in a setting where the organization was in its early stages of development,” Davis said.
John Cooper, chair of the ATHC, said, “Caroline contributed immensely to our efforts. She was very smart and helped with a number of campaigns.”
Her experience as an intern will flow into her new position at WYN, Davis said. “At WYN, I’ll be implementing systems to make operations more organized. My work at ATHC was very detail oriented, and the ability to manage tasks and details will be helpful in my role at WYN.”
Davis has had connections with WYN — an organization that works with children in the High Country who have experienced childhood trauma — for several years. After completing her undergraduate degree, she volunteered with the organization for a few months in an administrative capacity. She then became a mentor — a trained volunteer who is matched and spends time with a youth in the WYN program, serving as a positive role model.
Now working professionally with WYN, Davis said she is excited to have found a job in the Boone community that has become her home. “My job with WYN fulfills my passion to serve youth and families — and make a positive impact in my community,” she said.
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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 a premier public institution, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives. App State is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, with a national reputation for innovative teaching and opening access to a high-quality, affordable education for all. The university enrolls more than 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and 80 graduate majors at its Boone and Hickory campuses and through App State Online. Learn more at https://www.appstate.edu.