BOONE, N.C. — Dr. Shawn Ricks has been named chair of the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies in Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education. Her appointment begins in July.
About her goals for the department, Ricks said, “I am excited about exploring options for collaboration with other departments and the community, as well as the creative ways Leadership and Educational Studies can best prepare students for a variety of leadership roles in response to our rapidly changing national landscape.”
Ricks comes to Appalachian from Salem College in Winston-Salem, where she served as assistant vice president of equity, diversity and inclusion. She has also served as an associate professor of counseling and human services at Old Dominion University and as chair and associate professor of human service studies at Winston-Salem State University.
“Appalachian is well-known and respected for its ability to create community, develop leaders and foster innovative thought. I am excited to be part of a community that forefronts issues of social justice and equity, and is committed to graduating well-rounded global citizens,” Ricks said.
She continued, “My first impression of Appalachian State University was from a parent’s perspective. My oldest daughter graduated from Appalachian in 2010 and had a wonderful experience. As a parent, sending her first ‘baby’ to school, I was impressed by the care and professionalism of the faculty and staff. She has great memories of her time at Appalachian and loves her alma mater!”
Ricks earned a Ph.D. in educational leadership and cultural foundations from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She also holds an M.Ed. in counselor education and a B.A. in African and African American studies, both from Pennsylvania State University.
Her research centers on the mental health and wellness of Black women in higher education; racial trauma and education; and living and learning in a “post-racial” America.
Prior to moving to North Carolina 20 years ago, Ricks, a Philadelphia native, lived in Boulder, Colorado. She loves reading and tennis, and she is beginning to dabble in yoga.
When asked to share something interesting about herself, Ricks said, “My dad is a twin, his mom was a twin and I have twin siblings; it’s supposed to skip generations — I know!”
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About the Department of Leadership and Educational Studies
The Department of Leadership and Educational Studies at Appalachian State University prepares traditional and nontraditional students to assume educational leadership roles in community colleges, universities, public schools, public libraries and related educational settings through active scholarship, reflection, professional discourse and interdisciplinary programs of study based on the integration of theory and practice. The department offer four graduate certificates, as well as four master’s programs, and educational specialist programs in higher education and administration. Learn more at https://les.appstate.edu/about.
About the Reich College of Education
Appalachian offers one of the largest undergraduate teacher preparation programs in North Carolina, graduating about 500 teachers a year. The Reich College of Education enrolls approximately 2,400 students in its bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degree programs. With so many teacher education graduates working in the state, there is at least one RCOE graduate teaching in every county in North Carolina. Learn more at https://rcoe.appstate.edu.
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 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.