BOONE, N.C. — Generations of Black Mountaineers — from innovators to motivators — continue to inspire the Appalachian State University Community and beyond with their hard work, vision and dedication.
A story told by App State Chief Diversity Officer Willie Fleming illustrates how Black leaders may serve as role models for underrepresented students and the broader campus community: Fleming said one of his former students visited his App State office and noticed his regalia hanging on the door. The student later told Fleming he decided — the day of his visit — that he, too, would one day earn a doctorate. Fleming said the student, who received his doctoral degree, is now chair of an academic department at an HBCU (historically Black college or university).
Read on to learn about some of App State’s most prominent and influential Black figures, including staff, alumni and a faculty member.
Oct. 28, 2019
Dr. Tempestt Adams in Appalachian’s career and technical education (CTE) program uses research-based techniques to develop high school instructors for classes that could directly impact their students’ college and career choices.
Oct. 9, 2020
App State’s Dr. Willie C. Fleming Scholarship is a win-win for diversity, according to its initiator, Judge Gary Henderson ’92 ’94. Recipients, who are provided full in-state tuition and fees, mentorship and additional opportunities, benefit the Appalachian Community through their leadership efforts to promote cultural diversity.
Oct. 29, 2020
App State alumnus Kameron Neal ’14 credits his Appalachian Experience with setting his career course as a multidisciplinary artist living and working in New York City. Here, Neal reflects on his time at App State and the opportunities that helped broaden his artistry.
Oct. 15, 2020
Carter began her new role as ombudsperson Sept. 15. As ombudsperson, Carter provides confidential, impartial and off-the-record problem-solving and dispute resolution assistance to App State students, faculty and staff at no cost.
Oct. 20, 2020
App State’s Dr. Jamie Parson is fostering access to careers in insurance for underrepresented students in the Walker College of Business through diversity and inclusion initiatives designed to give students the resources they need to be successful.
March 1, 2021
For the second consecutive year, App State General Counsel Paul Meggett has been selected for membership in The National Black Lawyers Top 100. He is one of 13 North Carolina attorneys recognized this year for promoting diversity and equality.
March 20, 2020
Appalachian’s first African American female ROTC graduate, Edna W. Cummings ’78, is one of the newest inductees in the U.S. Army Women’s Foundation Hall of Fame. Cummings is a retired Army colonel with a distinguished 25-year military career.
July 10, 2020
Kimberly Holley, who comes to Appalachian from North Carolina State University, has 15 years of experience in college admissions. She has worked with students from marginalized populations while assisting organizations with improving their overall diversity enrollment.
Q&A with an App State alumna about her journey toward a professional music career in NYC
Feb. 17, 2021
In this Q&A, App State alumna Shirazette Tinnin ’02 shares details about her life as a professional musician in New York City, some of her experiences as a Mountaineer, the trials she has encountered and the lessons she has learned along the way.
July 10, 2020
Lamont A. Sellers, the former senior diversity officer at the University of South Dakota, is the new director of intercultural student affairs at Appalachian State University as of July 1.
Explore stories on App State diversity
Diversity and inclusion at App State by the numbers, fall 2020
- 18% racially and ethnically underrepresented students.
- 56% growth in underrepresented students since 2014.
- 97% growth in first-year underrepresented students since 2014.
- 12.5% underrepresented full-time faculty.
- 20.6% underrepresented new faculty hires.
- 38.5% growth in underrepresented faculty since 2014.
- 100% growth in underrepresented staff since 2014.
- 60.4% growth in total underrepresented employees since 2014.
Dr. Willie Fleming, App State’s first chief diversity officer of a stand-alone office, regularly shares updates with faculty, staff and students regarding progress on the university’s diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Take a look back at App State’s Faces of Courage honorees who championed early diversity efforts at the university.
Feb. 15, 2021
Whitman, who is Boone Police Department’s first female African American police officer, shares her perspectives on serving as team manager for the App State women’s basketball team during her time at App State — and being a role model for generations of underrepresented children. As part of the Sun Belt Conference’s Be The Change initiative, Whitman and Appalachian Police Department Officer Cashae Cook ’14 were recognized at a recent home women’s basketball game, designated as “Spread the Love/First Responders Night.”
Dec. 4, 2020
App State has joined 18 other higher education institutions across the nation in a three-year effort to develop inclusive best practices for recruiting, hiring and retaining STEM faculty, as well as ensuring all STEM faculty engage in inclusive teaching, advising and research mentoring.
Nov. 19, 2020
A bias training event hosted and sponsored by the Appalachian Police Department certified 15 App State and High Country police officers as implicit bias trainers.
Oct. 9, 2020
The first four recipients of App State’s full-tuition Dr. Willie C. Fleming Scholarship — a rising business leader, a college adviser, a graduate student hopeful and a medical professional — have graduated from App State and are poised for postgraduate success. Learn about their next steps beyond App State.
Oct. 9, 2020
Appalachian’s Diversity Scholarship is awarded to students who have demonstrated leadership potential, academic achievement, a willingness to create positive change and a commitment to the principles of diversity.
About Diversity and Inclusion at Appalachian
Appalachian State University is committed to developing and allocating resources to the fundamental task of creating a diverse campus culture. We value diversity as the expression of human similarities and differences, as well as the importance of a living and learning environment conducive to knowledge, respect, acceptance, understanding and global awareness. Learn more at http://diversity.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 20,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.