BOONE, N.C. — Beginning with Lillie Shull Dougherty, one of the three co-founders of Watauga Academy in 1899, women have been integral to App State’s history. From faculty and staff, to deans, vice chancellors and Chancellor Sheri Everts — the first woman to serve as chancellor of App State — these women have blazed trails and built a foundation that continues to support current and future Mountaineers.
Under the leadership of Everts, who is currently one of the longest-serving chancellors in the University of North Carolina System, women have increasingly held leadership roles at the university. Everts has presided over a nearly 55% increase in the number of women senior academic and administrative officers since 2014.
In celebration of Women’s History Month and the many contributions and accomplishments of women, read on to learn more about App State administrators, alumni, students, faculty, staff and campus visitors who are leading the way and inspiring others, as well as university events and initiatives focused on women’s history.
Statue of D.D. Dougherty dedicated at Founders Plaza
Sep. 30, 2022
App State celebrated its fifth annual Founders Day on Sept. 6 in honor of the first day of classes held at Watauga Academy in 1899. Events included a poster exhibition, panel discussion, statue dedication, ceremony and cemetery tour.
March 28, 2022
Pamela Mars Wright, former chair and director of the board that governs the $40 billion Mars Inc., delivered the 63rd Harlan E. Boyles Distinguished Lecture on March 17 at AppState’s Holmes Convocation Center.
She will share her geomicrobiology, mass extinction research Dec. 14 as part of The Explorers 50 Speaker Series
Dec. 2, 2022
App State geochemist Dr. Sarah Carmichael has been named to The Explorers Club 50 — a program recognizing those who push the boundaries of exploration. She will share her geomicrobiology and mass extinction research as part of The Explorers 50 Speaker Series on Dec. 14.
Jane Palmer's LA-based company produces black pigments made from wood waste
March 24, 2023
App State alumna Jane Palmer ’98 started her Nature Coatings business in 2017 to transform wood waste into high-performing black pigments. The company provides an environmentally friendly alternative to petroleum-based carbon blacks.
April 4, 2022
After a national search, Dr. Sandra Vannoy has been named dean of App State’s Walker College of Business. Vannoy previously served as acting and then interim dean of the college. Her new role became effective April 1.
Six other faculty receive campus-based awards for innovative teaching methods
March 23, 2022
Dr. Reeves Shulstad continually fine-tunes her teaching to engage and transform her students through discussion-based music courses. Shulstad is the 2022 recipient of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award for App State.
Jan. 19, 2022
In her time at App State, senior Karolyn Martin has discovered new interests, mentored and educated others and developed skills that will help her in building her career. She is a communication studies major with a marketing minor and aspires to become a lawyer.
Klima is the 1st App State faculty member to receive the Mathematical Association of America award
May 10, 2022
App State’s Dr. Vicky Klima has been recognized with the Southeastern Section 2022 Distinguished Teaching Award, conferred by the Mathematical Association of America. Klima is the first App State faculty member to receive this award.
July 26, 2022
Learn about App State alumna June Wilson Hege ’65 and why she was selected as a recipient of the university’s 2022 Outstanding Service Award. The award recognizes individuals for their exceptional service to the university.
Funding to support ongoing permafrost research, K–12 education collaborations
Jan. 31, 2023
App State’s Dr. Sarah Evans, assistant professor in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, has received a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation. The award comes with a federal grant to support Evans’ research and education activities for five consecutive years.
Feb. 6, 2023
Appalachian State University alumna Meredith Lindsey Draughn ’15 is the 2023 National School Counselor of the Year — giving her the opportunity to spotlight the school counseling profession and the school counselors who support K–12 students every day.
Renee Yong was one of 5 international student winners worldwide in the Make Your Mark International Scholarship Contest
May 5, 2022
App State music therapy student Renee Yong was one of five students worldwide to win a scholarship in the fall 2021 Make Your Mark International Scholarship Contest, for her song “Cold Mountain Shadow.” Post-graduation, she aims to research music therapy treatments for depression.
July 27, 2022
App State Athletics is proud to announce the launch of Women In Motion, an initiative to support its female student-athletes by establishing a new scholarship fund and celebrating the incredible Mountaineer women that paved the way for current and future student-athletes.
Dr. Betsy Rosenbalm oversees the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program at App State
July 6, 2022
App State supports new teachers through the North Carolina New Teacher Support Program — offering weekly coaching, professional development and an annual conference.
Oct. 24, 2022
A recently published study co-authored by App State scientists details coal ash deposits in the sediment of five North Carolina lakes located near coal-fired power plants. The study appeared online Oct. 3 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Application information for BRIDGES 2022 now available
April 5, 2022
App State’s Melissa Bryan, Dr. Melissa Gutschall, Dr. Lakshmi Iyer, Dr. Amy Milsom and Dr. Trina Palmer were accepted into and participated in the virtual 2021 BRIDGES leadership development program for women. Application information for BRIDGES 2022 is now available.
April 21, 2022
App State has named Emma Hatfield-Sidden ’08 ’19 as principal of its newest lab school, the Academy at Elkin, slated to open this fall. Hatfield-Sidden, who will begin her new role May 31, is described as being “laser-focused” on students and their success.
May 17, 2022
Jamie Parson has been named chief diversity officer at Appalachian State University, effective immediately. Parson is the second cabinet-level chief diversity officer to hold the position at App State.
She will continue her research project ‘Medieval Literature in the Modern Landscape’
Jan. 10, 2023
With the support of her Fulbright award, Dr. Alexandra Sterling-Hellenbrand, professor of German and global studies at App State, will serve as the Fulbright Visiting Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of Graz in Austria in spring 2023, where she will teach and conduct research.
Her project aims to foster cross-cultural understanding through literature
Feb. 13, 2023
Dr. Katherine Ledford, professor of Appalachian studies at App State, is spending the spring 2023 semester in Amman, Jordan, where she teaches at Al-Ahliyya Amman University — working to foster cross-cultural understanding between the people of Appalachia and Jordan through literature.
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Sep. 5, 2019
This year marked the second annual Founders Day celebration. It included dedication of Lillie Shull Dougherty’s statue, ringing of the Founders Bell and more.
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.