CAS Annual Review 2017-18

50th Anniversary in the College title mark

Reflection and Moving Forward

In 2018, we celebrate 50 years since the College of Arts and Sciences was founded. Over those 50 years (and for some departments established prior to the college's existence), we have provided a strong liberal arts foundation for all Appalachian students. The college continues to provide those essential liberal arts skills to ensure a curious and well-informed citizenry.

Below, we reflect on highlights in the college during the 2017-18 academic year and look ahead to the coming year at the many opportunities of growth and innovation happening in classrooms, research, scholarship and creative endeavours, faculty and staff development, global impact, community partnerships and student engagement. I take this opportunity to thank the many hard-working faculty and staff in the college for their dedication and talent, the continued support of our administrative leaders, as well as our alumni and friends for their strong support as we move forward into the next 50 years.

Neva J. Specht, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

Student Scholarships & Awards

Excellence in Education

Grants & Research

Global & Community Engagement

  • 3 students and 3 faculty members received Fulbright Scholar Program awards (Dr. Steve Hageman, Dr. Scott Relyea, two time alumna Johnna ReisnerDr. Susan Lappan and students Ryan Hellenbrand and Megan Holt-Smith)
  • 343 undergraduate and graduate students participated in study abroad experiences in 2017-18
  • 14 study abroad programs led and taught by CAS faculty
  • Black Mountain College Semester, a multi-disciplinary campus and community study of Black Mountain College with over 25 events, 11 speakers, 8 faculty fellows and 3 partnering museums
  • 7th Annual STEAM Expo hosted at Appalachian, part of the North Carolina Science Festival with 26 schools and over 2,500 students grades 6 through 12
  • Appalachian Journal announces Special Edition on Black Mountain College with more than 450 pages and 62 contributors, the Black Mountain College Special Edition of the Appalachian Journal is the largest volume in the journal’s 45-year history

College Support

Awarded Scholarships 2017-18

The College of Arts and Sciences awarded 6 college-wide scholarships and the 16 college departments gave 95 departmental scholarships (80 endowed and 15 current fund scholarships). For more about these scholarships, visit:


Donations by the Numbers

pie chart

Total Donations 2017-18: $369,003.93
New Donors 2017-18: 139

Learn more about how to get involved and support the College of Arts and Sciences at:
To make a donation: give here

Fun Facts

  • 5,000 pairs of solar eclipse viewing glasses handed out on Sanford Mall to campus and community participants
  • 20 students participated in SOAR, our first summer bridge program for students interested in STEM majors
  • 1st professional doctoral degree in the college approved, Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) program
  • 38,834 living CAS alumni
  • First group of CAS Corps, student college ambassadors is formed
  • 6,100 students in the college
  • 91 majors offered
  • 457 full-time faculty
  • 32% of degrees awarded in the University are from the College
  • Over 70% of all general education is taught in the College
  • 48% of student credit hours produced on campus
  • More than 850 students walked at the Spring Commencement on May 12, 2018. 
  • Providing a liberal arts education since 1968 - celebrating 50 years
  • 6 student instagram takeovers


Twitter - @AppstateCAS
Top Tweet

7,458 impressions and 216 engagements
Throw Back Thursday post featuring an image of Doc and Merle Watson performing in the Plemmons Student Union in the 1970’s posted on May 31.

Facebook - @CASatAppState
Top Post

8,302 people reached, 52 reactions and 477 post clicks
Amy Dellinger Page, professor, Department of Sociology was a guest speaker on NPR show 1-A about “Boys to Men: Masculinity and the Next Mass Shooting” posted on March 1.

You Tube - Appstate CAS
Most Watched

Appalachian State University, College of Arts and Sciences Eclipse Educational Video 2

Website -
Top Session

5,110 sessions
Aug. 21, 2017 (the day of the solar eclipse)

Most Visited
3,018 pageviews
Black Mountain College Semester

Alumni Accolades

  • Rosemary Pierce-Messick ’17 working toward reducing pollution and poverty with a startup in Bangalore, India
  • J. Tyler Ramsey ’16, Chemistry alum's research indicates potential harm of essential oils at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
  • Breece Robertson ’00, the ‘GIS whiz’ at The Trust for Public Land
  • Brock Long ’97 ’99 leads FEMA’s mission of support
  • Larry Richard Clark ’62 receives Historian of the Year Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians
  • Carmen Lowe '15 '16  an internship with SBI leads to a law enforcement career
  • Carson Rich ‘17 appointed UNC General Administration Presidential Scholar
  • Nadine Lambert '17 applies her math degree at CGI, a worldwide IT consulting firm
  • Aaron Ballance '04 receives 2017 Linda Flowers Literary Award from the North Carolina Humanities Council
  • Appalachian alumnae Cala Castleberry ’17 and Hayley Wynn ’17 preserve history through National Park Service internships
  • Ian Mance ’03 ’05 and Dustin Chicurel-Bayard reunite at Southern Coalition for Social Justice
  • Mark Ricks ’89 commits $10 million to support Mountaineer Athletics
  • Caroline Federal ’12 recognized by London School of Economics; internships with former presidents’ non-profits boost her career
  • Rod “R.T.” Smith ’75 Named 2016-17 Outstanding Alumni for the College of Arts and Sciences


Growth and Updates

Looking Ahead

Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series

Distinguished authors will visit campus to read from their work, share lessons on craft as part of series. Fall 2018 visiting authors include novelist, poet and biographer Robert Morgan; travel and ecology writer Peter Fish, who is the Rachel Rivers-Coffey Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing at Appalachian; and poet Toi Derricotte.

To view the full schedule of events, visit:

Humanities Council Symposium 2018

Stories of Caring, Health and Community
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018
9-5 p.m.
Parkway Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union
For a full schedule, visit:

For more news and events, visit: