Congrats seniors and graduates of the class of 2020!

CAS Spring 2020 Commencement Video

Social Media Participation

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CAS Undergraduate Student Speaker


Shoushou (Sophia) Yang

B.S. Chemistry, Pre-Professional
B.S. Exercise Science, Pre-Professional

Shoushou "Sophia" Yang is from Beijing, China and moved to Asheville, N.C. alone for boarding high school at the age of 15 to pursue a better education.

Appalachian is the place where she found her passion in dentistry through her service experience with six nonprofit community clinics providing free dental services to the public. Sophia volunteered at the local hospital, the Hospitality House, a nonprofit restaurant and an ASE trip through the ACT office. She was the president of dental club and lead service trips to share her empowering experience. Sophia’s favorite aspect of service is meeting other compassionate students who are equally passionate about helping others.

As a member of the CAS Corps and the Honors College Vanguard, Sophia was the student speaker and representative at many university-wide events. To prepare for dental school, Sophia is a double major in chemistry and exercise science with a minor in biology, while participating in the Honors College and Watauga Residential College. She is the recipient for the A. R. Smith Scholarship for six consecutive semesters for her excellence in chemistry as well as other scholarships for her research participation and cultural contributions as an international student.

Sophia’s experience as a tutor and biochemistry research assistant at Appalachian allowed her to discover her passion for dental education and clinical practice. After graduation, Sophia will enroll at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, where she will learn more about ways to alleviate access to care issues through advocacy and initiating changes in public health policies.


CAS Graduate Student Speaker


Rebekkah Watkins

M.A. History, Public History

Rebekkah Watkins is originally from Southeast Colorado and is receiving her M.A. in Public History with a concentration in Museum Studies with an emphasis in Museum Education.

Before coming to Appalachian, she attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she received a Bachelor of Journalism. Her master’s thesis,“The Comparative Museum Experience of Atypical and Typical Learners” is focused on the museum experience of atypical and typical learners and how public history institutions can better serve those with learning difficulties. She also participated in the 3-Minute Thesis competition hosted by the Graduate School at Appalachian and made it to the finals with her presentation of the same name.

During the summer of 2019 she interned in Washington D.C. at the Newseum and Freedom Forum Institute as their programs and development intern. Rebekkah has worked for the last two years as a graduate assistant in the SSS and ACCESS programs and her roles have been academic coach, mentor, secondary instructor and lead graduate assistant. She also serves as the President of the Graduate Student Government Association and the Graduate History Student Association. After graduation Rebekkah hopes to work in museum education and eventually receive her Ph.D.



Junior Marshals


  • Rachel Anderson
  • Judith Espitia
  • Emily Margaret Dusablon


  • Logan Anderson

Chemistry & Fermentation Sciences

  • Jordan E. Moore

Computer Science

  • Ashley King
  • Bryan Hill

Geography & Planning

  • Joshua Platt
  • Caitlyn Duncan

Geological & Environmental Sciences

  • Lily Vowels
  • Amanda Fedorko

Government & Justice Studies

  • Kaitlin Hickman
  • Maria Swords


  • Jackson Carter
  • Jordan Butner
  • Kamryn Harris

Languages, Literatures & Cultures

  • Nathalie Coxton
  • Brody Helms

Mathematical Sciences

  • Grace Rogers
  • Cody Farmer

Philosophy & Religion

  • Kailey Munoz
  • Jacey Dullum
  • Emily Copeland

Physics & Astronomy

  • Austin Murphy


  • Jacob Hege
  • Madison Bilowus


  • Ashley M. Kvanvig
  • Sarah Gleiter

To learn more about our junior marshals, check us out on: Facebook & Instagram.




Mace Bearer

Henson_Commencement2020Dr. Dru A. Henson
Senior Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Professor, Exercise Immunology & Animal Physiology
Department of Biology



Banner Carriers

Madritch_Commencement2020Dr. Michael Madritch
Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Associate Professor, Ecosystems and Ecology
Department of Biology
University banner



Kidder_Ashley_Commencement2020Dr. Pamela Kidder-Ashley
Professor, School Psychology
Department of Psychology
College banner



Full Commencement Coverage

Official University Commencement Website -

Commencement News on App Today -

Board of Governors Teaching Awards

The Board of Governors named six Appalachian faculty members to receive awards, four of them are College of Arts and Sciences Faculty members. A university awards committee from Appalachian selected the awardees, who were nominated by students, administrators or alumni for their innovative teaching methods in the classroom, making a difference in the way students learn.


Dr. Lindsay Masland, associate professor in the university’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology, is the recipient of the Appalachian State University Excellence in Teaching Award with a $1,500 prize.

The following are the winners of the Appalachian State University School/College Awards, worth $1,000 each:


Dr. Sarah Carmichael, professor in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences.

Dr. Mary Ballard, professor in the Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology.

Dr. Cameron Lippard, professor in the Department of Sociology.