CAS Corps Feature: Bella Vanden Boom

The College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Corps are chosen to serve as representatives to all constituents of CAS and to create, promote and execute opportunities for academic and professional growth. These students represent a variety of departments from across CAS and will represent the College at events through interaction among current students, future students, parents, donors and alumni.

Throughout the year, we will be introducing new students representing the College in the 2023-24 academic year through a question and answer format. For more about the CAS Corps, visit:

Bella Vanden Boom

Year: Junior
Major: Geography
Hometown: Wake Forest, N.C.

Which clubs or organizations are you a member of?

  • Appalachian Geographical Society

What scholarship(s) have you received from Appalachian or while studying at Appalachian?

  • Appalachian Excellence Scholarship

  • North Carolina Scholarship

What research or coursework have you been most passionate about?

"Climate Science Research and Human and Political Geography"

Which location(s) do you hope to visit for an internship, a study abroad trip, a research experience, or just for fun?

"I hope to intern alongside National Geographic or the American Geographical Society. I participated in the Department of Geography and Planning's faculty-led study abroad trip to Peru this past summer."

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

"My favorite place on campus is Durham Park because it's usually quiet and very peaceful. In my opinion, it is the best place on campus to relax or get away from the crowdedness of more popular places."

What is one of your favorite memories at Appalachian thus far?

"One of my favorite memories at App State thus far is bringing my senior Pomeranian, Dexter, onto Sanford Mall on warm spring days. Dexter is 14 years old and although he's already made many amazing memories in his life, he is always so happy to meet new people on Sanford or receive pets from old friends!"

What do you like about Boone and the surrounding community?

"I love how inclusive and welcoming the Boone community is. Boone seeks to engage the students and local residents in really fun ways, either with live music festivals, farmers markets, parades on King Street, or even outdoor movie nights on Sanford Mall!"

What are your hobbies?

"Drawing, Baking, Researching, Hiking, Collaging, Foraging, Thrifting"

What is your favorite book, podcast, artist, and/or television show?

"My favorite podcast is 'Murder With My Husband' by Payton and Garrett Moorland. My favorite music artist is Phoebe Bridgers. My favorite television show is 'I Think You Should Leave.'"

Tell us about one faculty or staff member that has made an impact on your life and how.

"Dr. Baker Perry is a faculty member that has made a deeply rooted impact on my life. I was fortunate enough to participate in the Peru study abroad trip alongside Dr. Perry this past summer. Trekking through the Andes with such a profound and experienced individual such as Dr. Perry was the opportunity of a lifetime. I learned so much from his stories of his research in South America, and I had the great pleasure of meeting and interacting with incredible Peruvian individuals who he has held lasting connections with for years. Dr. Perry's knowledge of the world and its properties is fascinating, and I am forever grateful to have traveled with him this summer."

What do you feel has been valuable in your education at Appalachian versus another institution?

"The faculty at Appalachian State have a consistent mission to create student success within and outside the classroom. The warmth, kindness, and understanding of much of the faculty is exactly what students need as they navigate through the tribulations that young adult life brings."

What do you hope to do after graduation?

"After graduation, I hope to pursue even higher education and obtain my master's degree and Ph.D. in geographical sciences. I would like to contribute my skills in geographic information systems to the world in some way. Additionally, I hope to work with organizations pursuing conservation efforts around the world; overall, I hope to make a positive impact on not only the planet, but also on everyone who is fortunate enough to reside here as well."


About the Department of Geography and Planning
The Department of Geography and Planning promotes the understanding of the spatial dimensions of human behavior within the physical and cultural systems of the earth, and the role of planning in achieving improvement in those systems. The department offers degrees in geography and in community and regional planning. Learn more at

Compiled by Lauren Andersen
October 6, 2023

CAS Corps member Bella Vanden Boom is a junior geography major from Wake Forest. Photo by Lauren Andersen.
Published: Oct 6, 2023 8:40am