CAS Corps Feature: Bethany Memola

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

Each month we will be introducing one of our students representing the college in the 2020-21 academic year through a question and answer format. This month, meet Bethany. For more about the CAS Corps, visit:

Bethany Memola

Major: English Secondary Education

What clubs or organizations are you a member of?
Appalachian Educators, Swim Club, ACES, ACES Advisory Council and CRU Christian Ministry.

Sports or hobbies?
Reading, lifeguarding, writing, drawing, swimming, running and dog sitting.

Scholarship(s) you have received from Appalachian or while studying at Appalachian?
Eris Mounce Memorial Scholarship for Stokes County, SECU People Helping People Scholarship, Lloyd E. and Rachel S. Collins Scholarship and Rotary Scholarship for Stokes County.

Location(s)/Organization(s) you completed an internship.
I interned as a secretary for West Stokes High School for two years and completed a mentorship for the North Forsyth Swim team.

Location(s) you hope to go for an internship, study abroad or research experience.
I hope to one day be able to teach English in Thailand.

Research or course work you have been most passionate about?
I have been most passionate about learning about creative curriculum structures and how to implement creative writing processes within traditional English courses and course work.

What has been the biggest challenge for you this summer?
The biggest challenge for me this summer was that I was involved in a severe car accident five weeks ago where my boyfriend's car hydroplaned and flipped. He suffered multiple broken bones and a fractured pelvis, and I have a severe concussion I have been working through and a fractured rib. I am hoping to make a full recovery once school begins in the fall.

What has given you peace, relaxation or been your outlet over the summer?
Over the summer, before my car accident, running had become a big outlet for me. I decided I was going to run three to five miles every day, and I have done just that. I have learned a lot about myself through this exercise and I enjoy clearing my head and practicing meditation while running.

What has been the book, podcast and/or tv show you found rewarding or enjoyed over the summer?
A book that has really intrigued me over the summer is called Jefferson Lake, written by Knightsrachel. It brings awareness to mental health issues that people can suffer from. The main character learns how to still live a fulfilling life despite a suicide attempt when they were fifteen. I found this book rewarding because issues like these need to be discussed more often in literature.

What are you most excited about this coming semester?
I am most excited about the opportunity to go back to school itself. Being able to speak with those around me and listen to their stories about quarantine and how their spring semester went is very exciting, even if it was virtual. I cannot wait to go back to my Appalachian family.

What are you most anxious about this coming semester?
I am most anxious about getting ill with anything this semester. I am worried that being quarantined has lowered my immune system, and I do not want any illnesses, including COVID-19.

What is one of your favorite memories at Appalachian thus far?
One of my favorite memories is the Dance Marathon. I participated in a 15 hour dancing fundraiser to raise money for kids in lesser income areas and kids with disabilities. I loved meeting the children and dancing all day with my friends.

What do you like about Boone and the surrounding community?
I love how inclusive and supportive the Boone community is. Almost every shop and restaurant is willing to support Appalachian and its students by providing jobs, flexible hours and support.

What do you feel has been valuable in your education at Appalachian versus another institution?
I feel as though the diversity and inclusion at Appalachian is a notably great aspect of the University and its curriculum. I have been able to take multiple social justice classes that I have really enjoyed and have helped me learn a lot about the world and myself. The support from everyone I have met, professor or student, is something I really value and has helped me grow into the person I am today.

Tell us about one faculty member that has made an impact on your life and how.
A faculty member that has made the largest impact on me is Dr. Peaches Hash. She is actually the professor that recommended me to be a CAS Corps member. She has supported me from the moment I entered her class, and she is one of the only professors I've had so far that really made me feel like I was important. She helped me write a paper that now has the opportunity to become published, and I am very grateful for not only her support, but her genuine kindness.

Tell us about one other connection you have made while at Appalachian - a friendship, mentor, colleague, a new found hobby or interest?
A very important connection I have made is with my ACES mentor, Lauren Rowe. She has helped me immensely with the transition from high school to college, and I am very grateful that she was always there for me at any time of the day or night. From finding my classes to just having a friend I could talk to, she has really shown me what leadership looks like. I have the opportunity to become a mentor this year, and I hope I can be as good as her.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?
My favorite place on campus is the solarium in Plemmons Student Union. There is something almost magical about it. From the beautiful windows to the peaceful water, I love talking with friends or doing homework there. My favorite part about it however is the piano. The most unassuming people will begin to play an amazing piece, and it really helps you to never judge a book by its cover and enjoy the moment.

What is your understanding of "sustainability" after being at Appalachian?
Sustainability from what I have learned at Appalachian is understanding that every small action can impact the environment and world around you. Doing your part to use reusable everyday items such as water bottles or reusable straws, limiting waste, educating yourself on different ways to recycle and help the community is very important. Personally, I have researched different clothing stores and learned what "fast fashion" is, and I try to make a conscious effort to buy sustainable clothing now.

What do you hope to do after graduation?
After graduation, I hope to become a high school teacher and work my way through graduate school so that I can eventually become an English Professor.

What is your dream job?
My dream job is being able to become an English Professor and publish my own novel. I've always loved creative writing and reading, so being an author is a big dream of mine. Teaching at a higher level is also something that has always interested me, and I would love to teach and implement a creative curriculum as a professor.

Is there anything else you would like to add about yourself?
I would like to note how thankful I am for all the opportunities I have received at Appalachian already. I am so excited to be a member of the CAS Corps. I can't wait to become more involved in my community and connect with my fellow members.

Bethany Memola, Sophomore, English Secondary Education major. Photo submitted.
Published: Jan 4, 2021 9:57am