CAS Corps Feature: Connor Schlaline

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 ten students representing the college in the 2019-20 academic year through a question and answer format. This month, meet Connor and learn about his experiences. For more about the CAS Corps, visit:

Connor Schlaline

Chemistry (Forensics and Certified Concentrations) major
Honors College
From Wilmington, N.C.

What clubs or organizations are you a member of?
Student Government Association, Forensic Science Club, Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout)

Sports or hobbies?
SCUBA Diving, reading, public engagement and community service, casual video gaming, collecting "punny" shirts, telling corny jokes (many of which are related to chemistry), camping, hiking, amateur photography, studying and volunteer diving as a member of the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher's dive team.

Location(s) you completed or will complete an internship.
UNCW Center for Marine Science (a completed single-semester research internship through the Marine Science Academy at Ashley High School)

Location(s) you completed or will complete a study abroad or study away.
While I plan to complete a study abroad, I have not yet decided on a location.

Location(s)/lab(s) you conducted research.
Future/ongoing Organic Chemistry Research with Dr. Weber at Appalachian, Marine Biology research at the UNCW Center for Marine Science.

Location(s) you hope to go for an internship, study abroad or research experience.
I am looking forward to conducting chemistry research at Appalachian, and I am hoping to complete a forensic science internship with the FBI. While I have not decided where I intend to study abroad, I believe it would be enjoyable to study in Europe.

What are you most excited about this coming semester?
Academically, I am eagerly anticipating learning about topics and mechanics in chemistry that I have previously simply accepted, without understanding the underlying reasons that validated such topics and mechanics. Outside of class, I look forward to participating in chemistry research and serving as the chairperson of the SGA Senate Committee on Rules.

What do you like most about Boone and the surrounding community?
I have always enjoyed Boone's landscapes and environment. The town does not feel too busy, nor does it seem deserted. The town's proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway is a boon of Boone in my eyes (pun intended), as the parkway is a fantastic place to unwind and relax with friends.

What do you feel has been valuable in your education at Appalachian versus another institution?
Appalachian is a large college (with the resources to match) that does an excellent job of connecting with individual students; I have never felt as if I am just "part of the system" or simply a number during my time at Appalachian. The faculty and staff of the University have consistently treated me as one would a friend, and this has greatly enhanced my academic and extracurricular experiences.

Tell us about one faculty member that has made an impact on your life and how.
In my year at Appalachian, I have yet to spend a significant amount of time with a faculty member and not be positively impacted in one way or another. In the Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences and the Honors College, specifically, all of the faculty members I have met have been amazing individuals who have been pleasures to study under, share ideas with and even have idle conversations with!

Tell us about one other connection you have made while at Appalachian - a friendship, mentor, colleague, a new found hobby or interest.
I found an interest in DSLR photography while at Appalachian, due in no small part to the availability of such cameras at the Technology Checkout Desk in the University library. I checked out a camera from the library on a whim shortly after I became a student at Appalachian, and after that, I was rarely found without a camera bag for the remainder of the fall semester. While my obligations have reduced the amount of time that I previously had available for photography, I still enjoy taking pictures of the university and its surrounding landscapes. I especially enjoy nighttime photography, as the reduced light gives me more freedom in experimenting with the technical side of DSLR photography.

What is your understanding of "sustainability" after being at Appalachian?
"Sustainability" goes beyond environmental stewardship through individual conservation efforts and instead is a global-scale effort to stop continuing degradation of Earth's environments and reverse previous damages to the planet. While individual conservation efforts definitely compose a part of the sustainability effort, true sustainability requires direct action in encouraging global cooperation in environmental stewardship through education, environmentally considerate decision-making and more. Individuals can aid the sustainability effort by limiting their use of nonrenewable environmental resources by making wise purchases, managing their production of environmental waste and emissions and educating others about sustainable practices.

What is your understanding of a "liberal arts" education and do you believe Appalachian has provided that?
A "liberal arts" education is a holistic approach to learning that encourages students to gain knowledge beyond their chosen majors, which can subsequently be related to their field of focus to grant insights in learning that would not be possible without this "cross-training." For example, a science major might take philosophy, writing and ethics classes in their liberal arts education, and use the knowledge gained through those classes to better determine and understand how their chosen field affects people and/or world-at-large, why their studies matter and how to better communicate their results. A liberal arts education also facilitates the creation of learning environments containing students studying a variety of different subjects - all of which can provide and gain fresh insights into the fields of study of themselves and others.

In my opinion, Appalachian's general education program does a good job of providing a liberal arts education; my only complaint about the program is that some portions of the program's requirements are restrictive to the extent that I am unable to pursue studies in areas I am interested in - even if I am confident that studies in such areas would be beneficial in making me a more well-rounded student.

What is your favorite space or place on campus?
Appalachian Hall is one of my favorite places on campus, as I can generally find a friend or one of the awesome Honors College faculty members within or near the building.

I find inspiration from …
My parents, who have been and continue to be the first and most important role models in my life.

I recharge by . . .
Reading in my room and/or hanging out with friends.

My favorite superhero is . . .

My favorite place to eat in Boone is . . .
The Asian Bar in Trivette Hall

My favorite ice cream is . . . 
Mint Chocolate Chip

My spirit animal would be . . .
A raccoon

My dream job would be . . . 
As a professor of Chemistry or as a forensic scientist in the FBI or at a crime lab. Regardless of my career choice, I never want to stop learning.

Connor Schlaline, Chemistry major. Photo by Ellen Gwin Burnette
Published: Apr 13, 2020 2:11pm