CAS Corps Feature: Dominick Bontempo

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:

Dominick Bontempo

Year: Junior
Majors: Biology (Cell/Molecular); Spanish & Hispanic Studies
Hometown: Greensboro, N.C.

Which clubs or organizations are you a member of?

  • Biology Greenhouse

  • Phi Chi

What research or coursework have you been most passionate about?

"I've become enamored by Dr. Estep's research lab. Being focused on the genetic analysis of endangered plants and then helping to preserve them for the future never takes a smile off my face."

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

"I would love to go back to Spain, specifically Madrid, mainly for enjoyment and culture. However for education/science, I'd love to visit UK Jealott's Hill or Basil Switzerland."

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

"Special Collections on the fourth floor for the library. The fourth floor is my favorite place because not many people know about it, so no one is ever in there, and you're surrounded by books."

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

"Spending a summer term in Madrid, Spain with amazing people from App State."

What do you like about Boone and the surrounding community?

"I enjoy the nature aspects of the surrounding hiking trails and how quick I can meet friends for coffee or a meal."

What are your hobbies?

"Gardening, Reading, Running, Playing Video Games, and Cooking."

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

"My favorite book has to be 'Dracula' by Bram Stoker, podcast is 'Basement Yard,' artist is SZA, and TV show is 'Heartstopper.'"

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

"Dr. Andres Fisher. He taught me you can enjoy all aspects of life and education, you just have to work for it. When I went to Spain with him, he taught me, without actually teaching me, how important new experiences, cultures, and languages are to the function of humanity. Dr. Fisher made me realize how important 'closing the cultural gap' is. He made me realize that I can have many passions that I can use to educate and help people."

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

"Academically, this school is quite diverse with classes, but importantly, I feel that my integrative biology degree was seen as a more positive thing. It felt that my professors and advisors wanted me to be able to pick the classes that I'm truly interested in, instead of following a 'straight and narrow.'"

What do you hope to do after graduation?

"Pursue more education, whether it's graduate or medical school."


About the Department of Biology
The Department of Biology is a community of teacher-scholars, with faculty representing the full breadth of biological specializations — from molecular genetics to landscape/ecosystem ecology. The department seeks to produce graduates with sound scientific knowledge, the skills to create new knowledge, and the excitement and appreciation of scientific discovery. Learn more at

About the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
The Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures offers courses that enhance students’ understanding of other cultures and languages as well as their own, making them prepared for lifelong learning in a multicultural world. Learn more at

Compiled by Lauren Gibbs
February 16, 2024

CAS Corps member Dominick Bontempo is a junior biology and Spanish major from Greensboro. Photo by Lauren Gibbs.
Published: Feb 16, 2024 8:05am