CAS Corps Feature: Elyssa Ghazali

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:

Elyssa Ghazali

Year: Junior
Major: Biology (Cell/Molecular)
Hometown: Waxhaw, N.C.

Which clubs or organizations are you a member of?

  • Appal Corps

  • Estep Lab

What research or coursework have you been most passionate about?

"Research on Cypripedium (Yellow Lady Slipper Orchid)."

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 shadow at a hospital or a doctor's private practice. I would love to study abroad in Italy or Australia!"

Where is your favorite place on campus and why?

"My favorite place on campus is the student union, this where I go to study a lot of the time as well as get together with friends."

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

"One of my favorite memories at Appalachian thus far has been meeting my now closest friends on Sanford Mall during App Spectacular my freshman year."

What do you like about Boone and the surrounding community?

"I like how sweet the locals was something I didn't expect. In addition to this, I like how Boone is in the mountains, one of my favorite things to do in my free time is to drive up to the Parkway."

What are your hobbies?

"I love to read, bake, and watch live sports events."

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

"My favorite television show is the BBC 'Sherlock Holmes' series."

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

"One faculty member that made an impact on my life when I was a freshman was Celeste Crowe. I had met with her to discuss potentially changing my major and that turned into her calling me once a week for three weeks just to check up on me because I was struggling with being on my own and with a heavy course load."

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

"The faculty here at Appalachian are invested in their students. They take the time to get to know them, and this allows relationships to form between them that might one day lead to a job or to finding a mentor."

What do you hope to do after graduation?

"I hope to go to medical school and become either a medical geneticist or an OBGYN."


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

Compiled by Lauren Gibbs
February 2, 2024

CAS Corps member Elyssa Ghazali is a junior biology major from Waxhaw. Photo by Lauren Gibbs.
Published: Feb 2, 2024 10:00am