CAS Corps Feature: Izabela Willis

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 2021-22 academic year through a question and answer format. This month, meet Tanner and learn about his experiences. For more about the CAS Corps, visit:

CAS Corps Feature: Izabela Willis 

Majoring in History, Social Studies Education 
From Hubert, N.C. 

What clubs or organizations are you a member of? 
Appalachian Community of Education Scholars (ACES), AppolCorps, Watauga Residential College, Wellness Educators for Change, Advocacy and student Needs (WE CAN).

Sports or hobbies?
Crochet, gardening, reading, exploring new places and trying new things!

Scholarship(s) you have received from Appalachian or while studying at Appalachian?
SAT Sponsors for Academic Talent, the Appalachian Excellence Scholarship and a Reich College of Education Scholarship.

Location(s)/Organization(s) you completed an internship.
I completed an internship under the Sandy Hook Promise for the SAVE Promise Club Director. 

Location(s) you hope to go for an internship, study abroad or research experience.
I would love to study abroad or teach abroad in Spain or Ireland. 

Research or coursework you have been most passionate about?
In my freshman writing class with Dr. Audrey Fessler, my classmates and I had the opportunity to complete a research project for/with the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum (BRAHM). We were assigned a painting from the Alexander Collection to research and produce a label text and booklet entry for. The artwork assigned to me was Bodinnick Farm by Walter Elmer Schofield.

During that project, I considered where and when the painting was done by looking at travel records and other paintings; discovered who may have framed the piece, and provided a portfolio of all my research for the curators that included selections of letters to his family from the Smithsonian through interlibrary loan. I loved this project, especially looking at Schofield’s letters on the microform machine. 

Another project I loved was my final project for my history of North Carolina course with Karl Campbell. I created a wax museum lesson that was designed to introduce eighth graders to notable figures across North Carolina History. I called it “A Night at the Museum.”  For the project, I created educator and student instructions, a research worksheet, a final project example and educator resources. It was a rewarding project and an invaluable resource for my future classroom.

What was the biggest challenge for you as a college student during the pandemic?
During the pandemic, my biggest challenge was balancing my schoolwork while being at home.

What has given you peace, relaxation or been your outlet over the summer?
My outlet over the summer has been watching television with my family and exploring the Civil War Trails and State Parks in Eastern North Carolina.

What has been the book, podcast and/or tv show you found rewarding or enjoyed over the summer?
This summer, I have enjoyed rewatching Leverage and watching its revival, Leverage: Redemption.

What are you most excited about this coming semester?
I am most excited about being back on campus, getting into the rhythm of my classes and finally meeting my club members in person again.

What is one goal you have set for yourself this coming year?
One of my goals for this coming year is to explore North Carolina more.

What is one of your favorite memories at Appalachian thus far?
One of my favorite memories at Appalachian is watching television in the classrooms of the Living Learning Center with my friends on Saturday nights.

What do you like about Boone and the surrounding community?
I love how connected the university, town and community are to the mountains and surrounding nature.

What do you feel has been valuable in your education at Appalachian versus another institution?
A few of the most valuable things in my education at Appalachian have happened outside the classroom. For example, the countless opportunities for professional development and pre-field experience, my relationship with my professors and classmates and the many different perspectives around me.

Tell us about one faculty member that has made an impact on your life and how.
There isn't just one faculty member who has impacted my life, but all of them. Whether my professors, who are so passionate about their class and field, or my club advisors, who are always willing to help, every faculty member I have encountered has impacted my education.

Tell us about one other connection you have made while at Appalachian - a friendship, mentor, colleague, a new found hobby or interest?
Last year I went hiking for the first time with my friend, Mary. I loved it, and now that I am home, I have continued to explore nature trails in the area, something that I previously was unlikely to do.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?
My favorite place on campus has to be the Plemmons Student Union. Whether it’s some coffee from Crossroads, a new book from the bookstore, a quiet place to study or somewhere where I can just blend into the noise, I have always been able to find a spot for precisely what I need.

What is your understanding of "sustainability" after being at Appalachian?
During my time at Appalachian, my understanding of sustainability has evolved to mean finding a balance and taking responsibility for how my actions impact myself and those around me.

What do you hope to do after graduation?
As of right now, I hope to pursue a graduate degree or certification in history or education, like school counseling, museum studies or library science. 

What is your dream job?
I'm not sure what my dream job is exactly, but I do know that I want to keep learning anything I can.

Izabella Willis, History major, CAS Corps 2021-22 member. Photo submitted.
Published: Mar 4, 2022 5:15pm