CAS Corps Feature: Kara Haselton

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 Janet and learn about her experiences. For more about the CAS Corps, visit:

Kara Haselton

Sophomore in the Honors College
Self-designed major in Photojournalism and Social Justice
From Raleigh, N.C.

What clubs or organizations are you a member of?
Alternative Service Experience, Honors College Vanguard and The Heart Church.

Sports or hobbies?
I love tea, hiking, thrifting and collaging!

Scholarship(s) you have received from Appalachian or while studying at Appalachian?
Wilson Scholarship.

Location(s)/Organization(s) you completed an internship.
Overseas Radio and Television, Taipei, Taiwan and World Relief, Durham, NC.

Location(s) you completed a study abroad or study away.
Ghana, Costa Rica and Taiwan.

Location(s)/lab(s) you conducted research.
University Research Assistantship with Professor Ann Kaplan in Interdisciplinary Studies.

Location(s) you hope to go for an internship, study abroad or research experience.
United Arab Emirates.

Research or course work you have been most passionate about?
Looking at the way in which immigrants and refugees are portrayed by the media and how that affects the way broader society views them. Then, researching ways to combat that and portray said individuals respectfully and truthfully.

What has been the biggest challenge for you this summer?
The biggest challenge for me this summer was not being surrounded by my community. It's been hard to connect with others when isolated because of COVID-19, but I'm thankful I've been able to stay safe and healthy.

What has given you peace, relaxation or been your outlet over the summer?
Playing piano, reading, being outside and making photographs.

What has been the book, podcast and/or tv show you found rewarding or enjoyed over the summer?
Jane Austen's "Emma" (the novel).

What are you most excited about this coming semester?
Having a new routine and schedule, seeing the mountains and learning new things!

What are you most anxious about this coming semester?
Navigating schoolwork amidst all the other difficulties our world is facing.

What is one of your favorite memories at Appalachian thus far?
Getting to go on and co-lead a Spring Break ASE to Harlan, Kentucky is definitely a favorite memory. We had the best group of students who were excited to learn together, serve together and have fun together! We had the most thoughtful dialogue and the best laughs. It was a wonderful community and the greatest experience!

What do you like about Boone and the surrounding community?
I love how those who live in Boone seem to love and appreciate the surrounding nature in a way I've never experienced before moving here. I've learned to value nature and all that it offers in a completely new way.

What do you feel has been valuable in your education at Appalachian versus another institution?
The perspectives and understanding of people who come from different backgrounds than I do have been incredibly valuable. It's helped me to better gain a holistic perspective of the world around me and better understand who I am and what my perspectives are! You might be able to find a version of this at every university, but Appalachian's version is unique and therefore so valuable.

Tell us about one faculty member that has made an impact on your life and how.
Dr. Garrett McDowell, my Honors advisor. I've been in her office since the first day, talking about my interests and pursuits. Without fail, she's always been willing to listen and reflect back to me the kinds of things I'm saying, helping me better understand my own thoughts and what I should do. She's been a significant part of my personal and academic growth and I definitely would not be in the position I'm in without her guidance. Her listening has made all the difference.

Tell us about one other connection you have made while at Appalachian - a friendship, mentor, colleague, a new found hobby or interest?
I've found the most wonderful friends (my sophomore year suite!) who truly act more like family. We encourage one another personally and academically, invest in one another's pursuits and push one another to be our best selves. I'm amazed by how much I've learned from my friends and all they add to my passion for and understanding of important social issues.

What is your favorite place on campus and why?
Probably Plemmons Student Union. I spend the majority of my time there for different things, from meeting up with friends, to club meetings, to just studying on my own. (I always love Monday Jazz Nights in Crossroads!)

What is your understanding of "sustainability" after being at Appalachian?
Sustainability means seeking to understand every side and perspective of an issue before attempting to propose a solution. It means doing what is best in the long run, not just what is simplest and easiest right now. Sustainability is more than just a buzzword, it's hard work and patience that is necessary to life.

What do you hope to do after graduation?
Either go to grad school, do Peace Corps/AmeriCorps or work on a tea farm in Taiwan for a year. We'll see where life takes me!

What is your dream job?
I have two answers! One, to be a freelance photojournalist working with non-profit organizations to tell stories and promote sustainable/ethical community development; or two, to open and run a direct trade tea house that empowers immigrants and refugees while connecting individuals in the community it serves.

Kara Haselton, member of CAS Corps
Published: Feb 26, 2021 12:44pm