CAS students receive 2023-24 Black and Gold Leadership Awards

BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University's Club Council and Campus Activities have announced the recipients of their 2023-24 student awards. The recipients were honored at the Black and Gold Leadership Awards on Wednesday, April 10. Continue reading to learn more about the five College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) students who received awards.


Commitment to Justice Award

The Commitment to Justice Award is for a student who has demonstrated a commitment to justice and/or has been an activist, trying to create positive change for the campus, the Boone community and/or the world. The individual should have strong leadership, passion and dedication to a particular issue or collection of issues.

Amarah Din

Amarah Din received the Commitment to Justice Award for her work as Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Appalachian's Student Government Association (SGA). Din, of Cary, is a junior pursuing her bachelor's degree in political science with a concentration in pre-professional legal studies.

A nominator wrote about Din, “As someone who is involved in multiple organizations, in the forefront she always prioritizes the safety, health and representation of marginalized communities. This individual is someone who has stood up for people and herself despite any fears or anxieties behind what the topic may be. Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Student Government Association has proven her commitment to justice through advocacy for her peers on campus. She is dedicated to representing and advocating for student voices by gathering student opinions on flag representation in International Hallway, writing a statement that supports victims of sex-based misconduct, encouraging the SGA to advocate for people of all communities, spreading words of encouragement on International Day of Happiness and more.”


Spirit of Service Award

The Spirit of Service Award honors a student who has participated in community service with vigor, devotion and an unshakable positive attitude. This student serves with an inspirational and infectious optimism and leads the way for others through their actions and involvement.

Allie Dotson

Allie Dotson received the Spirit of Service Award for her work as Volunteer Coordinator for International Appalachian (INTAPP), a student-lead organization that encourages study abroad experiences. Dotson, of Asheville, is a senior pursuing her bachelor's degree in criminal justice with a concentration in international studies.

A nominator wrote about Dotson, “Their presence on campus is felt far and wide, whether through her roles in International Appalachian, Community-Engaged Leadership (CEL)'s Alternative Service Experience or Voter Coalition. Her commitment to civic engagement is evident through her involvement in CEL's Voter Coalition. She actively works to educate and mobilize students through events like voter registration parties and educational presentations. She's an active member of Chi O Sorority, the softball club and Kaptivate (a K-pop dance group), while also working at Cascades. As Volunteer Coordinator for International Appalachian, she goes above and beyond, constantly seeking new ways to connect with the community and support international students. This year, one of her standout achievements was organizing an Alternative Service Experience trip to Cedar Town, Georgia. Alongside her partner, she led a group of students in meaningful projects at a residential children's home, sparking reflective discussions about sustainable community impact.”


Dr. Jim Street Award for Outstanding Presidential Leadership

The Street Award recognizes an outstanding individual who advanced the mission of their student organization while challenging and encouraging the membership to advance new initiatives and acquire new skills, and prepared the group for leadership transition and ongoing success. The award recipient must display a commitment to leadership development, membership engagement, innovation and cross-campus collaboration. Recognition of accomplishments is limited to the current year of their presidency. The recipient of this award can be nominated by the organization's faculty advisor, any active member or by the president themselves.

Natara Dulaney

Natara Dulaney received the Dr. Jim Street Award for Outstanding Presidential Leadership for her work as president of INTAPP. Dulaney, of Culpeper, VA, is a senior pursuing her bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in health studies.

A nominator wrote about Dulaney, “This individual is such an asset because they believe deeply in the organization’s mission and work hard to execute their vision and responsibilities. They became one of the most involved and enthusiastic members immediately after joining. They have always been one of the hardest working volunteers at the international student airport pick-ups and international orientations each semester. She is continuing and expanding INTAPP's signature events. These include orientation, social and cultural events for international students, fundraising for a study abroad scholarship, intense study abroad promotion, International Education Week, recruiting a cohort of new members and other activities to bring an international focus to App. Under her leadership, many of these events have seen record participation and success. There have also been increased social events specifically for international students. This has also been the year that INTAPP membership is at a record high. She is professional and organized. She is tactful and compassionate but commands respect from her members. Working with her is a delight because she works hard, inspires others, delegates appropriately, brings great ideas to the table, is productive and makes the experience enjoyable for all. I have loved seeing how her confidence in her own leadership abilities has grown.”


Outstanding Achievement Award

This prestigious Outstanding Achievement Award is designed to recognize an outstanding member for all of their individual hard work. This award is presented to a student that, through their achievements, has made a valuable contribution and lasting impact on the Appalachian State University campus and/or surrounding community.

Hadley Ladue

Hadley Ladue received the Outstanding Achievement Award for her work as president of the Eta Beta Chapter of the Order of Omega, a leadership honor society for members of Greek-letter organizations. Ladue, of Waxhaw, is a senior pursuing her bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in professional writing.

A nominator wrote about Ladue, “During her time as president, she established a philanthropy partner with the Watauga County Department of Social Services to help support foster families in the Boone community. She created the first annual 5k for the kids which raised over $500 to go towards families. Over the summer, she created a marketing campaign to showcase different members embodying the characteristics and values of the organization. When school started back in August, she balanced holding the position of secretary with other leadership roles, jobs and internships such as serving on the Panhellenic Council as the Vice President of Administration and Finance, serving as one of the first two Executive Vice Presidents for the new Fraternity and Sorority Life Programming Board and serving as her individual sororities' elections committee as the head of nominations. She held these leadership roles while starting a paid internship for her major and finishing out her summer jobs as an undergraduate project assistant for Fraternity and Sorority Life as well as giving student tours for the Office of Admissions.”


Bobby L. Dunnigan Outstanding Service Award

The Dunnigan Award is named for Bobby L. Dunnigan who served Appalachian State University in a variety of leadership roles finishing his career as the Director of Residence Life. It is intended to recognize those students who are employed in the Division of Student Affairs at Appalachian State and have distinguished themselves through the scope and quality of their service during their employment.

Jocelyn Pelcastre-Gonzalez

Jocelyn Pelcastre-Gonzalez received the Bobby L. Dunnigan Outstanding Service Award for her exemplary work as an employee of the Plemmons Student Union. Pelcastre-Gonzalez, of Oxford, is a CAS Corps member who will graduate in May with her bachelor's degree in mathematics.

A nominator wrote about Pelcastre-Gonzalez, “Jocelyn currently holds the title of our longest-tenured employee, surpassing others by a full year. She takes great pride in this achievement and has become a driving force within our team. Not only does she excel in training her peers, but she also plays a crucial role in ensuring the efficiency of our operations. Jocelyn has voluntarily taken on the responsibility of being our student staff liaison at our professional staff operations meetings for multiple semesters. During these meetings, she actively engages by asking insightful questions, providing valuable staff perspectives and effectively relaying information to the rest of our student supervisors.”

Another nominator wrote: “Beyond her regular responsibilities, she consistently goes above and beyond, actively contributing to the inner workings of our operations. She plays a critical role in creating schedules for our team of student supervisors, contributing substantially to our operations meetings by documenting key discussions and upcoming events and also presented at ACUI, a professional development conference. She takes on all of these auxiliary tasks in addition to her regular schoolwork and club involvement, with enjoyment no less.”


CAS congratulates all of the award recipients and thanks them for their outstanding leadership and service!


About the Division of Student Affairs
The Division of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University is committed to the development of lifelong learners and leaders by engaging and challenging students within a culture of care and inclusion. The division consists of 16 units that offer activities and services to help students develop more fully by becoming global learners, fostering healthy relationships, appreciating diversity and different perspectives, understanding community responsibility, enhancing self-awareness, developing autonomy and living ethically. These units include the Career Development Center, Campus Activities, Office of Community-Engaged Leadership, Wellness and Prevention Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Health Service, Parent and Family Services, University Housing, Student Conduct, University Recreation, Intercultural Student Affairs, Student Legal Clinic and Off-Campus Student Services, Electronic Student Services, Child Development Center, and Staff Development and Strategic Initiatives. Learn more at

By Lauren Gibbs
April 29, 2024

The College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University
Published: Apr 29, 2024 9:55am