SAFE Faculty Spotlight: Kevin Young '07

Dr. Kevin Young '07, Lecturer, Department of English
Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund Recipient: Spring 2023

Project: ArcGIS Maps for a Book

Dr. Young received a Spring 2023 Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) grant to hire a cartographer to create two detailed maps for his book, "The Violent World of Broadus Miller: A Story of Murder, Lynch Mobs, and Judicial Punishment in the Carolinas."

Published by the University of North Carolina (UNC) Press, "The Violent World of Broadus Miller" examines a 1927 case in which an itinerant Black worker named Broadus Miller was accused of killing a 15-year-old girl in Morganton, sparking a massive manhunt. After Miller was killed by a posse, his body was displayed on the Morganton courthouse lawn before a crowd of spectators.

"In the book, I use the story of Broadus Miller’s life and death as a narrative thread to examine race relations in the Carolinas during the early 1900s, when lynching and other forms of racial violence were widespread,” said Young. “I have aimed the book at a general audience, hoping to tell a compelling story about events that have left a lingering legacy into the present. I believe that openly addressing the painful past is a necessary first step in promoting reconciliation and a brighter future.”

The two commissioned maps depict South Carolina, where Miller was born and raised, and North Carolina, where he was killed. To create the maps, cartographer Josh Platt '21 '22, instructor and lab manager in Appalachian State's Department of Geography and Planning, used the geographic information system mapping software ArcGIS. Young shared, "The art department at UNC Press was highly complimentary of the maps that were created using the SAFE grant."

Young earned his bachelor's degree in liberal arts from St. John's College, his master's degree in English from Appalachian, and his doctoral degree in history from the University of Georgia. Young's dissertation served as the basis for the book, which is scheduled to be published in April 2024.


About the SAFE Fund
Initially endowed by Hughlene and Bill Frank, the College of Arts and Sciences Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund provides resources that can be used to support undergraduate, graduate and faculty experiences. The SAFE Fund provides funding for college priorities and opportunities that arise throughout the year. These unrestricted funds support student and faculty travel, publication support for faculty and student research opportunities. Learn more at:

About the Department of English
The Department of English at Appalachian State University is committed to outstanding work in the classroom, the support and mentorship of students, and a dynamic engagement with culture, history, language, theory and literature. The department offers master’s degrees in English and rhetoric and composition, as well as undergraduate degrees in literary studies, film studies, creative writing, professional writing and English education. Learn more at

About the Department of Geography and Planning
The Department of Geography and Planning promotes the understanding of the spatial dimensions of human behavior within the physical and cultural systems of the earth, and the role of planning in achieving improvement in those systems. The department offers degrees in geography and in community and regional planning. Learn more at

Written by Lauren Gibbs
March 7, 2024

Kevin Young '07, lecturer in the Appalachian State University Department of English
Published: Mar 7, 2024 9:15am