SAFE Student Spotlight: Geoff Cross

Geoff Cross
Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund Recipient: Spring 2023

Project: "Firearm Safety: Identifying Cultural Messages for Firearm Suicide Prevention"

Cross received a Spring 2023 Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) grant to recruit survey participants for his research study, titled "Firearm Safety: Identifying Cultural Messages for Firearm Suicide Prevention." This study investigates whether the use of gun owners’ cultural values in messages of means safety interventions enhances attitude change toward safe storage for suicide prevention. 

With the funding, Cross successfully recruited and paid 500 participants to complete his pre-screener survey. From the initial group, Cross selected 211 participants for the next phase of the study and 176 participants completed it. A total of 163 participants completed the final, follow-up work.

"The money enabled me to conduct research on a topic I am passionate about. I was able to recruit and maintain a good many participants due to the funds I was provided. I am glad this grant was available for me to use because without it, I don't think I would have had the money to reach the target number of participants," shared Cross.

Cross is currently a graduate research assistant pursuing his doctorate in psychology at Appalachian. His research explores firearm suicide prevention and is advised by Dr. John Paul Jameson, professor in the Department of Psychology. Additionally, Cross serves as a graduate student clinician in Appalachian's Psychology Clinic, providing therapeutic services to individuals from the university and surrounding community.


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 Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology
Appalachian State University’s Dr. Wiley F. Smith Department of Psychology serves more than 1,400 undergraduate majors seeking the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in psychology, as well as 90 graduate students across four graduate programs: experimental psychology (MA), industrial-organizational psychology and human resource management (MA), school psychology (MA/SSP) and clinical psychology (PsyD). Learn more at

Written by Lauren Gibbs
February 13, 2024

Geoff Cross
Published: Feb 13, 2024 11:10am