SAFE Student Spotlight: Mackenzie Doebler

Mackenzie Doebler, M.A. English
Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) Fund Recipient: Spring 2022

Project: “Bluesman Jeffrey Scott Performing: African American Folk Artist at Appalachian State”

Doebler received a Student and Faculty Excellence (SAFE) grant to support travel and performance costs for bluesman Jeffrey Scott to visit Boone. Scott, the nephew of deceased National Endowment of the Arts fellow John Jackson, carries the traditions of the blues, gospel, ragtime and jazz forward with his multi-instrument talents and storytelling skills. While in Boone, Scott hosted a workshop at the Jones House and visited Sanford Hall for a concert and reception.

According to Doebler, the SAFE funding made the concert possible. "Before applying for the SAFE grant I had never applied for any grant and the process seemed vaguely foreign. Now, I have some experience and the funding also opened the door to new opportunities; opportunities like setting up for the concert, creating advertising materials, communicating with university offices and creative problem solving," explained Doebler.

Doebler felt that the App State community was excited for the event. “Despite brief advertising, the concert attracted one of the largest crowds we’ve seen for a concert at Sanford Hall,” they said.


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

Appalachian State University College of Arts and Sciences' Student and Faculty Excellence Grant
Published: Feb 21, 2023 8:50am