Senior Sociology Major Tori Tensi: CAS Corps Feature of the Month

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 of this year we will be introducing one of our eleven students representing the college in a question and answer format. This month, meet Tori and learn about her study abroad and research experiences. For more about the CAS Corps, visit:

Tori Tensi

Major- Sociology - Families and Intimate Relationships

What clubs or organizations are you a member of?
Executive member of the Red Flag Campaign and Vice President of Campus Christian Fellowship.

What sports or hobbies do you participate in?
Hiking, reading, any sports (for fun), but particularly soccer, basketball and snowboarding. Also an avid fan of Star Wars, Harry Potter and The Office.

What are you most excited about this semester?
I was recently offered a job working in the Office of Wellness and Prevention services to help with some of the administrative tasks of the Red Flag Campaign, so I am very excited for that. I am also equally excited to represent the College of Arts and Sciences at some events!

 What is one of your favorite memories at Appalachian thus far?
My freshman year I lived in Coltrane, and our floor was really close. One night we planned to go camping, but something happened that inhibited us from going. So, instead of giving up on the whole night, we put up a tent in our lobby, made smores in our microwaves, and watched movies into the night. It is one of many great memories that I have with the people that lived on my floor, many of which I am still friends with today.

What do you like most about Boone and the surrounding community?
Hands down the landscape. It's breathtakingly beautiful, and it is always there for me when I need to de-stress or just take a moment to myself. The mountains have an incredible way of invigorating you, and just making you feel alive. It's so refreshing to be able to go 5 minutes from campus and just be absorbed in a beautiful landscape of nature.

What do you feel has been valuable in your education at Appalachian versus another institution?
I've said it before and I'll say it another 1,000 times, but the faculty and staff at Appalachian State are invaluable to this institution. I don't have the experience of being at another institution, but I find it hard to believe that any other university has the high quality of professors that we have here at Appalachian. I am where I am today because of the caring professors that are here to not only help you learn, but to challenge you and guide you in your journey through college.

Tell us about a transformational experience you have had at Appalachian.
Without a doubt one of the most influential transformational experiences I have had here at Appalachian is my decision to become a sociology major. Not only did that decision lead to me finding one of my deepest passions, but it also helped to give me a new world view. I came from a relatively small town where a lot of people are very similar. Entering the sociology department gave me the opportunity to step into others' shoes, and challenged my views and beliefs without making me feel like I had to change them. It has watered and grown my empathy, and has challenged me to not take the world at surface level.

Tell us about one faculty member that has made an impact on your life and how.
Dr. Amy Dellinger Page. Dr. Page is the chair of the sociology department, and is one of many faculty members to have made in impact on me. I first met Dr. Page when I took her class last summer, and since then I have considered her a mentor and someone that I very much look up to.  She has encouraged me and challenged me in so many ways that have resulted in my growth as a sociology student, as a red flag educator, and as a person in general. Even though she is extremely busy as the department chair, she continually makes time to help me in any way she can when I come to her for advice or help. Above all of this is the simple fact that she believes in me. She believes in me even when I don't believe in myself, and the effect of that is absolutely priceless.

Tell us about one other connection you have made while at Appalachian- a friendship, mento, colleague, a new found hobby or interest.
There are so many different people and things that I could talk about here, but I have to talk about another one of my mentors - Ellen Grulke. Ellen works in the Dean of Students office as the Interpersonal Violence Support and Prevention Coordinator, and is also a co-advisor of the Red Flag Campaign. Although I have only known her a semester, she has quickly become someone else that I look up to and rely on for guidance. Although she is also incredibly busy, she selflessly makes time to help the Campaign in any way she can, as well as makes time to help me. Her mentoring and friendship have become invaluable to me, and I know I can always count on her.

What is your understanding of “sustainability” after being at Appalachian?
I think a lot of people typically think of sustainability as keeping the status quo, or just keeping something in the same state that you found that. But to me, I think we take sustainability to the next level. Appalachian doesn't want you to just not leave the world in a worse state that you found it, they want you to leave it in a better state than you found it. And although sustainability typically refers to the environment, and Appalachian absolutely goes above and beyond in that realm, to me sustainability flows over to other parts of the world as well. When you leave Appalachian, don't just leave the physical environment in a better state than you found it, but leave the community, the culture, your department, your organizations, yourself even, in a better state than when you first came.

What do you think you will miss most when you graduate?
The community. The faculty, staff, fellow students, and even the surrounding community of Boone itself. It is a community that is unique and full of life, and one that I think would be hard to duplicate anywhere else. 

Tori Tensi. Photo by Ellen Gwin Burnette
Published: Jun 4, 2018 10:31am