Two CAS Students Inducted into the Cratis D. Williams Society

BOONE, N.C. — In the Spring and Fall, Appalachian State University's Cratis D. Williams School of Graduate Studies seeks nominations for the Cratis D. Williams Society. The Society is designed to recognize the top two percent of graduates from the School of Graduate Studies each year. Inductees are chosen from among the nominees based upon their academic performance, their engagement in their discipline, and their potential for leadership.

The Fall 2023 Cratis D. Williams Society inductees from the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) are Helen Julian '22 and Emily Walker.


Helen Julian '22

Helen Julian '22

Julian, of Apex, graduated with her master's degree in English with a concentration in literary studies from Appalachian in December 2023.

Julian earned her bachelor's degrees in creative and professional writing from Appalachian in 2022, graduating with both department and university honors. "I wasn't ready to leave Boone or the awesome people at the English Department," said Julian, who began her master's program during her senior year of undergraduate through Appalachian's Accelerated Master's Program.

In addition to serving as a member of Julian's undergraduate honors thesis committee, Dr. Zackary Vernon, associate professor and director of graduate students in the Department of English, advised Julian's master's thesis. "Dr. Vernon has been central to my academic career...I've taken several classes he's taught and very much appreciate his support throughout undergrad up until the completion of my graduate degree!" she shared.

For her thesis, Julian analyzed the works of author William Faulkner. "I analyzed the works through the lens of reproductive justice and applied corrective Black maternal voices to the representation of mothers within Faulkner's fiction. Central to this analysis was bell hooks' theory of homeplace and constructions of southern motherhood across racial lines," explained Julian.

Julian shared that her favorite memory at Appalachian was the time spent on the eighth floor of Cone Hall, the dormitory for first-year students in The Honors College. She added, "It's where I met my college friend group and where we all became close."

Passionate about writing, Julian has served as editor-in-chief of The Rotten Appal, Appalachian's satirical newspaper, for the past year following several years as a staff writer. In 2024, Julian will return to the Department of English as an adjunct professor teaching introductory writing.


Emily Walker

Emily Walker

Walker, of LaGrange, Georgia, graduated with her master's degree in experimental psychology and a graduate certificate in college and university teaching in May 2023.

"I chose App State because I felt like the experimental psychology program offered more than just a graduate degree. It offered research experience, teaching experience, a close-knit cohort experience, and faculty members that truly wanted me to succeed...I felt like App State really wanted to help me achieve my educational and professional goals regardless of what they were," shared Walker, who served as a Graduate Student Ambassador for the Williams School of Graduate Studies.

Walker's research combined personality and social psychology, and her thesis explored how neuroticism influences romantic relationship confidence when doubt is present. Walker explained, "I was interested in seeing whether an individual would feel more or less confident in their relationship after considering specific flaws in their partner. Overall, we did not find a significant relationship there, but we did find that relationship confidence and relationship security were significantly correlated!" For her thesis, Walker received the 2022-23 Outstanding Thesis Award.

Walker's thesis was advised by Dr. Christopher Holden, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology. Walker described Holden as "extremely supportive and encouraging throughout the research process. The thesis project can be very daunting, but he made it very manageable and was always available to give advice and suggestions when I needed it."

When asked about her favorite memories from her time at Appalachian, Walker shared that she reflects fondly on her first winter in Boone. "I had never experienced winter weather like that before since I am from west Georgia. It took some getting used to, but I ended up really enjoying the cold weather."

Another one of Walker's favorite memories is receiving the 2022-23 Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award. She wrote, "Teaching at App State was one of my favorite parts of the program, so receiving that award was a very special moment." Walker served as a teaching assistant for Dr. Katie Wolsiefer, assistant professor in the Department of Psychology whose teaching interests include statistics, research methods, and social psychology courses. "Dr. Wolsiefer really opened my eyes to how much I enjoy teaching at the undergraduate level. She always asked for my ideas and input and gave me many opportunities to build my confidence in myself as an instructor," shared Walker.

Walker recognized both Holden and Wolsiefer as faculty members who made a positive impact on her life, writing, "I know that my graduate school experience would have been very different without them, and I am very grateful for their mentorship!"

Walker, who earned her bachelor's degree in psychology from Clemson University in 2021, returned to Clemson in May as an academic advisor in the Department of Psychology.


Each inductee was honored with a medallion. For more information about the Society, visit


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 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

About Graduate Education at App State
Appalachian State University’s Williams School of Graduate Studies helps individuals reach the next level in their career advancement and preparedness. The school offers 80 graduate degree and certificate programs — both in person and online — in a range of disciplines, including doctoral programs in education (Ed.D.) and psychology (Psy.D.). The graduate school enrolls nearly 2,000 students. Learn more at

By Lauren Andersen
December 18, 2023

Helen Julian '22 (left) and Emily Walker (right) were inducted into the Fall 2023 Cratis D. Williams Society.
Published: Dec 18, 2023 12:00pm