Getting to know our Staff: STEM and Research Support Staff
Steven Beck is a research technician at Appalachian’s North Carolina Research Campus (NCRC) Human Performance Laboratory in the Department of Biology. He has worked at Appalachian for six months and assists Dr. Crystal West, assistant professor, Department of Biology, in her current research investigating factors that influence pregnancy.
Beck thoroughly enjoys the relationship he has with other faculty members and spends his free time camping and hiking. He feels his experience with the university and West have helped guide him in his personal development.
Lauren Andersen is a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) lab supervisor and adjunct instructor in the Department of Geography and Planning. She has worked at Appalachian for the past four years, teaching more than 60 students in lecture, lab and online settings. She also helps maintain hardware, software and other equipment for the department, manages online marketing and serves as the university’s ESRI Administrator.
“The faculty and staff in the Department of Geography and Planning are my favorite part of my job. I am an alumni of the department, so I love that I get to serve a department that I'm familiar with. I also love having the opportunity to live in beautiful Boone,” said Andersen.
Outside of Appalachian, Andersen enjoys hiking, cartography, photography and listening to true crime podcasts. Despite the setbacks of COVID-19, she has also had the opportunity to spend more time outside. Post-pandemic, she is looking forward to seeing faculty, staff and students back in the halls of the Rankin Science building.
Dr. Guichuan Hou
Dr. Guichuan Hou is a professor in the Department of Biology and director of the Electron Microscope Facility. He has worked at Appalachian for 15 years and assists with microscope acquisition, management, training, teaching, research and outreach. He most enjoys when he sees people publish and/or present their microscopic images.
Dr. Steve Hageman, who has been the Microscopy Committee chair for many years has strongly supported the College’s microscopy facility and provides great support to Hou as well. When not at Appalachian, Hou spends time playing basketball. After the pandemic, he hopes to bring more students/users into the microscope facility.
Anthony Love is a research operations and laboratories manager in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. He has worked at Appalachian for 21 years and works with students, faculty and staff to facilitate teaching and research activities within the department. He also manages the department’s physical and technical assets so they are optimized for functionality and accessible.
“I enjoy working with an inspiring group of individuals (faculty, staff and students) who challenge me to meet the needs and requirements that facilitate their success as geoscientists,” said Love.
He was awarded the Outstanding Staff award from College of Arts and Sciences in 2017 and the Bebie Leadership Award in 2008 from the Access Fund, a nationally recognized non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of recreational access for rock climbing areas in the United States.
Love is inspired by geoscientists and their insatiable curiosity to understand how our planet changes. During the pandemic, he has been able to classify and publish information on 62 new meteorites. Post-pandemic, he is excited to see other scientists and students face to face.
Patrick Richardson is an electrical engineer for the Department of Physics and Astronomy and has worked at Appalachian for nine years. He assists with the support, design and repair of electronic lab equipment for the College of Arts and Sciences.
Outside of Appalachian, Richardson enjoys creating visual art, volunteering and riding motorcycles. He has participated in more than 35 art shows and a Motorcycle Championship Cup series where he was awarded the southwest regional champion and second place at a national competition in Daytona. Richardson also has three engineering patents, 11 professional engineering organization presentations and a Six Sigma and Lean manufacturing certification.
He is inspired by challenges, music and his kids and is looking forward to working with more students following the pandemic.
R. Lee Hawkins
R. Lee Hawkins is an observatory engineer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. He has worked at Appalachian for 21 and a half years, maintaining all observatory instrumentation, assisting in designing and building new instrumentation and purchasing and teaching upper-level observatory labs. What he most enjoys about his position is new challenges and the fact that no day is ever the same.
During the pandemic, Hawkins has appreciated being able to spend more time with his wife and children while working at home. Post pandemic, he is excited to gather again with colleagues and attend bluegrass concerts.
Outside of work, he enjoys metal and leather working and is inspired to learn whatever is new around the corner. Richardson wanted to shout out colleagues Dana Greene, machine shop supervisor, and Dan Caton, professor and director of observatories both from the Department of Physics and Astronomy as well as retired staff members Mike Hughes and Robert “Butch” Miller.
“They have all taught me better ways to do things, in addition to how to be a better person,” said Hawkins.
Keith Seramur is a senior research associate for the Department Geological and Environmental Sciences. He has worked at Appalachian for 32 years and performs field work collecting sediment from North Carolina reservoirs as well as mentors student researchers.
In his position, he most enjoys cutting edge science and working with his research colleague, Dr. Ellen Cowan, professor, Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. He is also a professional geologist in five southeastern states and runs an environmental consulting company.
During the pandemic, he has most enjoyed spending time with his family and looks forward to safe travel when the pandemic is over.
Tim Tron is a system administrator for the Department of Computer Science. He has worked at Appalachian for a year and four months and supports all of the servers for his department, maintains software and completes other tasks associated with their maintenance.
“In addition, I support the labs, their software/applications and assist ITS when it's time to refresh or build a new image in our labs. Also, in more recent assignments, I have helped facilitate creating and supporting remote learning environments of our faculty and staff as needed during the pandemic,” said Tron.
Outside of work, Tron is an author, artist, musician and evangelist. He spent time constructing a spiritual retreat during the pandemic and looks forward to “hugs...lots of hugs,” when the pandemic ends.
Compiled and written by Sophia Woodall and Ellen Gwin Burnette
June 9, 2021