April 2019 Appalachian Connections message

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Appalachian Connections
April 2019

Message from Chancellor Sheri Everts

April weather in Boone changes quickly. We may have snow one day and beautiful spring weather the next, but the daffodils and forsythia are in full bloom. Our campus is lively and much is taking place. As we celebrate Earth Month, I am reminded how our beautiful location offers opportunities for our students to develop important skills that will serve them and their communities throughout their lives.

Our students apply their classroom learning by engaging in meaningful work that contributes to local and regional communities. Employers admire our students’ passion, strong work ethic, professional readiness and willingness to contribute. This article explores the reasons Appalachian graduates are sought after. If you have a moment to read it, I think you will be impressed by the possibilities ahead for your students.

A recent Facebook post from one of our students about his upcoming internship impressed me. He said, “I will be working under a skilled team that has managed huge projects across the country and has a deep passion for giving back to the local community, which ultimately attracted me to this specific company!”

Employers value corporate social responsibility, and our reputation as a campus that both teaches and practices these ideals is recognized nationally. A few notable examples include:

  • The Appalachian Energy Summit has provided a platform through which UNC campuses together with industry partners have avoided nearly $800 million in utility costs.

  • Appalachian is one of the most environmentally responsible institutions of higher learning in the United States, according to “The Princeton Review’s Guide to 399 Green Colleges,” an annual guide created in collaboration with the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council.

  • For the ninth year in a row, SIERRA magazine recognized Appalachian in its 2018 index of “Cool Schools.”

Appalachian’s academic leadership in sustainability sets the standards for institutions across the nation. A few factors contributing to this national reputation include:

  • 74 percent of our students say Appalachian’s sustainability reputation influenced their decision to attend the university.

  • There are 876 undergraduate academic courses at Appalachian that incorporate sustainability into the course curriculum.

  • Appalachian was the first higher education institution in the U.S. to offer renewable energy and sustainable development degree programs.

  • Our student-led solar vehicle team — Team Sunergy — has performed well in international competitions since 2016, taking podium spots each year in the Formula Sun Grand Prix track race, and moving from sixth place in the bi-annual American Solar Challenge cross-country competition in 2016 to a tie for second place in 2018. This summer, they travel to Australia co compete in the World Solar Challenge.

These are not only points of pride, they are just a few of the reasons for Appalachian’s standing as the premier, public undergraduate university in North Carolina. The faculty and staff at Appalachian are honored to be part of developing your students’ commitment to community, stewardship and resiliency.