Update from Appalachian State University — week of May 17–21
The first Summer Session begins Monday. As we look forward to our signature summer events, such as An Appalachian Summer Festival, we continue to welcome prospective students and families to campus for in-person tours. Across campus, units are busily preparing for fall 2021. As we refine our plans for the fall semester, we are beginning a return to pre-pandemic operations with safety precautions in place. We will share operations updates via email, and the latest information and guidance may be found on the university’s coronavirus website.
Almost exactly 14 months ago, we announced our first campus case of COVID-19. I am proud to report, as of the first of this week, our active cases are at almost zero. While we know the pandemic is not over, this is a tremendous milestone and one that required the dedication of every Mountaineer. I am so very proud of how our campus and community have come together to take care of one another.
The COVID-19 vaccine is our single best hope for ending the pandemic and getting back to the people, places and activities we love. At App State, we continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines to anyone in North Carolina age 18 and older. Our next clinic is scheduled for Thursday, May 27, from 9 a.m.–noon in the Blue Ridge Ballroom of Plemmons Student Union. Every student, faculty and staff member should get vaccinated against COVID-19. If you have not yet done so, please get vaccinated as soon as possible — I am providing each person who gets vaccinated at the upcoming clinic a $10 Campus Dining card as a thank-you for prioritizing the health and safety of yourself and all those around you.
While we continue our work to overcome the pandemic, our expert faculty and staff remain focused on creating a supportive and academically challenging environment for students on our campus and beyond. I am so pleased to help share some recent accolades and accomplishments they have earned. I hope you will join me in congratulating:
- Dr. Maggie Sugg, assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Planning, who received the prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development Program. This award is given to early career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education, and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.
- Dr. Alex Howard, interim assistant vice chancellor in the Division of Student Affairs and director of Wellness and Prevention Services, who was named one of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce’s 4 Under 40 in the education professional category.
- Drs. Rahman Tashakkori, Cindy Norris and Jay Fenwick, faculty members in the Department of Computer Science, who were awarded a National Science Foundation grant to create and implement Computer Science for All, a program designed to expand access to and diversify computer science education for students at rural high schools in the Appalachian region of North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.
We have much to celebrate as we see COVID-19 restrictions lifting and look forward to the upcoming fall semester. Together, we have helped slow the spread of COVID-19 and we are starting to see the first glimpses of a return to pre-pandemic campus life. We will remain focused on safety and vaccinations, and appreciative to be part of this resilient community.
Sheri Everts, Chancellor