Update from Appalachian State University

Friday, December 8, 2023

The Boone campus saw its first dusting of snow, and tiny snow sculptures popped up all over campus. It was a nice reminder of the coming winter season, and the fun our students have in the snow!

Today, App State’s Board of Trustees convened for its December meeting and approved tuition and fees actions and next steps to move forward our ongoing capital projects, among other action items. You can read my full remarks to the board on my website and view the committee and full board meetings on the Board of Trustees website.

Earlier this week, we held a facilitated safety and preparedness exercise, as part of a UNC System initiative to review and discuss campus emergency operations plans across the System. Our exercise focused on our response and communications plans in the event of an active shooter on campus, and included my leadership team, our Emergency Operations Team and departments across campus and agencies in the community that would be involved in initial response and communications during an active shooter incident. The external facilitators were extremely complimentary of App State’s preparedness planning and initiatives, which speaks to the broad-based coordination and continual planning among campus departments and community partner organizations, as well as App State’s ongoing commitment to emergency preparedness and recovery. I’d like to thank Emergency Management Director Jason Marshburn and Emergency Management Coordinator Debi Trivette, the members of my leadership team and the Emergency Operations Team, as well as our community partners and members of campus who dedicate a tremendous amount of planning and preparation to help ensure we can respond quickly and efficiently in the event of a campus emergency. Learn more about our emergency planning here.

After ending the regular season with a five-game winning streak, including wins over traditional rivals Marshall and Georgia Southern and a victory over then No. 18 ranked James Madison — and appearing for our second year in a row on ESPN’s College GameDay — the App State Mountaineers football team is going bowling. App State is headed to Orlando, Florida, for the Avocados from Mexico Cure Bowl next Saturday, Dec. 16, where the Mountaineers will face Ohio’s Miami University, the Mid-American Conference champion. I look forward to joining the Mountaineer community in cheering on Coach Clark and the team. And if you’re considering attending the game, you’re in luck — there is still time to get tickets.

On Wednesday, I was pleased to host the academic department chairs for an end-of-semester reception. This leadership team is a critically important group of administrative leaders, and I appreciate the work they do throughout the year to support our students and faculty.

Next Friday, more than 1,500 students will be able to call themselves App State alumni during our Fall Commencement ceremonies. They will join a passionate and dedicated group that is proud to be Mountaineers! It’s my favorite time of year — a celebration of the work we all do, and a reminder of its importance.

During the three ceremonies, we will honor the following macebearers for their outstanding contributions to the university:

  • Dr. Mary Ann Hofmann, representing the Walker College of Business. The 2021 recipient of the Walker College of Business Sywassink Excellence in Teaching Award, Dr. Hofmann is retiring after 17 years of service in the Department of Accounting. She served as co-director of the Master of Science in accounting program, has been a generous supporter of student scholarships and was actively engaged with the community through the national Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program.

  • Dr. Priscilla Porterfield, representing the Hayes School of Music. Dr. Porterfield began her career at App State in 1990. She teaches vocal diction and applied voice and directs the Treble Choir. Among her many awards and fellowships, she was a national finalist in the Music Teachers National Association Collegiate Artist Awards, the winner of the Toledo Opera Young Artists Competition and a two-time winner in the District Metropolitan Opera Auditions.

  • Dr. Rahman Tashakkori, representing the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Tashakkori serves as the Lowe’s Distinguished Professor of Computer Science in the Department of Computer Science and was department chair from 2017 to 2023. Tashakkori is a leader in establishing and directing externally funded STEM scholarship and research programs. He recently received a UNC System Research Opportunities Initiative grant for the App State Multipurpose Apiary Informatics System project.

These faculty represent the power of our collective work and the significance of its impact around the world, and I look forward to seeing many more faculty and staff celebrating our students on Friday.

Thank you all for another successful semester.

Sheri Everts