Trunk or Treat

This year, University Housing hosted Trunk or Treat for campus and the community.  About 400 families came through and participated in the event and about 50 students and staff volunteers had cars that distributed candy along with 10 hall councils that put games out for the kids who participated! The National Residence Hall Honorary raised just over $1,500 at their Tots for Tots event for the Western Youth Network, which translates to being able to send 2 kids to summer camp. This was also in sponsorship with The Tapp Room, who donated the tots and toppings to support the local community.  The event also gathered 122 lbs. of food to donate.  WAY TO GO TEAM!

Nov 3
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Getting to Know More People in Student Affairs

In continuing with our "Getting to Know More People in the SA Series", this month we are highlighting Dr. Brandon Nelson, Interim Director of University Housing/Director of Business Systems, Moriah Stegall, Director of Appalachian's Child Development Center and Rodo Leone, Director of University Recreation. Enjoy reading about who makes up the Division of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University!

Say Hello to Brandon!

"My name is Brandon Nelson and I have the privilege of serving as the Interim Director of Housing. I grew up in northwestern Pennsylvania and received a bachelor's in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. The highlight of my undergraduate experience was traveling around the world, visiting a dozen countries, on a Semester at Sea. I came to App in 2008 and earned an MA in College Student Development. I served as the Residence Director for Winkler Hall and then Newland Hall during my two years as a graduate student. After graduation, I worked at University of Nebraska for a couple of years before Booneranging back! I graduated in December, earning my doctorate in Educational Leadership, with a concentration in Higher Education.

I married my high school sweetheart, Adryona, and we live in Blowing Rock with our goofy, fun-loving dog Lincoln. Adryona works in Academic Affairs here at Appalachian. We enjoy traveling, being outdoors, playing cards/games, trying new restaurants, and cheering on our Pittsburgh sports teams.

My various roles here have allowed me to connect and build relationships with some amazing people. The opportunity to work alongside such caring people, collaborate and learn from talented professionals, and share a story or laugh makes coming to “work” rather easy. I look forward to more of these opportunities in the future!"

Hello Moriah!

"Hi! My name is Moriah Stegall and I am the lucky Mama to three incredible explorers. In between climbing trees and helping my aspiring young chefs try out new dessert recipes, I spend my work week as the Director of the Child Development Center. I am a double graduate of App State with a Master’s in Family and Child Studies and a Bachelor’s in Birth through Kindergarten education.

I have worked in the public and private sector by educating children, families, and future early care providers before returning to work at my alma mater. I am passionate about supporting early care providers and co-creating intentional learning spaces for young children. At the CDC we believe in nurturing the hearts and inspiring the minds of our young children. Being authentically present with children as they discover the world around them is a gift that cannot be described or quantified. I feel privileged to share in the process with the children of the CDC, their families, and the dedicated early care professionals who work alongside me."

Hi Rodo! 

"As a Hispanic, 1st generation student, immigrant, and cis male, my whole journey is an extensive combination of multicultural and international episodes that serve as a strong framework for my passion to serve others wholeheartedly, bridge differences, catalyze change, and work toward a more just world.

I started my professional development in Argentina as a physical education teacher. In my last three years there, I started a non-profit organization offering experiential learning programs based on the principles of adventure-based activities and community service initiatives to low-income and inner-city high school students.

I left Argentine in 2000 looking for self-development and growth. My journey took me to take several seasonal jobs in the outdoor and recreation field in different countries. This gave me opportunity to learn more about myself and others. I had the privilege of travelling across over 35 different countries and 46 US states.

For the past fifteen years, here in the United States, I have progressively increased my level of responsibilities in the Campus Recreation departments of four different higher education institutions (Aurora University, Texas State University, University of Central Florida, and Boise State University) to currently serving as the Director of the University Recreation Department here at Appalachian State University.

My formal education includes a bachelor and master’s degrees from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a master in Recreation Administration from Aurora University in Illinois. In my free time I enjoy exploring the outdoors with my two dogs.

Nov 3
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Image courtesy of Pinterest

Diversity & Inclusive Excellence Grant Awards

The Diversity & Inclusive Excellence Committee was excited to receive a number of grant applications for the 21-22 academic year.  Out of the applications received, 4 were awarded.  Congratulations to our grant recipients!  Read a little more about the grants below:

Goalball Sport League 

Goalball is one of the most popular Paralympic sports designed for athletes who are blind. Recreational sports, initiated by a current student, will be able to offer this accessible sport to both blind and able-bodied students.  This grant will be implemented by creating a goalball sports league for the Appalachian State community and students. University Recreation full time staff will work together with students who have played the sport to use the funding and run the league. The funds are being used to purchase the equipment for the goalball sports league. With the purchase of the equipment there will be structures in place that follow guidelines set by recreational sports such as risk management, marketing, and use of facilities.

Ride the Wave Workshop Series 

As institutions grapple with how to best support their students and understand their challenges, one of the most important areas pertains to support related to mental health and wellbeing. In an effort to support this vision, the counseling center will host a series of interactive psychoeducational and experiential workshops to help empower students of marginalized identities at App State and provide them with therapeutic tools and resources to cope with their stress and help them “ride the wave” during these turbulent times.  The counseling center will offer two different kinds of workshops:

A: Ride the Wave Workshops, where psychoeducational workshops will be facilitated, that will specifically provide coping resources and specific coping tools to help support our students’ emotional health and wellbeing during these turbulent times. Our counselors will set up “Ride the Wave” in person interactive workshop events in campus spaces that are attended or suggested by organizations that serve students with marginalized identities. 

B: Guest Speakers, the counseling center will invite 2-4 mental health professionals who identify as marginalized identities to engage with students on topics that include loss, trauma, grief and resilience. One event will be offered for staff and faculty to help broaden their understanding of trauma and sensitivity to multicultural factors and intersectionality. The Counseling Center will also consider offering a panel of guest speakers as well. 

Exploring Disordered Eating and Body Image Acceptance among Students with Marginalized Identities and Males at Appalachian State University

Wellness and Prevention Services wants to increase campus-wide knowledge and awareness of disordered eating and body image related concerns that exist among students with marginalized identities. Departmental staff will host a series of educational events, to include a one day summit in November 2021, featuring renowned behavioral health specialists Dr. Charlynn Small and Mazella Fuller. The intent of this signature event, and the smaller activities, is to raise awareness about disordered eating among marginalized communities, stigmas around seeking help and limited access to care. In addition to hosting educational sessions the Department will also facilitate a community health needs assessment specific to this particular area of interest and targeting students with marginalized identities. The work will hopefully increase campus-wide knowledge regarding an area of concern not often recognized, and with this knowledge begin a process of improving access and quality of care to the specified population.

Adaptive Fitness

UREC plans to purchase adaptive fitness equipment to make exercise more accessible to more people ensuring everyone has the opportunity to create the exercise plan that fits their unique needs.  Adapted Fitness Equipment includes a range of machines, devices and tools designed to accommodate users of all ability levels improve and maintain their physical health. From hand exercisers to cardio equipment, stretching to strength building aids, these adapted fitness aids allow everyone to be active. While our facilities are well-designed for many people, our goal would be to ensure that everyone who comes in to our facility would have equipment that is well-suited for them, regardless of their ability level, body type, or current level of fitness. The goal with a UREC Fitness Adaptive program is to empower all students, regardless of the ability level, to reach their physical fitness goals. Knowing that regular exercise is directly related to overall wellbeing, improved academic performance, increased socialization, and personal satisfaction, our goal is to see more students take advantage of our recreation spaces and equipment. A goal for UREC is to create partnerships that are more meaningful across campus. We feel that an adaptive fitness program would add significance to the already existing Exercise is Medicine program, by allowing more people who receive prescriptions from ASU Health Services, the ASU Counseling Center, or Wellness and Prevention Services so that they are able to meet their goals. We are also interested in supporting the Body Positivity initiative that is expanding in our society and on campus. 

Nov 3
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Staffing Updates

It is a pleasure to introduce the FULL staff of the Office of Intercultural Student Affairs here at Appalachian State! It has been a long time coming but finally they are here and in place to serve our students!  

  • Dr. Lamont Sellers, Director
  • Dr. Will Sheppard, Associate Director
  • Cody Michael Henderson, Assistant Director
  • Jainny Estrada, Coordinator
  • Anitra Ball, University Program Associate/Office Manager

Feel free to stop by Suite 255 in the Plemmons Student Union and say hi!

More New Employees in Student Affairs

Career Development Center

Michael Rybak (he/they), Career Development Coordinator has ventured to the mountainous Boone, NC, to join the Career Development Center team. He will be assisting students across the institutional landscape with their major and career exploration endeavors and empowering them to work towards their versions of holistic success. Originally from Stuart, FL, Michael graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and a minor in Theatre. In his time at FGCU, Michael developed a deep passion for serving students and building lasting relationships. Michael completed his Master of Education degree in College Student Personnel Administration from James Madison University (JMU) in Harrisonburg, VA. Michael’s past experiences have equipped him with a critical, counseling-based lens for providing career development services to all students. In his spare time, Michael enjoys visiting local coffee shops, spending time with family and friends, and spontaneously traveling to places he has never ventured before.

Case Management

Jimmy Kramer joined the Office of the Dean of Students Case Management team in July 2021. He has been actively engaged with our students assisting them as they navigate campus life. Jimmy previously worked with Case Management as a COVID Response and Support case manager before joining the team full-time as a residential specialist. Jimmy also previously served as a Coordinator with residence life here at Appalachian and is no stranger in our community. Please join me in applauding Jimmy on all his contributions in supporting and caring for our students. He has swiftly transitioned into his new(ish) role and we are so honored to have him as part of our team. 

Nov 3
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Contact Us

Rm. 109, B.B. Dougherty
P.O. Box 32117
438 Academy Street
Boone, NC 28608
Fax: (828) 262-2615