The university remains open, with emergency management protocols activated and operational modifications and precautions in place. Read the latest updates.

Student Affairs COVID-19 Response.

Appalachian State University's 2021 Student Memorial Ceremony


Affinity Groups at AppState

Merriam-Webster defines affinity group as "a group of people having a common interest or goal or acting together for a specific purpose".  Do you know what affinity groups we currently have on campus?  No, well let me introduce you to some of them.  

Please click on the links below for more information (if applicable).

App Advocates: The Appalachian Advocates Initiative is a program in the College of Business created to equip, expand and make visible the network of support available to members of underrepresented groups within the College of Business, our Appalachian community and the greater Boone community. Membership is open to all faculty and staff.

Appalachian African-Alumni Network (AAAN): an affinity group that is part of the Appalachian Alumni Association. The mission of AAAN is to engage all African-American alumni, develop a working relationship with university administrators, increase the role of alumni in recruitment and retention efforts of African-American students and improve visibility on and off campus at Alumni events.

Able-achian: Able-achian is a creative collective intended to draw attention to the experiences of disabled community members at Appalachian State University.

APP Unidos: Dedicated to issues of importance to the Hispanic/Latino community on campus and in the local and state communities, while providing a networking opportunity for colleagues.

Black Faculty & Staff Association: Their purpose is to address quality of life issues specific to Black faculty, staff, and students; Promote the development of leadership skills; Facilitate professional welfare and development; Stimulate a sense of social responsibility and improve communication; and Promote scholarship and cooperative research among Black faculty, staff, and students.

Black Graduate Student Association: established in 2019 and focuses on scholarship, service and empowerment.

Women in Education Leadership Symposium (WIELS): Works to establish an inclusive community that advocates the elimination of gender-based barriers to leadership opportunities. WIELS is committed to promoting and empowering the advancement of women, gender non-binary, feminine-identified, and gender fluid leaders, and providing ongoing support through coaching, mentoring, and networking.

We are currently in the process of researching more affinity groups.  Please be on the lookout for more information.

Mar 25
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Intercultural Development Inventory

In fall 2020 the Student Affairs Division, led by the Diversity & Inclusive Excellence Committee, decided to embark on a professional development journey using the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). To date, over 100 folks across the division have participated in the IDI.

  • The Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®) is the premier cross-cultural assessment of intercultural competence that is used by thousands of individuals and organizations to build intercultural competence to achieve international and domestic diversity and inclusion goals and outcomes. IDI research in organizations and educational institutions confirms two central findings when using the IDI:
    • Interculturally competent behavior occurs at a level supported by the individual’s or group’s underlying orientation as assessed by the IDI.
    • Training and leadership development efforts at building intercultural competence are more successful when they are based on the individual’s or group’s underlying developmental orientation as assessed by the IDI.

The IDI is based on the Intercultural Development Continuum that places folks in one of 5 orientations: denial, polarization, minimization, acceptance, or adaptation.

The IDI is an online instrument that takes you through a series of 50 questions designed to gauge an individual’s perceived orientation (where you see yourself on the continuum) and developmental orientation (where the IDI places you on the continuum). The difference between those two measures is your orientation gap or learning opportunity. Most people tend to overestimate themselves and their level of intercultural engagement. However, there is a developmental opportunity in the gap.

Each participant meets with a Qualified Administrator (QA) to receive their individualized Profile Report that tells you the scores and orientation you are in, as well as, an Individual Development Plan (IDP).

The IDP is where the fun starts. Intentionality is the name of the game. You have to intentionally commit to your growth and development to see gains in your intercultural competence and closing your orientation gap. There are ten developmental opportunities that you can leverage to increase your intercultural competence:

Training Programs                    Workplace Activities                    Theatre, Film, & Arts

Educational Classes                  Personal Interactions                   Intercultural Journal

Travel                                        Intercultural Coaching                 Site Visits

                                                 Books & Articles

Each person should take time to work through the IDP. It is intended to be retrospective and reflective--considering how we have developed into the people that we are now and how we interact with similarities and differences--based on your developmental orientation.

The Student Affairs Division is looking at the long-term use of this assessment to guide our diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development effort over the next 3 years. This a marathon and not a sprint! We are excited about the opportunity to grow and develop together.

Mar 25
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Inclusive Recreation-Why-What-How

University Recreation is actively working to create an environment where people feel a sense of belonging while offering recreational opportunities during a global pandemic to be sustained in the aftermath. We are also being creative in providing physical activity during this time which looks a little different than pre-pandemic. Heightening the level of awareness about the people we serve is a welcome opportunity during this pivotal time in the current world.

Being dedicated to the Appalachian State University community has supported the initiative of educating ourselves through intentional department equity, diversity, and inclusion meetings. Throughout this process, our professional staff read, reflect, and have dialogue surrounding the learning.

Read more...

Mar 25
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Restorative Justice for Bias Incidents and Historical Harm

In January, Student Affairs professionals engaged in Appalachian State’s first training in restorative justice for bias incidents and historical harm. This training was brought to campus to address the immediate needs of the Appalachian State University community, recognizing historical harm at Appalachian, current events such as the election, dual pandemics, increased bias reporting to the Office of the Dean of Students, #BlackAtAppState, and the desire to give professional staff immediate problem solving skills to address student and community needs.

You may be asking, “What is restorative justice, and why is it important to App State?” Thanks to modern technology, we worked with the Center for Restorative Justice, which is housed in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego to bring this training to Appalachian State. According to the SOLES website, “Restorative justice (RJ) is a philosophical approach that embraces the reparation of harm, healing of trauma, reconciliation of interpersonal conflict, reduction of social inequality, and reintegration of people who have been marginalized and outcast. RJ embraces community empowerment and participation, multipartial facilitation, active accountability, and social support. A central practice of restorative justice is a collaborative decision-making process that includes harmed parties, people who caused harm, and others to seek a resolution that includes: (a) accepting and acknowledging responsibility for harmful behavior, (b) repairing the harm caused to individuals and the community, and (c) working to rebuild trust by showing understanding of the harm, addressing personal issues, and building positive social connections.” Restorative justice incorporates elements of existing programs we have in Student Affairs, such as Koru Mindfulness, Sustained Dialogue, and the INTERSECT Social Justice Retreat.

Each time the training convened, facilitators Toni and Amisha encouraged participants to share a strength or value that would lead their intention for their work for the day, and the day began with a mindfulness moment, which was sometimes led by a participant of the group. The instruction, discussion and reflection intentionally addressed difficult topics such as online harms, what happens when there is not a specific target, facing trauma, and what individuals can do when institutions are not responsive. The intent of the training was to empower trainees to use their skills with student issues such as roommate conflicts, concerning language, classroom issues, student organization reports, and other incidents that do not rise to the level of a conduct violation but need to be addressed.

The Restorative Justice for Bias Incidents and Historical Harm Training included staff from the following departments:

• University Housing

• Electronic Student Services

• Intercultural Student Affairs

• Office of Student Affairs

• Office of the Dean of Students

• Office of Student Conduct

• Student Engagement and Leadership

• University Recreation

Participants attended 18 hours of training that was in two-three day sets and included asynchronous reading and reflection. This initiative was funded by a Student Affairs' Diversity & Inclusive Excellence grant and University Housing.

National Equity Project Resources for Dual Pandemic: https://www.nationalequityproject.org/resources/covid19

SOLES website: https://www.sandiego.edu/soles/restorative-justice/about-restorative-justice.php

Mar 25
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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