Getting to Know More People in Student Affairs
Last month we started our series in "Getting to Know Our People in Student Affairs." Each newsletter will highlight staff in our Division starting with our Divisional Leadership. This month we are highlighting Dr. Susan McCracken, Director of Career Development and Economic Engagement and Mr. Alan Rasmussen, Interim Dean of Students. Enjoy reading about who makes up the Division of Student Affairs at Appalachian State University!
"Hi, I am Susan McCracken and I have been fortunate enough to live in Boone for over 30 years. After growing up in Sanford, NC, and graduating from UNC Chapel Hill in 1987, I moved to Boone because I loved the mountains. Luckily, I have been able to make my home here, raise my family Katie Mac Knight (20, junior at Appalachian) and Alice Knight (18, first year at UNC Chapel Hill), and have a fulfilling career serving students at Appalachian.
My first job at Appalachian was actually with Camp Broadstone and Outdoor Programs as a grad student! I began my professional career working for Upward Bound. For 16 years, I worked in a variety of roles with college access programs - including getting one of the first nationwide GEAR UP grants in 1999 and serving as the director of GEAR UP NC at the UNC System Office from 2004 to 2008. For a moment in time, I was the Director of Sponsored Programs at Appalachian, and then soon moved into the role of the Director of External Affairs and Community Relations in the Office of the Chancellor (2010 to 2015). I was the legislative liaison for the university and worked closely with elected officials at the local, state, and federal level. Currently, I am the Director of Career Development and Economic Engagement. In this role, I oversee the day-to-day operations of the Career Development Center including employer relations and serve as the university’s point of contact for economic developers in the region.
Highlights of working at Appalachian include getting the very first funding for GEAR UP in 1999 and expanding Appalachian's focus on first generation college students; being a part of the Solar Decathlon "Solar Homesteam" team when students literally built a house and took in to DC in 2011; working hard to secure the initial funding from the NC Legislature to build Levine Hall; and the work of this past year in the Career Development Center. As hard as so many things have been, I am immensely proud of the creativity, support, new connections, and priorities our team has generated and made happen.
I earned my doctorate in Educational Leadership from Appalachian in 2009. I have an Ed.S. in Higher Education Administration (2005) and a MA in Student Development (1992) both from Appalachian. I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies from UNC Chapel Hill in 1987."
Alan Rasmussen currently serves as the Interim Dean of Students. He earned his undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Anthropology at Appalachian State University and a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Antioch University of New England. Alan has been in the Office of the Dean of Students since 2012. As the interim Dean of Students, Alan oversees the Offices of Case Management, Off Campus Student Services, Parent & Family Services, Student Conduct, Student Legal Clinic and Veteran Services.
“As an App State graduate, it is a wonderful feeling to work for the university that has given me so much. I love working with the students here at App because of the energy and passion they bring to campus every day. My position allows me to help students during a difficult and critical time in their college career where a little help can go a long way”.
In Alan's free time, he enjoys spending time with his wife Carolyn, daughter Everleigh and their pup. He also enjoys creating art out of wood. If you haven't seen his work, ask him to show you!