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.

Career Development Center's Share Your Story Campaign and Professional Headshots

Share Your Story Campaign

As we near the end of the spring semester, The Career Development Center would like to highlight the success stories of our students throughout this year. While we all saw the impact of the activities and connections that were missed this year, there is still so much to celebrate about the resiliency and perseverance of our students. The Share Your Story campaign is about recognizing the victories and accomplishments of our students - both big and small - in their career development journey. Whether it is landing that job or internship they wanted, or  translating their work experience into tangible skills on their resume, or connecting with an employer who inspires them via a meet-up or fair, we want to hear about it! 

We are asking for the support of all of our student affairs colleagues to encourage students to submit a Share Your Story entry for a chance to be featured on our social media and inspire other students to push forward in their career journey. 

Professional Headshots

This month, the Career Development Center has begun offering professional headshots once again in person. We are so happy to have this service up and running again for students. Professional photos can be used on a resume, a LinkedIn account, or other social media profile and help make a great first impression with future employers or networking contacts. 

Please help us spread the word about this free service! Students can make an appointment in Handshake and photos are being taken on the 3rd Floor of the JET building in the Career Development Center suite. 

Mar 25
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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!   

Mar 24
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Commencement and Other Updates/Events

AppState Commencement

Wondering about what is going on with graduation this spring?  There is a Commencement website you can visit to learn more about the dates and virtual and in-person options. 

March Student Affairs Employee of the Month

Our March Student Affairs “Employee of the Month” nominations are due Monday, April 5th by 5:00pm.  Please take a few minutes to nominate someone in your area you feel meets the criteria detailed on the nomination form here. Please note that nominated employees should be nominated based on performance during the month of March, not overall performance all year. 

Professional Development Opportunities

Colleagues, please be sure to check out our Student Affairs Professional Opportunities website. We are regularly updating the professional development opportunities offered, so please check this site often. 

Appalachian's Counseling Center's Virtual Workshop Series Making the Invisible Visible, Dialogues of Hope and Racial Healing in Brave Spaces: Creating Race and Culture-Inclusive Classrooms

Monday, March 29th, 6:00pm

Dr. LaTonya Summers is an award-winning assistant professor of clinical mental health counseling at Jacksonville University. There, she brings 24 years of clinical mental health and addictions counseling experience, and conducts research on multicultural issues in counseling and supervision. Her work is featured in scholarly journals and at international and national professional conferences. She is the author of Multicultural Counseling: Responding with Cultural Humility, Empathy, and Advocacy, a textbook that will be released in 2022.

Click HERE for more information and to register


This workshop series is funded by the Diversity and Inclusive Excellence Grant, courtesy of the Division of Student Affairs, Appalachian State University.

This virtual workshop is offered for Faculty and Staff.


Mar 24
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Student Affairs Employee of the Month-February 2021

Congratulations to Ms. Debbie Gragg on being the February Employee of the Month recipient. Debbie currently serves as the manager for the Radiology Department in the M.S. Shook Student Health Services. 

Her nominator wrote, "She has been at Student Health for close to 30 years! She IS the x-ray department at student health. She has a high level of expertise in her field and has kept provision of x-rays for students running smoothly for years. She communicates closely with Watauga Radiology (who proofread x-rays for student health).  In addition to her very busy job with clinical care, she also has a great heart for Appalachian students. This love of students translates into a lot of things that she does for the student body that aren't necessarily in her job description. She has provided x-rays for athletics (including during home football games) for decades. She is also known for the delicious cookies that she sometimes makes for the team. She has enthusiastically been on the ""Student"" committee at student health.  She has spearheaded a lot of small details to make the experience that students have at student health better. This has included things like providing snacks and drinks for students in the facility. She has also volunteered to help with events outside of our facility such as flu clinics and fairs/events on Sanford.  Debbie is a really hard worker who has served the student body faithfully for almost 3 decades! She is a huge asset for Appalachian State University students."

Family is so very important to Debbie but so are her students.  Three things she always ask students:

  • "Where are you from?"
  • "What's your major?"
  • "How are you doing overall?"

Debbie also enjoys gardening (1000 varieties of daylilies that she has hybridized) and working on the sidelines with the football team.  Debbie is looking forward to a cross country trip out west soon!  

Thank you as you continue to recognize a Student Affairs employee for their exemplary service and commitment to Appalachian State University's students and campus community. This also gives us the opportunity to acknowledge our employees' commitment to Care. Engage. Transform.

Please take a few minutes to nominate someone in your area that you feel meets the criteria detailed on the nomination form here.  Please note that nominated employees should be nominated based on performance during the month of March, not overall performance all year. Outstanding employees of the year will be recognized at a different time. The nomination deadline for March Employee of the Month is Monday, April 5th by 5:00pm.

Congratulations again Debbie!  We certainly appreciate all that you do for our students and community!   

Mar 24
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