Chancellor’s Awards for Inclusive Excellence
In January 2020, Appalachian presented its inaugural Chancellor’s Awards for Inclusive Excellence. These awards — which will be given annually — are designed to shine a light on individuals at Appalachian and in the community whose work demonstrates their active, intentional and ongoing commitment to transformative change.
- Dr. Claudia Cartaya-Marin
Inclusive Excellence for Faculty
Cartaya-Marin is a professor in and chair of Appalachian’s A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences and serves on the Chief Diversity Officer’s Advisory Board. She created a summer bridge program designed for incoming students transitioning into STEM programs and helped found APP Unidos, the university’s Hispanic/Latino faculty and staff association.
- Rabbi Stephen Roberts
Inclusive Excellence in the Community
Roberts has served as the spiritual leader of the Temple of the High Country since 2013 and is an active member of the High Country Multi-Faith Clergy and Leaders. He has edited two textbooks on pastoral care and founded ChaplainDL, a distance learning continuing education platform for professional chaplains.
- Watauga County Schools Coffee Talk program
Inclusive Excellence for Youth
The Watauga County Schools Coffee Talk began at Hardin Park Elementary in 2004 and expanded to Watauga High in 2008. Through this instructional program, students with disabilities plan, run and host a coffee shop for faculty, staff, parents and community members that allows the students to refine skills related to academics, vocations, healthful living and social interactions. Each month, Coffee Talk involves 14 students at Hardin Park Elementary and up to 30 students at Watauga High. The program has also donated to local charities, including the Health and Hunger Coalition, Hospitality House, OASIS (Opposing Abuse with Service, Information and Shelter), Western Youth Network and Watauga Humane Society.