Chancellor’s Awards for Inclusive Excellence

In January 2020, App State presented its inaugural Chancellor’s Awards for Inclusive Excellence. These awards are designed to shine a light on individuals at App State and in the community whose work demonstrates their active, intentional and ongoing commitment to transformative change. Additional award categories were added in 2022.

2022 recipients

App State Chancellor Sheri Everts, center, with the winners of the 2022 Chancellor’s Awards for Inclusive Excellence: Dr. Brandon Nelson, far left, App State’s interim director of University Housing, representing University Housing; Eris Jenkins, second from left, an App State graduate student; Lamont Sellers, third from left, App State’s director of Intercultural Student Affairs; Chandler Smith, third from right, an App State undergraduate student; Yolanda Adams, second from right, family resource coordinator for Watauga County Schools; and Dr. Jamie Levine, associate professor in App State’s Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences. Photo by Troy Tuttle
Dr. Jamie Levine
Inclusive Excellence for Faculty

Levine is an associate professor in App State’s Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences and she established a diversity, equity and inclusion committee within the department. She has also served as an inclusive excellence liaison in App State’s Center for Academic Excellence for three years.

Yolanda Adams
Inclusive Excellence in the Community

Adams is the family resource coordinator for Watauga County Schools. She implemented the Juntos Program, which helps encourage 8th through 12th grade Latino students to pursue higher education. She also works to build bridges between the Latino community and law enforcement by helping organize events, including Coffee with a Cop and the Latino Fair.

Chandler Smith
Inclusive Excellence for Undergraduate Students

Smith is an App State senior majoring in nutrition and foods. She has worked to be an advocate for her peers and those in the community and to support programming on campus, including Body Positive App State.

Eris Jenkins
Inclusive Excellence for Graduate Students

Jenkins is an App State graduate student majoring in student affairs administration. They are an intern in the Office of Diversity, the residence director of Appalachian Heights and the office assistant for the Henderson Springs LGBT Center.

Lamont Sellers
Inclusive Excellence for Staff

Sellers is App State’s director of Intercultural Student Affairs. He has worked to revitalize the university’s intercultural student development and to help the campus community discuss potentially triggering topics in a collaborative manner.

University Housing
Inclusive Excellence for a Department

Staff members in App State’s University Housing have participated in professional development opportunities, including implicit bias training and the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI). Regarding the latter, the staff attended one-on-one sessions with certified facilitators to process their results and establish personal development plans.

2020 recipients

App State Chancellor Sheri Everts, second from left, with the inaugural winners of the Chancellor’s Awards for Inclusive Excellence: Rabbi Stephen Roberts, spiritual leader of the Temple of the High Country, far left; Watauga County Schools Superintendent Scott Elliott, who represented the school district’s Coffee Talk program, second from right; and Dr. Claudia Cartaya-Marin, professor in and chair of App State’s A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences. Photo by Marie Freeman
Dr. Claudia Cartaya-Marin
Inclusive Excellence for Faculty

Cartaya-Marin is a professor in and chair of App State’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.

App State presents inaugural awards for inclusive excellence, welcomes poet Nikki Giovanni
Jan. 17, 2020

Appalachian honored Dr. Claudia Cartaya-Marin, Rabbi Stephen Roberts and the Watauga County Schools Coffee Talk program with the inaugural Chancellor’s Awards for Inclusive Excellence during a luncheon held Jan. 13 on the university’s campus.