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.

Appalachian 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 Appalachian’s A.R. Smith Department of Chemistry and Fermentation Sciences, far right. Photo by Marie Freeman

2020 recipients

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.

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.