By the time she arrived on campus, ready to begin her college journey, Appalachian freshman Guin Thi had exceeded the hopes and dreams of her family. Now she is realizing her own dream, learning more about a profession that has intrigued her since childhood: architectural design.
Sarah Mbiki is an advocate for the role academic and professional student clubs play in the Appalachian State University experience. The senior computer science major credits her experience in the Women in Computer Science club for providing her with support and mentorship opportunities as she completes a challenging major and prepares for work in a field that is traditionally male-dominated.
When Fidel Leal, described by a Cuban music critic as “one of the most advanced and important Cuban pianists of his generation to storm into the first decade of this century” saw the bottom line on the cost of a music education at the New England Conservatory in Boston, he was crestfallen. Completely out of his price range, he returned to Cuba, his dream of earning a master’s in music in America unfulfilled.
Ray Christian, a storyteller and instructor at Appalachian State University, compartmentalizes his life of 55 years into three disparate segments: an impoverished childhood in a Richmond, Virginia, ghetto, 20 years serving his country in the U.S. Army, and the past two decades “doing nothing but going to school.”
Nearly 25 percent of Appalachian students are first generation college students. Many successful Appalachian faculty and staff were, too. Read how they charted a new course for themselves and their families.
A young African student wanted to study in the U.S. His parents and siblings were supportive - they’re all professionals with university degrees. The young student had friends in the U.S. and a dream to follow. There was just one problem...
Connor Burleson is a 2014 graduate of Appalachian’s Scholars with Diverse Abilities Program (SDAP), a person-centered, innovative program that provides students with intellectual disabilities access to a two-year college education with full access to all university programs and services.
With maintained success and national recognition for his community service work, Appalachian basketball junior forward Michael Obacha and his shoe drive have continued to provide shoes to the youth of his native country, Nigeria.
"I am inspired to hear our students' challenges and how they face them with so much dignity and respect for each other. I am inspired every day to serve and mentor our first-generation college students."
“When I first arrived in Boone and stepped onto the Appalachian campus, I knew that I would do anything and everything possible to come to school here. It reminded me of how I am to people -- warm and welcoming.”
“I love the diversity that we have in the choir, the compliments we get from our classmates, faculty, families and friends. I am glad that we reach out – not only to our campus, but also to our community, our state and beyond.”
“The greatest duty of any civilized society is to help discover and develop the unique talent that each child brings to the table. Being a part of this and making a positive difference in the lives of students…is a great honor."
The It Gets Better project's mission is to communicate to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth around the world that it gets better, and to create and inspire the changes needed to make it better for them.
Sustained Dialogue at Appalachian is part of the international Sustained Dialogue Institute program that prepares community members to deeply engage in difficult conversations ranging from race, gender identity and religion to politics and various global challenges.
Appalachian State University is committed to providing equal opportunity in education and employment to all applicants, students, and employees. The university does not discriminate in access to its educational programs and activities, or with respect to hiring or the terms and conditions of employment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity and expression, political affiliation, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information or sexual orientation. The university actively promotes diversity among students and employees.